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Rufus Wainwright

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About Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright, born in New York although holding both American and Canadian citizenship, is a singer, pianist, songwriter and composer. His music brings together many and varied genres including, pop, opera, baroque, rock, classical and ragtime into a unique style. He cites a wide variety of musical influences such as Judy Garland, Edith Piaf and Al Jolson, along with his many operatic favourites. As well as writing commercial pop music, Wainwright has also written operas and much music for soundtracks.

So far in his career, Rufus Wainwright has released 10 albums between 1998 and 2012. The debut album in 1998 was simply titled Rufus Wainwright. While this first album was met with great critical acclaim it did not gain any corresponding commercial success. Rolling Stone magazine hailed Wainwright as the Best New Artist that year citing this album as one of the best of 1998. The album also won several awards from the Gay & Lesbian American Music Awards and a GLAAD Media Award. The nine albums which followed were: Poses in 2001, Want One in 2003, Want Two in 2004, Release the Stars and Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall both in 2007, Milwaukee at Last!!! in 2009, All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu in 2010, House of Rufus in 2011 and Out of the Game in 2012.

As with the first album, many of Wainwright’s subsequent albums were met with much critical acclaim but little commercial success, especially in the US. However, by the release of the fifth album, Release the Stars in 2007, Wainwright was finding a fanbase in the UK and Ireland and this album reached number two in the UK album charts. By 2009, Wainwright’s music was standing the test of time and settling into many top album lists with one such accolade coming from the NME, which ranked Poses as number 52 when compiling their Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade. As soon as Wainwright started releasing records he started winning awards and over his career he has won 10 major awards.

Wainwright has collaborated and toured with many different artists, musicians and producers. His fifth album included performances with his sister and his mother Martha Wainwright and Kate McGarrigle, Richard Thompson, Neil Tennant, Julianna Raye, Joan Wasser, and Toby Dammit. He has toured with Sting, Guster, Ben Folds and Tori Amos as well as headlining his own tours. For his seventh album Wainwright teamed up with popular dance and pop producer Mark Ronson to generate a more accessible musical format without compromising his distinctive style - the result was Out of the Game.