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:. Twenty-five of Stevie Wonder's singles, listed below, reached the Top Ten in either the United States or the United Kingdom. Genie Awards:. The Official Stevie Wonder website (http://www.stevie-wonder.com/albums.html) features a discography with sound clips of his most significant material.. Juno Awards:. In accepting an honorary doctor of music degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996, Wonder said: "Many years ago, but not so long ago, there were those who said, 'Well, you have three strikes against you: You're Black, you're blind and you're poor.' But God said to me, 'I will make you rich in the spirit of inspiration, to inspire others as well as create music to encourage the world to a place of oneness and hope and positivity.' I believed Him and not them.". He made his motion picture debut in The Aviator and will also appear in the upcoming film, Heights. Stevie has received 22 Grammy Awards over the course of his career. Wonder also received Kennedy Center Honors in 1999, and was awarded the Billboard Music Awards Century Award in 2004.

His latest, a live iTunes Sessions EP entitled Alright Already is due for release in March 2005. Among the musicians and performers who list Wonder as one of their major influences are India.Arie, Musiq Soulchild, Alicia Keys, John Legend, and the members of Jodeci and Dru Hill. It is a companion to the 2003 release Want One. Stevie Wonder's success as a multi-instrumentalist and socially conscious musical performer was significantly influential to both R&B and pop music. 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. King, The Supremes, The Temptations, Dionne Warwick, Julio Iglesias, and former Musical Youth lead singer Dennis Seaton. 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"). He has also collaborated with Quincy Jones, Barbara Streisand, B.B.

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. Among his most significant compositions or co-compositions are "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, "It's a Shame" by The Spinners, and "You Are My Heaven" by Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway. 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. Besides creating his own material, Stevie Wonder has written and produced a number of songs for other artists. He still often performs with his sister Martha Wainwright (now herself an emerging artist) on backup vocals. Wonder's first new album in 9 years, A Time 2 Love was scheduled to be released on July 27, 2004, but was delayed for release in 2005. He has frequently toured as the opener for Sting and co-headlined with Ben Folds and Guster in the summer of 2004. [1] (http://archives.cnn.com/1999/SHOWBIZ/Music/12/03/stevie.wonder/).

He garnered great praise for his performance and began touring as a main act shortly afterwards. In December 1999, Wonder announced that he was interested in pursuing an intraocular retinal prosthesis to partially restore his sight. Wainwright's first main exposure to the American public came as an opener to singer Tori Amos in 2001 and 2002. He recorded a soundtrack album for Spike Lee's film Jungle Fever in 1991, and released both Conversation Peace and the live album Natural Wonder during the same decade. Wainwright's sophomore album, Poses (2001), brought similar acclaim. After 1987's Characters LP, Wonder continued to release new material, albeit at a slower pace. 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. The following year's In Square Circle featured the #1 pop hit "Part-Time Lover".

The label signed him and he relased an album in the spring of 1998. It was placed 13th in the all-time list of best-selling singles in the UK issued in 2002. 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 lead single, "I Just Called to Say I Love You", was a #1 pop and R&B hit in the US, and is Motown's biggest-selling single ever in the United Kingdom. He also became an enthusiast of such performers as Edith Piaf, Al Jolson and Judy Garland. 1984 saw the release of Wonder's soundtrack album for The Lady in Red. 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 album also included "Master Blaster (Jammin')", his tribute to Bob Marley, and "Ribbon in the Sky", one of his most often-covered compositions.

Additionally, some of his songs feature his mastery of French. Martin Luther King's birthday as a national holiday. 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. Hotter Than July (1980) become Wonder's first platinum selling album, and its single "Happy Birthday" was a successful vehicle for his campaign to establish Dr. Despite being born in the United States, Wainwright strongly identifies with Canada and still maintains a residence there. The album was panned at the time of its release but has come to be regarded as a classic album. 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. Wonder's next album was a soundtrack album for the film Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.

Wainwright was born in Rhinebeck, New York to folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle (they later divorced while he was a child). (Wonder performed "Superstition" on the children's show Sesame Street in 1973.) Wonder's artistic growth continued on Fulfillingness' First Finale (1974) and his magnum opus, Songs in the Key of Life (1976). Rufus Wainwright (born 22 July 1973) is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter. Talking Book featured the #1 pop and R&B hit "Superstition", which is one of the most distinctive examples of the sound of the clavinet. 2004 - Nominated, Shortlist Music Prize. The critical and commercial successes Talking Book and Innervisions continued Wonder's critical and popular acclaim, addressing more and more political issues as his music progressed. 1999 - Won, Debut Album of the Year, Gay/Lesbian American Music Awards. Unlike most previous artist LPs on Motown, which usually consisted of a collection singles, b-sides, and covers, Music on My Mind was an actual LP, full-length artistic statement.

1999 - Won, Oustanding Music Album, GLAAD Media Awards. He independently recorded and released two albums, which he used as a bargaining tool while negotiating with Motown. Eventually, the label agreed to his demands for full creative control and the rights to his own songs, and Wonder returned to Motown in 1972 with Music of My Mind, an album which is considered a classic of the era. 1989 - Won, Best Original Song, "I'm A Runnin'". His final album before his departure was Where I'm Coming From, which Gordy had strongly fought against releasing. 2002 - Won, Best Alternative Album, Poses. After a number of arguments with Berry Gordy over allowing Wonder to have his own creative control, Wonder allowed his Motown contract to expire, and left the label on his twenty-first birthday in 1971. 2000 - Nominated, Best Songwriter; "Poses," "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk," and "Grey Gardens". Stevie Wonder, along with Marvin Gaye, was one of the few Motown stars to contest the label's factory-like operation methods: artists, songwriters, and producers were usually specialized fields with little or no overlap, and artists had no creative control.

1999 - Won, Best Alternative Album, Rufus Wainwright. Wonder and Wright divorced eighteen months later, but continued to collaborate on musical projects. 1990 - Nominated, Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year. Besides being one of the first songs on which Wonder serves as both songwriter and producer, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" is one of the main showcases for his backup group Wonderlove, a trio which included at various times Minnie Riperton, Deniece Williams, Lynda Laurence, and Syreeta Wright, whom Wonder married on September 14, 1970. "I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture The Aviator (2004, Sony). By 1970, Wonder had scored more major hits, including "My Cherie Amour" and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)". "I Eat Dinner" (with Dido) - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004, Geffen Records). He also began to work in the Motown songwriting department, composing songs both for himself and his labelmates.

"It's Only a Paper Moon" and "I Wonder What Became of Me" - Stormy Weather: The Music of Harold Arlen (2003, Sony). Dropping the "Little" from his moniker, Wonder went on to have a number of other hits during the mid-1960s, including "Uptight (Everything's Alright)", "With a Child's Heart", and "Blowin' in the Wind", a Bob Dylan cover which was one of the first songs to reflect Wonder's social consciousness. "When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes" - When Love Speaks (2002, EMI Classics). The song, featuring Wonder on vocals, congas, and harmonica, was a #1 hit on the US pop charts and launched him into the public consciousness. "Across the Universe" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture I Am Sam (2002, V2/BMG). 2)", a live recording from a Motortown Revue performance. "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Zoolander (2001, Hollywood Records). Little Stevie Wonder's first major hit came in 1963 with "Fingertips (Pt.

"Hallelujah" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Shrek (2001, Dreamworks). In 1962, at the age of eleven, he was signed by Berry Gordy to the Motown label as Little Stevie Wonder. "Complainte de la Butte" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Moulin Rouge! (2001, Interscope). He learned to play a number of instruments, most notably the piano, congas, and harmonica, at an early age, and was proclaimed a child prodigy. "Instant Pleasure" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Big Daddy (1999, Sony). Steveland Judkins was born prematurely, and became blind after being exposed to excessive oxygen levels in his incubator. - The McGarrigle Hour (1998). A multi-instrumentalist, Wonder plays the drums, guitar, harmonica, congas, and most famously the piano and the keyboard.

"Shooldays", "What'll I Do?", "Heartburn", "Talk to Me of Mendocino", "Goodnight Sweetheart" and background vocals on various other tracks. He has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writing and producing songs for many of his labelmates and outside artists as well. "Le Roi D'Ys" and "On the Banks of the Wabash" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture The Myth of Fingerprints (1997). Blind nearly from birth, Wonder became one of the most successful and well-known artists on the Motown label, with seven #1 hits to his name. "I'm Running" - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller (1989). Stevie Wonder (real name: Steveland Hardaway Judkins, born on May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan) is an African American singer, songwriter, producer, musician, humanitarian and social activist. Alright Already (EP; 2005, DreamWorks/Geffen) - available only on iTunes. of Stevie Wonder's cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song".

Want Two (2004, DreamWorks/Geffen). 2005: A Time 2 Love. Waiting for a Want (EP; 2004, DreamWorks) - available only on iTunes. 1995: Conversation Peace. Want One (2003, DreamWorks). 1991: Jungle Fever Soundtrack. Poses (2001, DreamWorks). 1987: Characters.

Rufus Wainwright (1998, DreamWorks). 1985: In Square Circle. 1984: The Woman in Red Soundtrack. 1980: Hotter than July. 1978: Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants Soundtrack.

1976: Songs in the Key of Life. 1974: Fulfillingness' First Finale. 1973: Innervisions. 1972: Talking Book.

1972: Music of My Mind. 1971: Where I'm Coming From. 1970: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered. 1969: My Cherie Amour.

1968: For Once in My Life. 1967: I Was Made to Love Her. 1965: Down to Earth. 1963: The 12 Year Old Genius.

1985: "Part-Time Lover" (US #1). 1985: "Go Home" (US #10). 1984: "I Just Called to Say I Love You" (US #1, UK #1). 1982: "That Girl" (US #4).

1982: "Ebony and Ivory" (duet with Paul McCartney) (US #1). 1980: "Master Blaster (Jammin)" (US #5). 1979: "Send One Your Love" (US #4). 1977: "Sir Duke" (US #1).

1977: "I Wish" (US #1). 1974: "You Haven't Done Nothin'" (US #1). 1974: "Living for the City" (US #9). 1973: "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (US #1).

1973: "Higher Ground" (US #4). 1972: "Superstition" (US #1). 1971: "If You Really Love Me" (US #8). 1970: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" (US #3).

1970: "Heaven Help Us All" (US #9). 1969: "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday" (US #7). 1969: "My Cherie Amour" (US #4). 1968: "Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day" (US #9).

1967: "I Was Made to Love Her" (US #2). 1966: "A Place in the Sun" (US #9). 1966: "Blowin' in the Wind" (US #9). 1965: "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" (US #3).

2)" (US #1). 1963: "Fingertips (Pt.

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