Rufus Wainwright is an accomplished singer/songwriter who has been performing in front of audiences since the age of thirteen, and some of his most famous songs have been featured in blockbuster movie soundtracks. A talented pianist and vocalist, Wainwright has produced many albums and toured across the United States and Canada.
Rufus Wainwright, although born in Rhinebeck, New York, is truly a Canadian at heart. His parents divorced when he was young, and Wainwright's mother chose to raise him in Montreal.
Rufus Wainwright's talent must be genetic, as he comes from a very musical family. He is the child of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, two very accomplished folk musicians. At the age of six, Rufus Wainwright began to study the piano, and he started touring at the age of thirteen. He toured with the McGarrigle Sisters and Family which included Rufus, his sister, his mother, and his aunt. One year later Rufus was nominated for a Juno, the Canadian version of a Grammy, as the Most Promising Young Artist for some of his original solo pieces. At this time, he was also nominated for a Genie, the Canadian Oscar-equivalent, for his song 'I'm A-Runnin' for Best Song in a Film.
Not only has his music been acclaimed by fellow artists but by the movie industry as well. His songs have been featured in the soundtracks of such movies as 'Zoolander', 'I Am Sam', 'Moulin Rouge', 'Shrek', and 'Big Daddy'. Rufus has even tried his hand at acting, appearing in a few movies.
During his teenage years, Wainwright began to perform opera. This has been a huge influence on the music that Wainwright writes. He even took time off from performing to study music at the Millbrook School in New York, and then at Montreal's McGill University. However, he eventually turned away from classical music and, once again, focused on rock and pop.
Rufus Wainwright's first album came out in 1998. This was critically acclaimed and appeared on several 'Best of 1998' lists. The next few years Wainwright toured with Tori Amos and sold out tickets across the United States. A second album followed entitled Poses. Wainwright signed with DreamWorks Records to produce two more albums entitled Want One and Want Two. Want One came out in 2003. Rufus continued to go on tour and has appeared with Tori Amos, Ben Folds, and Guster, selling out tickets as they go. Some of Wainwright's most famous songs include 'Instant Pleasure', 'Across the Universe', 'Oh, What a World', 'I Don't Know What It Is', and 'Dinner At Eight'.
Rufus Wainwright's appeal is in his originality. The singer/songwriter combination is becoming a rare commodity, and fans respond to Rufus's willingness to deal with controversial and complex issues. They also buy tickets in the thousands to hear his blending of opera and folk music into the rock/pop genre. His folk and opera background create an interesting style that is uniquely his own.