Why does KD Lang get no respect?

KD Lang. Hallelujah

If you list the greatest singers of my generation-that list has no validation if her name is not at the top.

She gets no love and I never understood why.

I liked her as a country singer and as a pop singer.

She is more than that.

She is a pure voice with pure talent that should be strong enough to break through all the barriers that narrow minded genres and narrow minded people place in her way.

Because this Chick can flat out bring it. All the time- anytime.

Here she is with a song from fellow Canadian- Leonard Cohan

This version wrecks me every time.

If it does not hit you like a sledge hammer to the heart then I feel sorry for you-because great talent is a gift that should be felt by everyone.




22 thoughts on “Why does KD Lang get no respect?

  1. I’m a big fan of hers. I think she doesn’t get a lot of attention because she doesn’t promote herself, she’s not flashy and she doesn’t get into trouble or make headlines. She’s real and herself and I don’t think the public can look away from the flashing lights long enough to realize how fantastic she is. And she is…FANTASTIC. I think her voice is even richer now than it was when she was younger. She’s amazing.

  2. My fellow Canadians have already covered the perspective from up north so I’ll echo their comments!

    She has two on the 1001 list (Shadowland and Ingenue) but she seemed relatively under the radar for a while until her Hallelujah performance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. I think that’s when a lot of people were reminded, What a voice!

    She had a CD shortly thereafter that ended up doing reasonably well, I think it may have been one of the ones featured for sale at Starbucks locations. I remember hearing it for the first time in the store there. I can’t recall exactly what the barista said about KD Lang but it was something along the lines of how Quincy Jones called Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue his “orange juice – I need it to start every day!”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if many feel the same about Ms. Lang.

    1. After doing this post, I have a deeper respect for my Canadian friends. You genuinely love this great talent that can’t find a place to fit in. It gives me hope-the cream always rises to the top as they used to say. As far as the opinion of a few crazy music bloggers goes…KD has reached the pinnacle of respect for an artist.

  3. I was blown away by her talent ever since I received a copy of her very first 45 rpm vinyl single. The record sleeve had me intrigued, I couldn’t tell whether k.d.lang (lower case spelling, too) was a he or a she. I love ambiguity, so I pondered the photo for quite awhile. Then I auditioned the record and was instantly taken hook, line, and sinker. I was one of the first dee jays in the Midwest to play her record. My audience loved her sound, too.

    1. Thanks for visiting and adding even more detail to my simple post…the love that is coming out for KD is something special, all this for an artist that I thought was forgotten. Not the case as I am finding out.

  4. Couldn’t agree more. I’m a longtime fan who owns everything she’s officially released (plus one unofficial live recording) and I saw her in concert once. There’s no doubt that she has one of the purest singing voices, and she can deliver the goods in a range of styles. I think her eclecticism and her non-traditional look has probably scared off all but the most open-minded listeners, which might explain why she’s not more highly regarded by the general public.

    Great post, by the-way. Succinct & perfectly written.

    1. Thanks Rich,

      I have not got such immediate flooding of goodwill before so it seems I have hit a music nerve with this post. People that love music enough to write and share about it are jumping in here with passion. And the comments are all well thought out and executed. It is this kind of response that makes blogging extremely gratifying. Open mind and open ears can be filled up with wonder from all directions.

  5. Wow! The depth and quality of this thread has just knocked me over—this is what I thought a music blog could be like: you feature some great music and have people comment if they feel inclined and maybe we all get more out of it.
    I am getting more out of this post. She was born out of place and out of time with an incredible gift that had to reach the surface. Lots of people were more concerned with the package this gift came in than the contents within. That is what I hear you guys saying to me.
    Thank you for that.

  6. Man, I can’t get through that song without tearing up. Simply beautiful.

    I remember kd lang being very popular on Canadian radio when she released Ingenue in ’92, and she even won a Grammy for it. She does get love up in Canada (she got the Order of Canada, in fact). The LGBT community loves her and respects her.

    Regarding no love: kd lang is an honest individual who refused to hide her sexuality (and there were a few Canadian female musicians that came out back in the day, all getting push back). There was Lorraine Segato from the Parachute Club, and of course, Carole Pope from Rough Trade who blazed a swath of land, forget a trial…

    And like Mike said, kd comes from Alberta – a conservative province, so two strikes with her view on meat and sexuality.

    Why she isn’t getting any love, I don’t know… maybe Rhianna and Lady Gaga is taking over? She is a Canadian treasure in my book.

    1. Thanks and I am with you about the trouble I have making it through this version in one piece. Thanks for the perspective from the north…I am glad that she has earned respect in her homeland. I have joked about sexuality in music in previous posts but for artists like KD Lang it is serious business that they had to pay the dues on. So with that voice and the struggle that she has lived because she has to be herself…she has plenty of love at the cave.
      Again…all the insightful comments that are coming at me from serious music fans prove what a great talent she is.

  7. I think it’s the two opposite sides of sexuality and sexual. I think she was out and didn’t care at a time in country music when people had no idea how to react to something they hadn’t been exposed to and radio wouldn’t lift a finger to help either side. Now, I think the generation of fans that couldn’t care less about her sexuality just aren’t familiar with her music. Radio is about sexy and using an image to sell product. It doesn’t matter how you sound, your dirty secret can be fixed in the studio. The message is delivered through the visual. And it isn’t fair, but look at any artist on iTunes. Great hair, white teeth, great bodies. The gym and the marketing departments create this situation. It’s great you’re talking about her, if someone discovers her music from your post, it’s an awesome thing.

    1. Thank you and yes to all of that. I don’t know much about the radio other than it is bad now and use to be less bad- but you always seem to hit it square right where it hurts. She is the kind of artist that I love to feature because she was/is so good and so misunderstood. She has also been forgotten and relegated to a brief footnote in music when she should be a giant.That whole thing about…”we can’t sell you if we don’t have a box to put you in” fits her perfectly. And yes especially to country radio not being ready for her. But I doubt that they would treat her different today if she stepped out of Alberta and into the studio looking for airplay.

  8. This is my first time to hear this song. Thank you so much for introducing it to me. She has such a lovely, clear voice.

    1. Thanks Tony. The power of that voice- there is some talent that inspires you to try harder and then there is this….this level knocks you on over.

  9. Unfortunately I think the reasons she gets no respect are largely political. Aside from people who might have an issue with her sexuality, she suffered some fallout over her views on meat. She’s from Alberta, best beef in the country and proud of it. She made some comments about her feelings on meat and a lot of her fans and followers from her home base took that as a betrayal.

    None of that has anything to do with music unfortunately. I had her 7″ single with Roy Orbison as a kid. Roy was a fan. What a voice!

    1. Thanks for starting this off Mike.
      Sex and meat with sizzle worked for Lady Gaga! You would think that the voice alone would get her past all that and let her be herself. Her talent is pure and true so it would fit that her personality would be that way.

      1. Wayne I can’t believe I initially forgot this — but this is one person who definitely gave KD Lang respect, and in turn, others gained respect for her too. Because when someone like Stompin’ Tom Connors writes a song called “Lady KD Lang,” people listen.


        “She jumps around like a rangy-tang, Lady KD Lang!”

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