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Rufus Wainwright

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Biography

A singer/songwriter whose lush, theatrical pop harked back to the traditions of Tin Pan Alley, cabaret, and even opera, Rufus Wainwright was born in 1973; the son of folk music luminaries Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, his parents divorced while he was a child, and he was raised by his mother in Montreal. Beginning his piano studies at age six, by 13 he was touring with his mother, aunt Anna, and his sister Martha in a group billed as the McGarrigle Sisters and Family; a year later, Wainwright was nominated for a Juno (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy) as Most Promising Young Artist, while his "I'm A-Runnin'" was concurrently nominated for a Genie (the Canadian counterpart to an Oscar) for Best Song in a Film. Coming out as a homosexual while still in his teens, Wainwright sought solace in opera throughout his adolescent years, also becoming an enormous fan of performers including Edith Piaf, Al Jolson, and Judy Garland. After attending the prestigious Millbrook School in upstate New York, he briefly studied music at Montreal's McGill University, eventually turning away from classical performance toward pop and rock. Becoming a fixture on the Montreal club circuit, Wainwright soon cut a series of demos with producer Pierre Marchand; Loudon Wainwright III then passed a copy of the tape to friend Van Dyke Parks, who in turn handed it on to DreamWorks exec Lenny Waronker. The label signed him soon after, resulting in the release of Rufus Wainwright during the spring of 1998. The album landed on several critics' "Best of 1998" lists, while Wainwright spent the next few years touring and appearing sporadically on soundtracks (Shrek) and compilations (The McGarrigle Hour). His sophomore album, Poses, brought similar acclaim in mid-2001. After spending much of 2001 and 2002 touring on his own and with Tori Amos, Wainwright settled into Bearsville Studio in Woodstock, New York with producer Marius de Vries to record sort of a double album. The first project, Want One, was released in September 2003, with Want Two following a year later. In 2007, he released both Release the Stars and Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, a restaging of Garland's legendary Judy at Carnegie Hall performance from 1961. In 2010, Wainwright delivered his sixth studio album, the stripped-down All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, a 12-track, Shakespeare-influenced collection of new material that relied almost solely on the artist's voice and piano. The following year, the musician embarked on his seventh album with the intention of returning to the ornate pop of his early days. The resulting Out of the Game, which was produced by Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Duran Duran), arrived in May 2012. It was followed by the concert album Live from the Artist's Den and the compilation Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright, both in 2014. A recording of his 2009 debut opera, the French-language Prima Donna, was released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2015. The label also put out his next studio album, Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets, the following spring. Three of the musical sonnets had appeared on Songs for Lulu but were reworked for Take All My Loves, which commemorated the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death. Guests on the album included Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher, William Shatner, Martha Wainwright, and Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, among several other actors and musicians as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk
  3.   Out of the Game
  4.   Across the Universe
  5.   Hallelujah
  6.   Poses
  7.   Beauty Mark
  8.   I Don't Know What It Is
  9.   One Man Guy
  10.   Going to a Town
  11.   Baby, It's Cold Outside by Sharon Van Etten
  12.   April Fools
  13.   Foolish Love
  14.   California
  15.   Jericho
  16.   Chelsea Hotel No.2
  17.   Complainte de la Butte
  18.   Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)
  19.   Nobody's off the Hook
  20.   Release the Stars
  21.   Greek Song
  22.   Slideshow
  23.   Spotlight on Christmas
  24.   Martha
  25.   14th Street
  26.   On My Way to Town
  27.   Pretty Things
  28.   Candles
  29.   Song of You
  30.   Respectable Dive
  31.   Bitter Tears
  32.   Montauk
  33.   Welcome to the Ball
  34.   Rashida
  35.   The One You Love
  36.   Sally Ann
  37.   Oh What a World
  38.   9 Shakespeare Sonnets~Take All My Loves (Sonnet 40)
  39.   Dinner at Eight
  40.   Barcelona
  41.   9 Shakespeare Sonnets~For Shame (Sonnet 10)
  42.   The Maker Makes by Gustavo Santaolalla
  43.   Gay Messiah
  44.   Go or Go Ahead
  45.   The Consort
  46.   Damned Ladies
  47.   Between My Legs
  48.   [Rufus Wainwright Interview (From The BBC's "In Concert" Programme At The Royal Opera House, Broadcast 28 July 2011)]
  49.   9 Shakespeare Sonnets~Unperfect Actor (Sonnet 23)
  50.   Sonnet 10
  51.   Another Believer
  52.   Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart
  53.   Everybody Knows
  54.   Crumb by Crumb
  55.   Waiting for a Dream
  56.   Shadows
  57.   Imaginary Love
  58.   Matinee Idol
  59.   Grey Gardens
  60.   Evil Angel
  61.   Vicious World
  62.   9 Shakespeare Sonnets~All Dessen Müd (Sonnet 66)
  63.   Memphis Skyline
  64.   9 Shakespeare Sonnets~When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men's Eyes (Sonnet 29)
  65.   Sonnet 87
  66.   9 Shakespeare Sonnets~When Most I Wink (Sonnet 43)
  67.   Medley From Smile
  68.   WWIII
  69.   Chic and Pointless
  70.   Me and Liza
  71.   Jimbo Jambo
  72.   Oliver, Remember Me?
  73.   Walking Song
  74.   Southern Boys
  75.   Sometimes You Need
  76.   Perfect Man
  77.   Barbara
  78.   After You're Gone
  79.   Sonnet 43
  80.   Sonnet 20
  81.   Not Ready to Love/Slideshow
  82.   Macushla
  83.   Albatross
  84.   The Motion Waltz (Emotional Commotion)
  85.   Get Happy
  86.   Chicago
  87.   Swanee
  88.   Rock a Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody
  89.   Stormy Weather
  90.   A Foggy Day
  91.   You're Nearer
  92.   Come Rain or Come Shine
  93.   I Can't Give You Anything But Love
  94.   San Francisco
  95.   The Man That Got Away
  96.   Just You, Just Me
  97.   How Long Has This Been Going On
  98.   Puttin on the Ritz
  99.   Who Cares? (So Long as You Care for Me)
  100.   Alone Together
  101.   You Go to My Head
  102.   Do It Again
  103.   Medley: Almost Like Being in Love/This Can't Be Love
  104.   When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)
  105.   Overture: The Trolley Song/Over the Rainbow/The Man That Got Away
  106.   Sanssouci
  107.   Leaving for Paris, No. 2
  108.   Tulsa
  109.   Not Ready to Love
  110.   Rules and Regulations
  111.   Tiergarten
  112.   Do I Disappoint You
  113.   I'll Build A Stairway to Paradise
  114.   Old Whore's Diet
  115.   This Love Affair
  116.   Hometown Waltz by Fauré Quartett
  117.   The Art Teacher
  118.   Little Sister
  119.   Peach Trees
  120.   Agnus Dei
  121.   11:11
  122.   Want
  123.   Beautiful Child
  124.   Harvester of Hearts
  125.   Natasha
  126.   Vibrate
  127.   Movies of Myself
  128.   I Wonder What Became of Me
  129.   When, in Disgrace With Fortune and Men's Eyes
  130.   In a Graveyard
  131.   Rebel Prince
  132.   Baby
  133.   In My Arms
  134.   In With the Ladies
  135.   He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother
  136.   The Tower of Learning
  137.   Kiss and Say Goodbye featuring Anna McGarrigle
  138.   Millbrook
  139.   Christmas Is For Kids
  140.   Danny Boy
  141.   Je reviendrai à Montréal
  142.   9 Shakespeare Sonnets~Farewell (Sonnet 87)
  143.   9 Shakespeare Sonnets~Th'Expense of Spirit in a Waste of Shame (Sonnet 129)
  144.   9 Shakespeare Sonnets~A Woman's Face (Sonnet 20)
  145.   Sonnet 29
  146.   Over the Rainbow
  147.   Medley: You Made Me Love You/For Me and My Gal/The Trolley Song
  148.   That's Entertainment
  149.   My Funny Valentine
  150.   All I Want
  151.   It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
  152.   Trouble In Paradise
  153.   Blue
  154.   It's Only a Paper Moon
  155.   If Love Were All
  156.   I'll Be Home For Christmas by Isabelle Boulay
  157.   Sonnet 129
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