Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Inside the Investigation of a Kindergarten Teacher's Shocking Death – and the Messy Divorce Before It
- Read the Cover Story: George Turns 3: The Preschool Prince!
- See Dancing with the Stars Pro Kym Johnson's Wild Bachelorette Party in Vegas!
- Duncan Jones Welcomes Son Stenton David Jones 6 Months After Dad David Bowie's Death
- WATCH AND SHOP: Never Hear 'You Look Tired' Again – Thanks to This Beauty Product
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- October 20, 1997
- Vol. 48
- No. 16
A Husband and a Hit Help Sarah McLachlan Shed Her Longtime Angst
Surrendering to her fans' adulation is a new act for the slim 29-year-old singer-songwriter with the haunting voice and ethereal lyrics. But if her recent success is any gauge, she'll have plenty of opportunity to get the hang of celebrity. Following on the heels of 1994's Grammy-nominated Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, McLachlan's latest CD, Surfacing, turned platinum in less than eight weeks. She also produced this summer's all-female Lilith Fair tour, which played to sellout crowds in 35 cities and raised about $700,000 for such women's groups as the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. And an unauthorized biography, Building a Mystery, is due for release this fall. "McLachlan is a very gifted musician," says the Indigo Girls' Emily Sailers, who appeared with her on the second half of the tour. "Her spirit and sensibility are inspiring."
The roots of McLachlan's songs are in the windswept, rocky soil of Nova Scotia. She was born in Halifax, the adopted daughter and youngest of three children of expatriate Americans Jack and Dorice McLachlan, a now-retired marine biologist and a homemaker. McLachlan says she has "been singing for as long as I can remember, and it always felt wonderful. Like a friend." Her mom taught her her first song, the Prohibition-era ditty "How Dry I Am," and had her sing at tea parties. "These nice ladies must've been shocked—a little kid singing about booze," the artist says laughingly.
McLachlan took ukulele lessons at 4, guitar at 7 and piano and voice at 13—about the same age she was nicknamed Medusa because of her crooked teeth and curly hair. A gawky, angst-ridden misfit rejected by the in crowd at Queen Elizabeth High ("I just sucked"), she found solace in music and sneaked out at night, trying to be a hip punk. "I was constantly grounded," she says.
Considering becoming a jewelry designer, McLachlan enrolled in the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1986, the same year she made a stunning discovery. Only when an acquaintance pointed out that McLachlan looked a lot like friend Judy Kaines, an artist who worked with McLachlan's roommate, did McLachlan and Kaines realize the connection: Kaines was McLachlan's natural mother, who had given her up for adoption shortly after birth. The two women see each other at Christmas and occasionally throughout the year.
McLachlan's professional break came when the president of Nettwerk records saw her perform in a local new wave band and signed her to a five-record deal. The first perk of success: the cozy three-bedroom house in Vancouver, which she bought in 1995. "I'd picked up little bits of furniture over the years," she says. "Now I have somewhere to put them all."
The second perk: husband Ashwin Sood, now 29, whom she had hired as a drummer in 1991. Dating since '95, they tied the knot while on vacation in Jamaica last February. Contrary to her grungy youth, she has found contentment in convention. She and Sood roam the nearby woods with their black Lab, Rex, rent action videos and talk about family. ("Not a day goes by that I don't think about having kids," Sood says.) Fame may still be freaky, but she says, "I love married life. I feel very settled."
Ulrica Wihlborg in Vancouver
- Ulrica Wihlborg.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!