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k.d. lang Performs "Hallelujah" at Opening Ceremony of Vancouver Olympics

  • Friday, February 12, 2010
    k.d. lang Performs "Hallelujah" at Opening Ceremony of Vancouver Olympics

    Four-time Grammy Award–winner and eight-time Juno Award–winner k.d. lang has wowed crowds across the globe with her interpretation of the Leonard Cohen classic "Hallelujah" for the past several years. Tonight, she performed the song before the world's greatest athletes and what's estimated to be three billion television viewers around the world at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

    Earlier this week, Nonesuch Records released lang’s first-ever career retrospective, Recollection, 25 years after her debut recording. The two-disc set features 22 of lang’s most beloved recordings including an all-new interpretation of “Hallelujah.” The Guardian calls this rendition “mesmerising: she reaches into the air, plucking the tiniest note from within her huge range, bends double, before throwing her head back and unleashing her pitch-perfect roar.” The deluxe Recollection package includes a third disc of previously unreleased recordings—many performed live—as well as a bonus DVD of music videos and rarely seen live performance footage. To order your copy now, with free album MP3s available upon purchase of either package, visit the Nonesuch Store.

    Referred to as “the greatest female singer in the whole world” by fellow Canadian Michael Bublé, lang has had a distinguished 25-year career spanning 11 critically acclaimed albums. In addition to a fruitful collaboration with Tony Bennett, she has performed alongside musical luminaries including Roy Orbison, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, and Loretta Lynn. She sang at the Closing Ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and has contributed music to the soundtracks of several films including Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Happy Feet. In addition to her music career, lang has also appeared in a number of films including Salmonberries, The Black Dahlia, and Eye of the Beholder. In 1996, lang received Canada’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada.

nonesuch's picture
on February 12, 2010 - 6:09pm
Excerpt: 

k.d. lang has wowed crowds across the globe with her interpretation of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" for the past several years. Tonight, she performed the song before the world's greatest athletes and billions of television viewers around the world at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Copy: 

Four-time Grammy Award–winner and eight-time Juno Award–winner k.d. lang has wowed crowds across the globe with her interpretation of the Leonard Cohen classic "Hallelujah" for the past several years. Tonight, she performed the song before the world's greatest athletes and what's estimated to be three billion television viewers around the world at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Earlier this week, Nonesuch Records released lang’s first-ever career retrospective, Recollection, 25 years after her debut recording. The two-disc set features 22 of lang’s most beloved recordings including an all-new interpretation of “Hallelujah.” The Guardian calls this rendition “mesmerising: she reaches into the air, plucking the tiniest note from within her huge range, bends double, before throwing her head back and unleashing her pitch-perfect roar.” The deluxe Recollection package includes a third disc of previously unreleased recordings—many performed live—as well as a bonus DVD of music videos and rarely seen live performance footage. To order your copy now, with free album MP3s available upon purchase of either package, visit the Nonesuch Store.

Referred to as “the greatest female singer in the whole world” by fellow Canadian Michael Bublé, lang has had a distinguished 25-year career spanning 11 critically acclaimed albums. In addition to a fruitful collaboration with Tony Bennett, she has performed alongside musical luminaries including Roy Orbison, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, and Loretta Lynn. She sang at the Closing Ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and has contributed music to the soundtracks of several films including Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Happy Feet. In addition to her music career, lang has also appeared in a number of films including Salmonberries, The Black Dahlia, and Eye of the Beholder. In 1996, lang received Canada’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada.

Publish date: 
Friday, February 12, 2010 - 23:30
Article Type: 
featuredimage: 
k.d. lang by Raymond Meeks

Comments

Martin's picture

KD, can you imagine how many people of the world you made sit breathlessly listening to that song? Encore! Your soul and your voice are one and the same.

Megan Harris's picture

No question, she IS the best female singer. Absolutely transcendent. Not only her tremendous vocal gift, but what is more important (and sadly often overlooked in music today) knows how to imbue a song with real meaning. Brava, k.d. - you're sublime.

SM Clark's picture

Hallelujah and thank you Jesus is all I could say as I cryed while you sang kd.
God has blessed you so.
People have felt God's Grace (His Holy Spirit)
and they call it goose bumps or the chills.
You sang and worshiped to Our Father from your soul, your heart and your spirit.
What a way for Jesus to Bless us, his people who believe in judging others...
that Our God is in control and He is to be our only true Judge.
I've listened to your "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen) on youtube over and over.
You have always been a true child of God. I love you and so does Jesus.
Your sister in Christ Jesus, amen

Linda 's picture

WOW - loooooooong time fan - but you outdid yourself this time KD -thankyou. What a treat

Jacquelyn Stevens's picture

I've heard KD Lang over the last 25 years of her career. She performed Halleljuah with pure beauty that shows how exquisite her voice is. I'm American and can appreciate how many talented entertainers we have been blessed with in the United States of America that are Canadian. My hats off to you!

Christine's picture

OMG, the most beautiful I have ever heard. Thank you so much, your voice and your craft is amazing. I want to hear it over and over again.

karen's picture

I was moved by the song and her voice. It was the highlight of the ceremony. I still have tears in my eyes. Beautiful.

Cheryl in Victoria's picture

WOW.. That voice..that song..it was an Olympic performance!

Solinas's picture

Incredible performance!!! I got that kd lang chill down my spine again - she's the only performer that does that for me.
I've been a fan for years, and was lucky enough to catch her live in Carmel, CA. She's incredible to see live - if you ever get the chance, don't miss out!

Josh 's picture

Geez, KD's performance at the Olympics was mind-blowing!

I couldn't find her performing this as a single on iTunes; any other legit place to look for her performing this as an MP3?

patty humphries's picture

i am so glad i recorded tonight's opening ceremony of the vancover olympics , it was all very moving and beautiful and then k.d. lang started singing "hallelujah",
it was incredible! it touched my soul.i played it over and over and saved it watch over and over again. i can't say enough about how beautiful k.d. sang this song! it was a wow moment in my life!

Crystal's picture

My interpretation is that Langs' interpretation was both unimaginative and disrespectful. Anyone who has ever actually listened to (not just heard) the original Cohen masterpiece will agree her performance was in great contrast to the obvious lyrical lows and surrender within the writing. The song isn't exactly meant to be used in this overly optimistic evangelical format.

At the Olympics, droves of world-class athletes faithfully sang along to the holy ghost and two distanced lovers getting it on, a song from his 1984 album Various Positions.

Kathiega's picture

I had chills listening to "Hallelujah". It was my favorite musical performance in the entire ceremony. I'm ordering "Hymns Of The 49th Parallel" now; I just hope this rendition will appear soon on a new album! Just awesome!

Geoff Bell's picture

I can honestly say that i have never been so moved by a song or a performance and sitting in my lounge room in far away Australia with the sun blazing down,to be lucky enough to be watching the opening ceremony, which was amazing in itself,then to be treated to the greatest live performance of an artist that i have ever heard,with such genuine feeling,brought me to tears.What an amazing voice,as smooth as honey,words cannot describe the effect that this performance has had on me. Congratulations to a performer,artist,of the highest order and i can't wait to listen again and to hug my family.. Absolutely magnificent K.D.Lange. I am sure that you have touched sooo many people with that absolutely emotional,perfect rendition of an amazing song.

Paul's picture

Great voice, and i generally like K.D, but this is one of the most terrible interpretation of this song i ever heard.

My god, a loose timing can be nice, but this was way, way too much.It even made the song hard to follow,
Better let Beyonce do it in R&B tracks ;-)

This version for example, is way easier on the ears : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unOLJiPMCiw

Carol Anne McRobie Shaw's picture

WOW !!! We were SO moved by K.D.'s performance, and I must say my 95 year old Dad said that it was the best performance he had seen for many a year. He thoroughly enjoyed it, and was amazed we could link in and see how the world also viewed K.D, so soon after the performance.
WELL DONE CANADA for a FANTASTIC Opening Ceremony.
from the KIWIS down under in NZ.

Daniel Lottschen-Kruppke's picture

What a voice !! What a peformance !!
Thank you for this song.
With best regards from good old Germany :)

Carol Anne McRobie Shaw's picture

That was something real special, and my 95 year old Dad said it was the most meaningful song he had heard for years.
We all had tears in our eyes and it will be an album I will be buying VERY soon.
Had never heard K.D. singing that but always new she had the voice of an angel.
Caz and her Dad in Kiwi land...............NZ.

egon streitz's picture

Beeindruckend, zauberhaft und eine Hommage an Leonard Cohen.
Passt perfekt, trifft das öffentliche Gefühl und ist zur rechten Zeit eine Ehrung für seine Musik.

CAROLE's picture

AS JADED AND PHONY AS LIFE,TODAY SEEMS TO BE, THERE ARE SOMETIMES FLEETING MOMENTS THAT CAUSE THE THESOUL TO ONCE AGAIN DARE TO HOPE AND MAYBE EVEN SLIGHTLY BELIEVE THAT TALENT AND ARTISTRY ARE ALIVE AND WELL. TONIGHT I WITNESSED AND HEARD THE VOICE OF PERFECTION. COME HOME K. D.., THIS IS WHERE YOU BELONG, CANADA AWAITS YOUR RETURN TO THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE THAT DESERVE YOU AND YOUR ENORMOUS TALENT.

svein lorang nyborg's picture

I got gooseflesh, beautifuuuuuul performance,wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sharon heard's picture

K.D. Lang stole the show...I thought only Jeff Buckley did this song justice, but tonite she's the star...The best performance of Hallelujah I have ever heard her do. It's the kind of thing you want to hear over and over, it get's under your skin and you can't get it out...

Please, someone explain to me, how that Taylor Swift can win Grammies when there is a voice like this? That Taylor Twit doesn't belong in an 8th grade talent show, I'm totally with Kanye on that...It makes me sick....Thank you K.D.

Kate's picture

Oh my gosh it was so so so amazing, just happened to be up at 5am here in the uk and caught the performance. . .spine tinglingly good. Have always been a fan and now adore Ms Lang just a little bit more!

mastadon's picture

Really? She was just ok for me. I was waiting for the opera singer and this guy started singing. Turned out to be KDL. It was nice but come on, folks, the song is real crap.

Al's picture

kd lang was worst performance ever have you people ever heard the original, or the Jeff Buckley or even the Justin timberlake version

Deborah's picture

Simply FABULOUS. What a voice. What a song. Mesmerizing...

Chris McElwain's picture

WHAT A TREAT!! The most moving performance of the opening ceremonies of the XXI Winter Olympics. I've watched it 3 times now and was moved to tears every time. I can hardly wait to purchase this rendition. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!

Susan Harmon's picture

Wow, you made the tears run, you stopped the World for a short time! Thanks from Tenn. USA. proud to be neighbors.

Charlene Freed's picture

Incredible performance last night! I could listen to it over and over and over.

gail smith's picture

Absolutely amazing, incredible performance. Noone will ever be able to match that performance. No one !

Andrea Zanatta's picture

WOW ... k d lang's performance tonight at the Winter Olympics' opening ceremony was beyond superb! Her clear, fully nuanced, pitch-perfect voice has alway amazed me but this performance of Leonard Cohens "Hallelujah" was transcendent. I was moved to tears by the depth of emotion her singing evoked and the haunting tendrils of this song are still sending shivers down my spine. Thank you, k.d.!!!

Terry in Quebec's picture

Unbelievable. What a performance KD. You touched my heart. Your voice and the way you moved about the stage were profoundly moving. I am so proud to be a Canadian.

Michele's picture

Outstanding talent. Superb voice control over her instrument.

Tim Sharp's picture

WOW. That performance was nothing short of genius. Absolutely stunning!!!

ja schutt's picture

K.D. Lang sang for Canada and Canadians with her whole soul. You could feel her energy coming thru the tv.

As a fellow Canadian I thank you for giving me a lifetime memory.

Secrets's picture

Good to see she was the only one to sing live and did a fantastic job
Outstanding

Anne's picture

breathtaking, KD you rock. thank you for representing us with such a beautiful song...God bless you every day.

Ann's picture

I can't get enough of Ms. Lang's exquisite voice, pitch perfect, sweet, pure, soulful, and so much more as you have all described. However, I always prefer to close my eyes and listen to her ethereal voice. Last night she looked more like a man than most men look--completely incongruous and out of synch with the voice. Still, she is seemingly happy with how she portrays herself and I respect her for that--completely and utterly. And while many do not find the incongruity of body and voice offsetting in any way, I think there are millions more who do. Alas, I am in that unfortunate group. I think were she not so over the top in her manner of dress, she would have received the kind of recognition around the world that would have blown away ALL other female singers--hands down. But Ms. Lang to her credit has refused to make any compromises as to who she is--not for money, not for fame, not for anything. She is no sell-out. How can one not have unfaltering respect for such a beautiful human being. I love her.

Peggy's picture

I had drifted off to sleep during the opening ceremonies and awakened to her spectacular voice grabbing hold of my heart and going straight to the soul. WOW !!! kd, you delivered one of the deepest, most spiritual experiences that I've ever encountered in music or otherwise. From the comments I've read, its apparent we all rejoyced in the same overwhelming cosmic experience. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

stephanie's picture

i think K D Lang"s rendition of hallelujah, at the openingwasone of the most breathtaking renditions i have ever heard! first, the exquisite purity of her magnificent voice, the nuances and phrasiology of the lyrics were more than i could even process!! it was too beautiful to describe in words! it has always been one of my favorite songs, but last night, it went to a new level!!! leonard cohen, would rejoice in the magnifacence of his creation!! thank you K D...

Mike Brady's picture

Absolutly the best version I've heard, K.D. did an amazing rendition. MEZMERIZING. Best part of the show. I loved the song to begin with and now I love it even more. The perfect end to a great openning ceremony.

sue newman's picture

Incredible performance! I was so moved by her rendition and her amazing voice. I had lost track of her on my own radar and I was blown
away. I'm so proud of being Canadian! Way to go Vancouver! Thank you K.D!

Rod Littau's picture

I still have tears in my eyes and filled with pride, thank you K.D!

Patricia Wessel's picture

Thank You k.d. Lang ,as above I was so glad & thank ful that you sang. I was so moved & mesmerized by your singing. Way to go to Vanoc for bringing you on. I'm very proud to be Canadian, & to have our girl from small town Alberta is really just wonderful. Peace be with you wherever/whatever.

John Gill's picture

The most unbelievable vocal performance I have ever heard in my 44 years on this earth. Not only was I proud to be Canadian, I was proud to be a human being, alive to witness such an expression of humanity! I was speechless last night but found the words today!

Bethann's picture

k.d.'s performance was the highlight of the opening ceremonies. Such a beautiful voice and so much depth! It was an honor to watch this performance.

Mike McLary's picture

"WOW, WOW, WOW". What a performance, what a performance. I have listened to your Hymns from the 49th Paralell while falling to sleep for at least 4 years and have heard Hallelujah hundreds of times, last night you blew me away with your passion and glorious voice. If you look around the world at "The Best" Canada is always there and you are at the top of that list. I hope that the world and America can now see what real talent is, not the shlock and light shows that they claim is talent.
Thank you for last night, Canada and the world will remember it forever.

Jennifer's picture

Ten hours after experiencing the most sublime performances I have ever seen, I am still crying with joy at the pure grace and absolute beauty exuded by kd lang last night at the Olympics opening ceremonies. It was not just her voice, it was her entire presence, her whole being. I am in total awe and have renewed appreciation and the utmost admiration for kd lang as an artist. She was pure gold. Thank you, kd lang, for touching my heart and soul in such a deep way!

steve's picture

Canada's best female vocalist performs Canada's best songwriter, a perfect combination and will make this Olympics ceremonies one for the ages. Other than Patsy Cline, there is no one who can deliver a song with expression and emotion.

YVONNE UPSHAW's picture

HOW CAN I OBTAIN A COPY OF K.D.LANG SINGING "HALLELUYAH" BY LEONARD COHEN , AT THE 2010 WINTER OLYMPICS?

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