Sarah McLachlan debuted in 1988 with her own twist on the folk-pop genre. She soon established herself as a star in the United States and Canada with a loyal following of fans. Native to Canada, McLachlan took voice, classical piano, and guitar lessons throughout her childhood. She began her musical career during her first year at the Nova Scotia School of Design. She fronted for the band October Game. While singing for the band, the Nettwerk Record Company approached her for a solo deal. She opted to continue her studies, but decided in late 1987 to take the company up on their offer.
She moved to Vancouver to further her musical career. Her debut album, TOUCH, came out in 1988 and helped push her towards a deal with Arista for international distribution of the album. TOUCH reached gold status in Canada and did just as well in the United States and the United Kingdom. In 1991 her second effort gained her a stronger US following. SOLACE presented a more polished and mature sound from the young artist. Unlike many artists of her generation, McLachlan wrote her own songs, which earned her more respect from the industry. During the first few years of her career she toured relentlessly to promote her albums. Her coffeehouse style performances drew hordes of fans, and tickets sold well in both the United States and Canada.
After a fourteen-month promotional tour in 1992 McLachlan took time away from her music to work for a cause she cared about. She traveled to Cambodia and Thailand to work on a Canadian-sponsored documentary on poverty and child prostitution. The film was titled WORLD VISION. Her time and experiences in third world countries prompted her to retreat to a secluded house outside of Montreal to put all of her emotions into another album. Six months later McLachlan emerged six months later with the album FUMBLING TOWARDS ECSTACY, which she produced with Pierre Marchand. The 1993 release was her strongest thus far. The album had a more personal appeal and audiences were thrilled by the revealing lyrics and provocative melodies. The album reached number 50 on the US charts and sold to platinum status after its 62 weeks on the pop charts. The single, 'Possession,' broke into the Top 100 and was regularly heard blaring on radios across the country. Modern rock radio charted the single at number 14. Another single reached number 16, also on the modern rock radio charts.
Her next album, THE FREEDOM SESSIONS, was predominately a collection of alternate versions of songs from FUMBLING TOWARDS ECSTACY. An exclusively Canadian release, RARITIES, B-SIDES, and OTHER STUFF, was a collection of non-LP tracks and remixes. By 1997 McLachlan was ready to begin work on another original album. SURFACING became enormously successful in North America. The album debuted at number two on the pop charts. Other albums released include MIRRORBALL (1999), SARAH MCLACHLAN REMIXED (2001), and AFTERGLOW (2003). All have been successful.
Always ready to share her talent in new ways, Sarah McLachlan has also collaborated with several artists on cause-related releases, and she provided the theme music for the film BROTHERS MCMULLEN. 'I Will Remember You' became a hit on and off the screen. She also participated in the organization of the Lilith Fair tour, a celebration of female artists that toured for three years. Throughout her career she has continued touring internationally.