Lang started singing as a kid and began her musical career after attending Red Deer College. She released her debut record in Canada in the early 1980s. In 1986, Lang attempted to break to the American country music scene with Angel with a Lariat. The next year, she had her first country hit, a duet with Roy Orbison. Changing into a more conventional pop vocal fashion, Lang had her biggest pop hit in 1992 with “Constant Craving.” Since that time, she’s recorded numerous records, including her 2002 cooperation with Tony Bennett, A Wonderful World. As she once told The New York Times, the area was so little that “you knew everyone from the day you were born till the day you can get yourself out there.”
Music was an essential element of Lang’s youth, and she started exhibiting her major vocal abilities as a kid. Her mom, a teacher, drove more than the usual hour to take Lang and her siblings with their piano lessons each week. Her piano education would prove to be the inspiration for her future profession. When Lang was 12 years old, her parents split up, and music supplied some consolation. During rehearsals, she became entranced with all the life and music of the country music star. Later, after graduating from school, Lang started to pursue her own music career.
Together with the Reclines, Lang enjoyed some success in her native Canada. She made her debut with all the well-received Friday Dance Promenade and established her name having A Western Promenade in 1984. The next year, the Juno Awards chosen Lang as the “most promising female vocalist.” After getting a contract with Sire records, in 1986, the androgynous-looking country star started her profession in America.
Lang impressed critics with her 1986 album, Angel with a Lariat, but country fans did not really start to warm up to the vocalist until the subsequent year. In 1987, Lang released a duet with Roy Orbison, a fresh record of his 1961 hit “Crying.” Along with setting Lang around the country charts for the very first time, this tune brought garnered the country singer a Grammy Award win for the best country vocal collaboration.
Lang do even better with 1989’s Shadowland. The record featured two country hits: “I am Down to My Last Cigarette” and “Lock, Stock and Teardrops.” For the record, Lang had the opportunity to work with Owen Bradley, a producer of Patsy Cline’s music. She was also accompanied by a few of her idols on among the tracks.
While individual country stars like Minnie Pearl and Loretta Lynn sang her praises, k.d. Lang was never completely accepted by the country music institution. As she once described to People magazine, “I was there in Nashville, a lesbian, a vegetarian, a Canadian, and looking to get in with this specific white, male, Christian society. They were like, ‘What the hell have you been doing here, girl?'”
With 1992’s Ingenue, Lang appeared to lose much of her country style in favor of a more adult contemporary sound. The favorite record featured her biggest pop hit to date: “Constant Craving.” She followed up this successful record with the uncommon enterprise: composing the soundtrack to 1993’s Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. A couple of years after, she released the smoking-themed attempt Drag.
Bennett, a veteran crooner, had nothing but high praise for Lang, calling her “the most effective vocalist since Judy Garland” in an NPR interview.
Returning to her origins, Lang recorded Hymns of the 49th Parallel (2005), a group of tunes composed by other Canadian artists. She even sang her widely commended performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Her next important work was 2008’s Watershed, noted for its country rock flavor. More lately, Lang released Sing It Loud (2011). Berry also called Lang “one of our most skilled singer songwriters of all time.”