k.d. Lang - "Constant Craving"
In support of National Pride Month, for the entire month of June I will only post artists who Identify as somewhere on the LGBTQI Spectrum. We are loud, we are proud, and we deserve to be heard.
She's an icon, a trailblazer, and a force to be reckoned with. Her talent is only matched by her passion and she has been using her voice to speak up and speak out for decades now. Known by her stage name k.d. lang, is a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress.
Lang has won both Juno Awards and Grammy Awards for her musical performances; hits include "Constant Craving" and "Miss Chatelaine". She has contributed songs to movie soundtracks and has collaborated with musicians such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Elton John, Anne Murray, Ann Wilson, and Jane Siberry.
Lang is also known for being an animal rights, gay rights, and Tibetan human rights activist. She is a tantric practitioner of the old school of Tibetan Buddhism. She performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" live at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Previously, she had performed at the closing ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. Lang possesses the vocal range of a mezzo-soprano.
Lang first earned international recognition in 1988 when she performed as "The Alberta Rose" at the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. Canadian women's magazine Chatelaine selected Lang as its "Woman of the Year" in 1988.
Lang's career received a huge boost when Roy Orbison chose her to record a duet of his standard, "Crying", a collaboration that won them the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 1989. The song was used in the Jon Cryer film Hiding Out released in 1987. Due to the success of the song, Lang received the Entertainer of the Year award from the Canadian Country Music Association. Lang would win the same award for the next three years, in addition to two Female Vocalist of the Year awards in 1988 and 1989.
1988 marked the release of Shadowland, an album of torch country produced by Owen Bradley. In late 1988, Shadowland was named Album of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association. That year she also performed "Turn Me Round" at the closing ceremonies of the XV Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, and sang background vocals with Jennifer Warnes and Bonnie Raitt for Orbison's acclaimed television special, Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night.
In 1990, Lang contributed the song "So in Love" to the Cole Porter tribute album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization. In 1998, she contributed "Fado Hilário" to the AIDS benefit compilation album Onda Sonora: Red Hot + Lisbon produced by the same organization.
The 1992 album, Ingénue, a set of adult-oriented pop songs that showed comparatively little country influence, contained her most popular song, "Constant Craving". That song brought her multi-million sales, much critical acclaim, and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Another top ten single from the record was "Miss Chatelaine". The salsa-inspired track was ironic; Chatelaine, a women's magazine, once chose Lang as its "Woman of the Year", and the song's video depicted Lang in an exaggeratedly feminine manner, surrounded by bright pastel colors and a profusion of bubbles reminiscent of a performance on the Lawrence Welk show.
She has supported many causes over the years, including HIV/AIDS care and research. Her cover of Cole Porter's "So in Love" (from the Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate), appears on the Red Hot + Blue compilation album and video from 1990 (a tribute to Cole Porter to benefit AIDS research and relief). Her 2010 greatest hits album, Recollection, also includes this cover of "So in Love". Lang also recorded the song "Fado Hilario", singing in Portuguese, for the 1999 Red Hot AIDS benefit album Onda Sonora: Red Hot + Lisbon, a traditional fado from Portugal.
Lang reflected on coming out in a 2016 interview with The Canadian Press, saying it "felt like it was the most responsible thing for society and myself" at the time. She also noted that dealing with the fallout was something she struggled with in the years that followed. "It's a very hard thing to unravel for me and decipher," she said. "In a way you can't. It's all just a big ball of wax of who I am and what my role in popular culture was — and what pop culture's role was in me."
So today, with a great swelling of pride, I choose k.d. Lang's "Constant Craving" as my, hold on to the feeling, savor the taste on your tongue, let go of nothing until you have to, song for a, Stars and moons in your eyes, open up wider, give yourself the compassion for all the courage you've shown, Monday.