Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright (born 22 July 1973) is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter.

Biography

Wainwright was born in Rhinebeck, New York to folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle (they later divorced while he was a child). He began to play the piano at age six, and by age thirteen he was touring with his sister Martha, mother Kate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_McGarrigle), and aunt Anna as the "McGarrigle Sisters and Family." His song "I'm Running," which he performed in the movie Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller, was nominated for the 1989 Genie Award for Best Original Song and earned him a nomination for the 1990 Juno Award for Most Promising Male Vocalist.

Despite being born in the United States, Wainwright strongly identifies with Canada and still maintains a residence there. He lived in Montreal with his mother for most of his childhood and briefly attended McGill University, where he studied both classical and 'rock' piano. Additionally, some of his songs feature his mastery of French.

Coming out as a homosexual while still a teen, Wainwright found solace through opera throughout his adolescent years (His track Barcelona features lyrics of Guiseppi Verdi). He also became an enthusiast of such performers as Edith Piaf, Al Jolson and Judy Garland.

After having been a fixture on the Montreal club circuit, Wainwright cut a series of demo tapes, one of which found itself in the hands of DreamWorks executive Lenny Waronker. The label signed him and he relased an album in the spring of 1998. This album landed much critical acclaim in Canada, and was even recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the best albums of the year. Wainwright's sophomore album, Poses (2001), brought similar acclaim.

Wainwright's first main exposure to the American public came as an opener to singer Tori Amos in 2001 and 2002. He garnered great praise for his performance and began touring as a main act shortly afterwards. He has frequently toured as the opener for Sting and co-headlined with Ben Folds and Guster in the summer of 2004. He still often performs with his sister Martha Wainwright (now herself an emerging artist) on backup vocals.

In addition to being a pianist, Wainwright is a guitarist, often switching between the two instruments when performing live; however, his mastery of the guitar does not approach his talent with the piano. While some of his most moving songs feature just Wainwright with his piano, many of his songs display complex layering and harmonies, occasionally comprising hundreds of individual parts. Wainwright is an avid opera fan, and the influences on his music are evident; his music has been described as "Popera" (Pop Opera) or "Baroque Pop." His lyrics are filled with allusions to opera, literature, pop culture, and, more recently, politics (in songs such as "Gay Messiah" and "Waiting for a Dream").

Rufus Wainwright playing in London in 2004. By Matt Whitby

Wainwright's newest album, Want Two, of which four songs were released as the EP Waiting for a Want, was released from DreamWorks/Geffen on November 16, 2004. It is a companion to the 2003 release Want One. His latest, a live iTunes Sessions EP entitled Alright Already is due for release in March 2005. He made his motion picture debut in The Aviator and will also appear in the upcoming film, Heights.

Discography

Albums

  • Rufus Wainwright (1998, DreamWorks)
  • Poses (2001, DreamWorks)
  • Want One (2003, DreamWorks)
  • Waiting for a Want (EP; 2004, DreamWorks) - available only on iTunes
  • Want Two (2004, DreamWorks/Geffen)
  • Alright Already (EP; 2005, DreamWorks/Geffen) - available only on iTunes

Contributions

  • "I'm Running" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller (1989)
  • "Le Roi D'Ys" and "On the Banks of the Wabash" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture The Myth of Fingerprints (1997)
  • "Shooldays", "What'll I Do?", "Heartburn", "Talk to Me of Mendocino", "Goodnight Sweetheart" and background vocals on various other tracks. - The McGarrigle Hour (1998)
  • "Instant Pleasure" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Big Daddy (1999, Sony)
  • "Complainte de la Butte" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Moulin Rouge! (2001, Interscope)
  • "Hallelujah" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Shrek (2001, Dreamworks)
  • "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Zoolander (2001, Hollywood Records)
  • "Across the Universe" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture I Am Sam (2002, V2/BMG)
  • "When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes" - When Love Speaks (2002, EMI Classics)
  • "It's Only a Paper Moon" and "I Wonder What Became of Me" - Stormy Weather: The Music of Harold Arlen (2003, Sony)
  • "I Eat Dinner" (with Dido) - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004, Geffen Records)
  • "I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture The Aviator (2004, Sony)

Awards and nominations

Juno Awards:

  • 1990 - Nominated, Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year
  • 1999 - Won, Best Alternative Album, Rufus Wainwright
  • 2000 - Nominated, Best Songwriter; "Poses," "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk," and "Grey Gardens"
  • 2002 - Won, Best Alternative Album, Poses

Genie Awards:

  • 1989 - Won, Best Original Song, "I'm A Runnin'"

Other:

  • 1999 - Won, Oustanding Music Album, GLAAD Media Awards
  • 1999 - Won, Debut Album of the Year, Gay/Lesbian American Music Awards
  • 2004 - Nominated, Shortlist Music Prize

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Other:. The album was followed by a tour of the U.K. and then Europe. Genie Awards:. The band changed direction once again in 2003 and released Universal Hall a mostly acoustic album with a return of some celtic influences from the Fisherman's Blues era. Juno Awards:. By 2001 the core of the new Waterboys included Mike Scott on vocals and guitar, Richard Naiff on pianos and organs and Steve Wickham on violin who returned to the band. He made his motion picture debut in The Aviator and will also appear in the upcoming film, Heights. A number of old Waterboys guested on the album including Anthony Thistlethwaite and Kevin Wilkinson.

His latest, a live iTunes Sessions EP entitled Alright Already is due for release in March 2005. To the surprise of many Mike Scott resurrected the Waterboys name for the album A Rock In The Weary Land with a new experimental rock sound Scott called "Sonic Rock". It is a companion to the 2003 release Want One. In his frustration at not being able to get a new touring Waterboys band together, Scott left New York, abandoning the Waterboys name and embarking on a solo career. Wainwright's newest album, Want Two, of which four songs were released as the EP Waiting for a Want, was released from DreamWorks/Geffen on November 16, 2004. In December Anthony Thistlethwaite left the band leaving Mike Scott as The Waterboys' only member. The next album was completed with session musicians and was released in 1993 as Dream Harder with a new hard rock-influenced sound. Wainwright is an avid opera fan, and the influences on his music are evident; his music has been described as "Popera" (Pop Opera) or "Baroque Pop." His lyrics are filled with allusions to opera, literature, pop culture, and, more recently, politics (in songs such as "Gay Messiah" and "Waiting for a Dream"). Scott spent the rest of the year writing new material and moved to New York.

While some of his most moving songs feature just Wainwright with his piano, many of his songs display complex layering and harmonies, occasionally comprising hundreds of individual parts. 1991 began with Trevor Hutchinson leaving the band and a re-release of the single The Whole of the Moon from This Is The Sea becoming a success in the UK charts. In addition to being a pianist, Wainwright is a guitarist, often switching between the two instruments when performing live; however, his mastery of the guitar does not approach his talent with the piano. Scott, Thistlethwaite and Hutchinson recruited Ken Bevins on drums to fulfil the tour dates. He still often performs with his sister Martha Wainwright (now herself an emerging artist) on backup vocals. Just before the album was released Steve Wickham left the band in an argument over a new drummer and the band started to fall apart. He has frequently toured as the opener for Sting and co-headlined with Ben Folds and Guster in the summer of 2004. The Waterboys' fourth album, Room to Roam was released in September 1990.

He garnered great praise for his performance and began touring as a main act shortly afterwards. The Waterboys at this point consisted of Mike Scott, Steve Wickham, Anthony Thistlethwaite, Colin Blakey on whistle, flute and piano, Sharon Shannon on accordion, Trevor Hutchinson on bass and Noel Bridgeman on drums. Wainwright's first main exposure to the American public came as an opener to singer Tori Amos in 2001 and 2002. After further touring the band returned to Spiddal to record a new album. Wainwright's sophomore album, Poses (2001), brought similar acclaim. Due to the number of tracks recorded in the three years between This Is The Sea and Fisherman's Blues Scott released a second album of tracks from this period in 2001 titled Too Close To Heaven or Fisherman's Blues Part 2 in North America. This album landed much critical acclaim in Canada, and was even recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the best albums of the year. Critics and fans were spilt, with some embracing the new folk influenced sound and others disappointed and had hoped for a continuation of This Is The Sea.

The label signed him and he relased an album in the spring of 1998. Fisherman's Blues was released in October 1988 and showcased a host of guest musicians that had played with the band in Dublin and Spiddal. After having been a fixture on the Montreal club circuit, Wainwright cut a series of demo tapes, one of which found itself in the hands of DreamWorks executive Lenny Waronker. In 1988 Scott took the band to Spiddal in the west of Ireland where they set up a recording studio in Spiddal House to finish recording their new album. He also became an enthusiast of such performers as Edith Piaf, Al Jolson and Judy Garland. Some of these performances were released in 1998 on The Live Adventures Of The Waterboys including a famous Glastonbury performance in '86. Coming out as a homosexual while still a teen, Wainwright found solace through opera throughout his adolescent years (His track Barcelona features lyrics of Guiseppi Verdi). The new band spent 1986 and 1987 recording in Dublin and touring the U.K., Ireland, Europe and Israel.

Additionally, some of his songs feature his mastery of French. The band's lineup changed once again with Scott, Wickham and Thistlethwaite now joined by Trevor Hutchinson on bass and Peter McKinney on drums. He lived in Montreal with his mother for most of his childhood and briefly attended McGill University, where he studied both classical and 'rock' piano. At the request of new member Steve Wickham, Mike Scott moved to Dublin and becomes influenced by the traditional Irish music there as well as country and gospel. Despite being born in the United States, Wainwright strongly identifies with Canada and still maintains a residence there. At the end of the tour Karl Wallinger left to form his own band World Party. He began to play the piano at age six, and by age thirteen he was touring with his sister Martha, mother Kate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_McGarrigle), and aunt Anna as the "McGarrigle Sisters and Family." His song "I'm Running," which he performed in the movie Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller, was nominated for the 1989 Genie Award for Best Original Song and earned him a nomination for the 1990 Juno Award for Most Promising Male Vocalist. and North America with Macro Sin replacing Martyn Swain on bass.

Wainwright was born in Rhinebeck, New York to folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle (they later divorced while he was a child). The album release was followed by successful tours of the U.K. Rufus Wainwright (born 22 July 1973) is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter. charts hampered by Scott's refusal to perform on Top of the Pops and mime. 2004 - Nominated, Shortlist Music Prize. The Waterboys released their third album This Is The Sea in October 1985, their most successful up to this point it managed to get into the top 40 and the single The Whole of the Moon reached number 28 in the U.K. 1999 - Won, Debut Album of the Year, Gay/Lesbian American Music Awards. Late in the sessions Steve Wickham joined and added his violin to the track The Pan Within after Scott had heard him on a Sinéad O'Connor demo recorded at Karl Wallinger's house.

1999 - Won, Oustanding Music Album, GLAAD Media Awards. The band began to record new material in spring 1985 for a new album. 1989 - Won, Best Original Song, "I'm A Runnin'". The release of the album was followed by further touring including support slots for The Pretenders and U2 and a show at the Glastonbury festival. 2002 - Won, Best Alternative Album, Poses. A Pagan Place was released in June 1984 preceded by the single The Big Music whose title was used by some commentators as a description of The Waterboys sound. 2000 - Nominated, Best Songwriter; "Poses," "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk," and "Grey Gardens". The band also made some new recording and over dubbed old material in late '83 and spring '84 to be released as The Waterboys second album.

1999 - Won, Best Alternative Album, Rufus Wainwright. The band at this point consisted of Mike Scott on vocals and guitar, Anthony Thistlethwaite on saxophone and mandolin, Karl Wallinger on keyboards, Roddy Lorimer on trumpets, Martyn Swain on bass and Kevin Wilkinson on drums. 1990 - Nominated, Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year. After the release of their debut The Waterboys began touring, their first show being at The Batschkapp Club in Frankfurt in February 1984. "I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture The Aviator (2004, Sony). Their music, influenced by Patti Smith, Bob Dylan and David Bowie, was (inevitably) compared by critics to U2 in its cinematic sweep. "I Eat Dinner" (with Dido) - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004, Geffen Records). The Waterboys then released their self-titled debut, The Waterboys, in July 1983.

"It's Only a Paper Moon" and "I Wonder What Became of Me" - Stormy Weather: The Music of Harold Arlen (2003, Sony). The Waterboys performed as a five piece, including Anthony Thistlethwaite on sax and a new member, keyboard player Karl Wallinger. "When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes" - When Love Speaks (2002, EMI Classics). This was shortly followed by The Waterboys' first performance on the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test. "Across the Universe" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture I Am Sam (2002, V2/BMG). In March 1983, Ensign released the first recording under the name The Waterboys, a single titled A Girl Called Johnny. "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Zoolander (2001, Hollywood Records). The name was taken from the Lou Reed song The Kids, from his album Berlin.

"Hallelujah" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Shrek (2001, Dreamworks). In 1983, Scott's label Ensign Records wanted Scott to release an album of these recordings as a solo artist, but Scott decided to start a band he named The Waterboys. "Complainte de la Butte" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Moulin Rouge! (2001, Interscope). These would become divided between the Waterboys' first and second albums. "Instant Pleasure" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Big Daddy (1999, Sony). During 1982, Scott made a number of recordings, both solo and with Thistlethwaite and Wilkinson. - The McGarrigle Hour (1998). During the same period, Scott formed the short lived band The Red and The Black, with saxophone player Anthony Thistlethwaite, after hearing him play on a Nikki Sudden record. Thistlethwaite introduced Scott to drummer Kevin Wilkinson, who would drum for the nine shows The Red and The Black would perform.

"Shooldays", "What'll I Do?", "Heartburn", "Talk to Me of Mendocino", "Goodnight Sweetheart" and background vocals on various other tracks. These would form the basis of the first Waterboys album. "Le Roi D'Ys" and "On the Banks of the Wabash" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture The Myth of Fingerprints (1997). Mike Scott, founder and the only permanent member of The Waterboys, made a number of solo recordings while in the band named Another Pretty Face (who changed their name to Funhouse on later releases) in late 1981 and early 1982. "I'm Running" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller (1989). folk rock. Alright Already (EP; 2005, DreamWorks/Geffen) - available only on iTunes. They are known to play in a number of different styles, but most often their music can be described as a mix of Irish folk music with rock and roll, i.e.

Want Two (2004, DreamWorks/Geffen). The Waterboys is a band formed 1983 by Mike Scott. Waiting for a Want (EP; 2004, DreamWorks) - available only on iTunes. The Live Adventures Of The Waterboys (1998). Want One (2003, DreamWorks). The Secret Life Of The Waterboys 81-85 (1994). Poses (2001, DreamWorks). The Best Of The Waterboys 81-90 (1991).

Rufus Wainwright (1998, DreamWorks). Universal Hall (2003). Too Close To Heaven (2001). A Rock In The Weary Land (2000). Dream Harder (1993).

Room To Roam (1990). Fisherman's Blues (1988). This Is The Sea (1985). A Pagan Place (1984).

The Waterboys (1983).

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