Grammy winner k.d. Lang is no stranger to controversy.
When she burst onto the country music charts in 1987, the traditional world of country music was a little taken aback by her androgynous appearance as well as the more edgy, country rock flavor she added to her music.
The one thing no one seemed to do from the get-go was question the power of her vocal talent as well as her songwriting savvy.
Lang, who performs at the Wildhorse Casino on March 20, is a Canadian singer who's gathered an impressive collection of 13 hit albums during her career, including duets with some of music's most popular icons.
Her albums have covered the gamut of music mediums from straight-up country to adult pop, as well as a collaboration CD with Tony Bennett called A Wonderful World. And her duet with Roy Orbison on his hit tune Crying has a synergy that is best described as hypnotic.
Tickets to the Wildhorse show are $30 for preferred seating and $20 for general admission. Tickets are online at www.wildhorseresort.com or call 800-494-TIXS.
Lang claims on her website that she was first attracted to country by the music of Patsy Cline while preparing to star in a college musical about Cline's life.
So impressed with Cline's sound, Lang later formed a tribute band called The Reclines that played Cline's music. The band's first album, Friday Dance Promenade, caught the ear of record producers and in 1985 she was named Most Promising Female Vocalist at the Juno Awards, which is Canada's version of the American Grammy Awards.
That success led to her releasing her first album in 1987 on the Sire Record Label. The album was a mix of 1950s ballads, rockabilly and honky tonk tunes. Then came the duet with Orbison, which was recorded for the film Hiding Out. That collaboration made Crying another soaring hit single.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; email@example.com