kathryn dawn lang was born on novermber 2nd, 1961, in edmonton, canada. most of her childhood, however, was spent in the small town of consort. little is known about kd's personal life prior to her musical career, except that she was an athletic child, winning awards for javelin throwing in high school. inspired, at an early age, by the music of country western diva, patsy cline, lang teamed up with a band called the reclines and released a string of albums with a decidedly country flair. a truly western experience, angel with a lariat, shadowland and absolute torch and twang enjoyed moderate success in both sales and airplay. it was not, however, until the 1992 release of ingenue that kd hit it big. hailed as her "cross-over" album, critics praised her work even as her country fans were feeling alienated.
lang further removed herself from her country/western fame by publicly declaring her lesbianism , shortly after the album's release. it has been said, however, that lang's coming out only served to heighten her popularity and garner her a loyal following within the lesbian and gay community. in fact, if money talks, that's certainly what it's saying with sales of ingenue far out-performing any of her prior releases. more importantly, kd's coming out set a new standard in the entertainment industry—an industry rich with homosexuality yet, at the same time, completely closeted. much in the same way that the lilith fair has shown concert promoters that an all-female line-up can fill stadiums, lang's impressive sales figures and chart-topping success paved the way for other lesbian and gay performers to be honest about their sexuality. since then, melissa ethridge and ellen degeneres have gone on to further prove this theory.
after ingenue, kd provided vocals for the soundtrack to even cowgirls get the blues, which starred uma thurman. perhaps inspired by her involvement with the film, lang went on to star in the percy adlon film salmonberries for which she also recorded the theme, "barefoot". kd's voice has also graced a number of her contemporaries' albums, from tony bennet to jane siberry.
1995 witnessed the release of all you can eat, kd's less-successful foray into the world of pop music. singles from the album, including "sexuality", "you're ok" and "aquiesce" performed fairly well, but did not acheive the noteriety of her last album.