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Rufus Wainwright

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Rhinebeck, New York, USA (1989 – present)

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

Wainwright was born in Rhinebeck, New York, USA, to folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle (they 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 Wainwright, mother Kate, and aunt Anna as the McGarrigle Sisters and Family.

His song I’m A-Runnin’, which he performed in the movie Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller (in which he also played a minor character), 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.

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. Some of his songs feature his mastery of French. Wainwright still maintains a residence in Canada.

He came out as gay while still a teen.

Wainwright became interested in opera throughout his adolescent years (for instance, his track Barcelona features lyrics of Giuseppe Verdi). He also became an enthusiast of such performers as Édith 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 released the self-titled Rufus Wainwright album in the spring of 1998.

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