Since her signing with Nettwerk Records two decades ago,
every one of Sarah McLachlan’s studio and live albums and videos has been
certified gold, platinum, or multi-platinum by the RIAA. Touch (1988) and
Solace (1991) were both gold sellers. Her 1994 breakthrough, the 3X-platinum
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, was followed by the digitally enhanced multimedia
version of The Freedom Sessions (1995, gold).
“I remember being $400,000 in debt and thinking, halfway
through that record (laughs), ‘Okay, the record company is going to send me
home because I’m just costing them so much money.’
“But I toured for 22 months on Fumbling Towards Ecstasy,
going back over and over to all these cities. And every time it would be,
y’know, 100 people, then 300 people, then 600 people. It was just a gentle
growing thing—it didn’t happen overnight, and I’m so grateful that it wasn’t
this big overnight success.”
Sarah’s landmark fifth album, the 10X-platinum Surfacing
(1997), contained two Grammy Award-winning tracks: “Building a Mystery” won for
Best Female Pop Vocal and “Last Dance” was voted Best Pop Instrumental. In
1998, the soundtrack of the Wim Wenders film City of Angels reached Number One
on the Billboard chart. Featuring the Sarah McLachlan track “Angel,” the City
of Angels soundtrack achieved 4X platinum sales status.
The 1999 Lilith Fair tour gave rise to Sarah’s 4X-platinum
album Mirrorball and its platinum long-form video counterpart. “I Will Remember
You,” a track from Mirrorball, earned Sarah her third career Grammy Award, for
Best Female Pop Vocal (1999).
“Up until that point, I had managed to live my career rather
quietly. I wasn’t in the tabloids—I still am not for the most part, thankfully.
It was Lilith Fair that catapulted me into a different stratosphere as far as
the media frenzy and public knowledge.
“And really, at the time, it seemed like ‘Okay, this feels
right, I can manage this now’—whereas if that had happened six or seven years
previous, I don’t think I would have been anywhere near ready. But because I
was able to live my career quietly and have small successes and get used to
things in that way, I think I was kind of ready for it.”
Afterglow, released in 2003, reached 2X-platinum status and
received two Grammy Award nomina-tions: Best Pop Vocal Album and (for the
opening track “Fallen”) Best Female Pop Vocal.
In September 2004, Sarah McLachlan released the socially
charged video "World On Fire," directed by Sophie Muller. The video
made what Jon Pareles, writing in the New York Times, called “a modestly
brilliant gesture: it stacks up budget items for a typical clip against what
the same $150,000 budget would buy as relief efforts—cattle, bicycles, housing,
education, medicine…The contrast between show-business splurges and practical
aid is startling.”
“World On Fire,” a Grammy nominee for Best Short Form Music
Video, cost only $15 to make—the price of a Sony mini DV tape. The remainder of
the $150,000 video budget was distributed among eleven charitable organizations
around the world including CARE, Engineers Without Borders, Help The Aged,
Warchild, and Heifer International.
Sarah McLachlan’s Afterglow tour opened March 12, 2005 in
Wellington, New Zealand and continued with dates throughout Australia, Canada,
and the US—including a May 24 concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden The
tour concluded June 12, 2005 with a gala perform-ance in Sarah’s hometown of
In October 2006, Sarah released Wintersong, her first album
of holiday-themed songs. Among the highlights of this twelve-song set: “Happy
Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon & Yoko Ono, “Song For A Winter's Night”
by Gordon Lightfoot, “River” by Joni Mitchell, and the all-time seasonal
favorites “I'll Be Home For Christmas” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Pierre Marchand, the platinum-selling
Wintersong reached No. 7 on the Billboard chart. The disc was nominated for
both a Grammy Award (for Best Tradi-tional Pop Vocal Album) and a Juno Award
(for Pop Album of the Year).
Sarah’s many cover songs and collaborations formed the
repertoire for Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff Volume 2, released April 29,
2008. The album includes her soulful interpretations of the pop classic
“Unchained Melody” and Lennon/McCartney’s “Blackbird” (from the I Am Sam
soundtrack), as well as powerful live renditions of her own compositions
“Angel” and “Pills.”
Sarah McLachlan married Ashwin Sood, her longtime drummer,
on February 7, 1997 in Negril, Jamaica. Sarah gave birth to their daughter,
India Ann Sushil, on April 6, 2002; India’s sister, Taja Summer (the Hindi word
for “crown”), arrived June 22, 2008.
“I never have set goals, in the sense that I expected to be
successful or get to a certain place. My idea of success has always been, does
it feel right? Does it feel good to me? Do I enjoy doing it? And somehow
miraculously, I’ve been able to follow that path and have a great success at
“So this whole career, the life that I have, the
opportunities that I’ve been given—it all comes as unexpected. Every day I
pinch myself, you know? I can’t believe all this has happened to me.”
• Sarah McLachlan has sold over 40 million recordings
worldwide since her recording career began in 1988 with her debut album Touch.
• Sarah has received a career total of 21 Juno Award
nominations. She is an eight-time Juno Award winner (Canada) and a three-time
Grammy Award winner:
Grammy Award 1999 "I Will Remember You" – Best
Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy Award 1998 "Last Dance" – Best
Pop Instrumental Performance Grammy Award 1998 "Building a Mystery" –
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
• The touring festival called Lilith Fair, founded by Sarah
McLachlan, brought together two million people over its three-year history
(1997-1999) and raised more than $7 million for charities. Indigo Girls, Sheryl
Crow, Nelly Furtado, Queen Latifah, Emmylou Harris, and Christina Aguilera were
among the many artists who participated in Lilith Fair.
• Sarah has been profiled in cover stories for Rolling
Stone, Time and Entertainment Weekly.
• In 1998, Sarah McLachlan received the Elizabeth Cady
Stanton Visionary Award for advancing the careers of women in music. New York
Governor George Pataki presented Sarah with the award on the 150th anniversary
of the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY.
• In 2003, the singer founded the Sarah McLachlan Music
Outreach Program for the purpose of providing free music education classes to
inner city youths whose school music programs have been reduced or abolished by
Sarah is currently recording a new studio album and has plans to bring back the
Lilith Fair tour in the summer of 2010.