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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.

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

SO APPROPIATE FOR ALL THE HURT, NEGATISM AND HATE THAT IS GOING ON TODAY. IT BROUGHT ME TO TEARS.

I have always loved Cohens song but when i heard kd sing it last night I was totally blown away moved to the spiritual heights reached when pure love and beauty blend in perfection.. I like sooo many others cried and each time i hear it tears well up from a source pf transcendance. can we not get the olympic comittee to stop the ban on viewing it as this goes beyond ownership it is a song owned by humaity itself Kd I truly consider this a masterpiece thank you

Most baeutiful rendition of a song that I have ever heard, period.

Worth the wait. Easily the highlight of the entire ceremony. KD hasn't lost a thing with age - what a fine performance. Please come to Atlanta and give us a performance!

Thank you kd lang. That was an amazing performance. No one has a voice as pure as this songstress. I am not a Canadian but a Landed Immigrant and was equally proud of this incredible lady. It doesn't get much better than this. How nice to get emails this morning from school mates from my home country commenting on what a beautiful Opening Ceremony it was. Thank you Canada.

Where were Diana Krall, Shannia Twain, Celine Dion or Michael Buble, Canada's first-rank performers? What have Nelly Furtado, Brian Adams, and KD Lang done recently.? And what was the point of using a female operatic soprano. They are often shrill and unintelligible - no surprise there. Apart from that, the ceremonies were brilliant. For that, I am a proud Canadian!

kd, I remember walking by a temporary outdoor stage during frosh week at the University of Alberta, in the early 1980’s, where a number of bands were putting on free concerts, and becoming mesmerized by this amazing voice…I skipped my classes and sat on the grass right in front of the stage on that cool, overcast day until you finished your set. Even then something in me was lifted in some kind of joy, I didn’t even know your name—had to track down info on you. So many wonderful memories of your concerts in those early years.
Thank-you for your performance at the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympic games; it was sublime, I was moved deeply. Got up this morning and went straight out to buy “recollection”. Your voice is heaven-sent, and this CD is stunning. You bring much joy to people. Thank-you, truly.

I am so sorry I missed KD Lang at the opening ceremony...where can I hear her performance?

This is an addendum to my rather hastily written comment.

I am a lifetime fan of Leonard Cohen, and did admire KD Lang's rendition of one of his most moving songs. Again, overall the night was brilliant, though the torch lighting glich stings. I also did not appreciate the Beyonce version of the national ahthem. Save those for NFL games.

I just read that Nelly Furtado, Brian Adams, and the young woman who sang the national anthem, were lip-synching. This is embarrassing.

"Hallelujah" (Vancouver Winter 2010 Version) by k.d. lang is now available at iTunes. For more information, read the latest entry in the Nonesuch Journal

That performance made the hairs on the back of my neck stand, I couldn't believe the quality of that voice

WOW, I never loved KD Lang so much as when I watched her sing at the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

You are an amazing force to be reckoned with, KD. LOVE YOU!

Leanne

k.d. - thank you so much! It was perfect.

You've had a long journey, k.d., from your humble beginnings in Consort, Alberta. I have been watching you from near and far, as you sang with Roy Orbison, stomped on stage with that wedding dress and boots, and throughout your many accomplishments and awards. I have all your CDs. But although I have always felt you were amazing, I have never felt so proud or so overwhelmed as I did last night. Your rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah was - perfect! One could strive for a lifetime, but never will that moment be duplicated or repeated. I felt the Heavens had opened up to let an angel come to deliver her gift of song and self. You more than contributed to the Opening Ceremonies! Thank you and keep going. Your voice is purer and more powerful and more beautiful as the years go by.

I have never gone online to praise a performance--but K.D.'s was such that I had to find it online so I could once again hear and feel the absolute perfection and cadence of her voice. I told my husband that she felt every single note. She brought me to tears, and I will never forget this performance. She mesmerized me and millions of others--and completely stole the show. Hallelujah!!

Thank You KD; you made us proud to be Canadian! Hallelujah was the perfect song

I've been fighting pneumonia for 2 weeks, woke up just as K.D. was singing - and I thought I had passed! Incredible performance! I have been chasing down the broadcast from this side of the border all day - NBC pulled the video!!! Will keep looking. Never heard of Leonard Cohen prior to this - but now I know all about him! Oh Canada!

Thank you KD. Think I will paint magnificient perfection today thanks to you. Just realized sitting here typing that we all have perfection within and thats how we were able to instantly recognize yours and become a part of every note. Rejoice Leonard an angel sang your song last night. Hallelujah! Happy Valentines KD and everyone with love.

You showed much courage. Why? Because you sang from the depths of your heart where true magic comes from. Yes, magic, reverence,pride, solemnity and the courage to have joy. As Tolstoy said. To love life is to love God.

Thank You.

Angie

Words cannot describe how moved my husband and I were listening to kd sing Halleluja. It made me so proud of her as well as our country and made me love the song even more that I already had. I've enjoyed her singing since the 80's in Edmonton and this reboosted my love for that incredible gift she has been given.

Yes, I know. I had the name before I first heard of her. I would love to find a way to view her singing this wonderful song. So please, Nonesuch, let those of us who missed this remarkable performance have an option to see it. I will buy the download, as I always do. The praise is so universal! I'm sorry I was unable to watch. Kate

Outstanding! I have been a fan for years. It still amazes me to hear her voice. I love it. I'm not Canadian, but I was totally touched and appreciated your version of "Hallelujah". It honestly bought tears to my eyes. Outstanding, wonderful and incredible. Well done.

Amazing, made me proud to live in Canada

I am a Canadian now living the past year and half living in Australia. I was simply moved to tears and if you had a dry eye during that performance then you have a heart of stone. If any artist can leave you spell bound and move you to tears then they truly do sing from the depths of their soul. What a god given talent. Keep singing KD as we all need our souls brought to the for front more often.

I am not Canadian....but your performance made me want to be one!!!!!! So beautiful, so inspiring, so privileged to have been able to experience the goose bumps you gave me, as you sang the song.

Thank you!

K.D's performance was unmatched. Truly great. Also, my hubby and I thought the opening ceremony was absolutely fantastic - a true mosaic of Canada framed in an entertaining yet educational format - The ceremony felt "peace-filled". For those who wanted a more "urban" feel to the ceremony, I say, "you can get that anytime you turn on the TV". As I get older, I appreciate the simple beauty that is often over-shadowed by hype. This ceremony felt intimate, and most of it all it show-cased the amazing vast, gorgeous landscape, and people, that make Canada, "Canada".

And K.D. you are a treasure.

I have read in an interview with the event producer that all of the performances at the Olympics opening ceremonies were pre-recorded. When you have talent the calibre of kd lang, Sarah McLachlan and others you should just let them sing or play. Who cares about any so-called imperfections. Regrettably today's show biz doesn't allow for live artistry on a big stage.

I quite agree with Gale Franey's superb description--kd lang's rendition of Hallelujah, took my breath away--it hit me very deep and totally emotionally, I ran out and bought Hymns of the 49th Parallel--it was HMV's only copy left--the only thing is when listening to it, I cannot experience her emotions for this song.
She made me feel so proud that I am Canadian

Beyond superb! A gold medal for k.d. lang's performance does not justice to her outstanding performance, a most spiritual moment- thank you for this master piece. To the critics here: I once read that Leonard Cohen's partner, a singer, said after listening lang's version of Hallelujah that this song could now be laid to rest, it had reached perfection! Who would know better?

That's what I say WOW, this performance was the best. I have been away from Canada for some time and I am so proud to have seen the Olympic's and this great lady sing this great song with a supreme performance by her. Man I love her for this. Made me so dam proud to be a Canadain..The world has seen this and Canada will reap the harvest..Thanks k.d and of course Leonard Cohen. You people are just beautifull. Please continue with your methods and song styles..we love you guys..
I am a Canadain who had left Canada about 40yrs ago..but I always kept my eyes on you guys..I love you all..just be Canadain, don't get too diluted by other countries..us true Canadians have to keep some kind of movement..
God bless you and God Bless Canada... we love you, and Miss you badly Canada..So proud, believe me, so proud..thanks..
Sarah.. we love you tooooo..please keep a dream for us..beautifull

Two days later and I am STILL feeling the chills from kd's performance!! The entire world held it's breath for six stunning minutes that night! Wonderful Opening Ceremonies overall but kd was the North Star! Thank you soooo much kd! Go Canada!

As I live in Norway I saw the rrehearsal of the opening ceremony. I was laying on a sofa almost asleep (after a late evening) I suddenly heard a fantastic voice and had to raise and really listen. What a voice! Very good performance. Now I have got a new favourite, K D Lang. Thank you so much!
Love from Norway

KD, my highest respect, You received a gold medal from me and my family. the best performance ever, we love you, we respect you and we need to see you more often! thank you!

3 billion TV viewers - sorry, that sounds like BS. Almost 50% of the entire world - yeah, right.

Positively transcendent! Thank you Cathy Dawn from Consort, Alberta for being such a unique, ethereal voice. Your range is aweinspiring. You are a truly gifted artist. Thank you for such an inspired performance.

I waited all hight thru the ceremonies just to hear kd sing and was wondering what it would be-but of coarse it had to be canada's greatest hit. As i watch her all alone on the podium surrounded by thousands of people, with lights twinkling all around, the pall of tragic death lingering in the air, out of her mouth comes such angelic perfection that I could hardly speak! How centered she is, how humble she is ,and how unassuming she is!!!!!! Her voice is perfection, her soul is as expansive as her heart is. I guess you could say I loved it and her, an angel on earth!

MAGNIFICENt! Best female performance for this new world 2010 Olympics SUPER HIT !! Please release this as a single and video to US/USA markets as soon as possible!!!!!!! 
Best male performance is Nick Schilder world star class entertainer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UszFFzCE7TY&feature=related
..JOHN

No cold feet with THAT performance. Very nice - WOW nice. I was moved. Thank you KD!

Days later and I'm still rocked by the performance. We want more we want more we want more.......thanks K.D. Lang

All the songs by kd lang are wonderful.

Brilliant. I can't keep that wonderful song out of my head, and keep wanting to replay it over and over again. What a performance. It was simply "Amazing." What a proud moment for Canada, the Olympics, and KD Lang.

Saw/heard this in the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics and was totally captured by the beauty and deepth of the her performance. I'm an atheist and put this version of “Hallelujah" on my i-Pod...that's how good it was. :-)

Wow...I palyed your song "Hallelujah" over and over. what an amazing voice. i was glad to had watched the opening ceremony and saw you sing..

Listening to kd lang at the Olympic opening ceremonies was simply mesmerizing! I have heard her over the years but this was the most amazing presentation that I have ever seen and heard. I agree with everyone who stated that it made you proud to be a Canadian. kd lang's passion, emotion, and incredible talent should make people feel proud from all around the world. The spirit of the olympics and of everything that is right is shown here. Wow!!!

A beautiful performance, but she owes it to Jeff Buckley's definitive version. His legacy lives on, even if he did miss the irony present in Cohen's original. The irony in that song is all but lost now, as we've all been seduced by the "secret chord".

What a magnificant presentation of "Halleluyah" by k.d. Lang. For those few minutes I truly believed there is hope for the human race.

K. D. , You need to team up with Adam Lambert and do a musical for Nationwide TV. I would love to hear the two of you do a duet. You both have so talented and full of passion and energy.

R. H.

I can't believe how moved with emotion I was when you sang "Halleiluiah" at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. It continues to move me every time I hear it. I have since heard many artists TRY to sing it & there is nobody out there even close. Thank you for that absolutely powerful rendition of it. It was like you felt in your soul every word you sang! You are incredibly talented! Thank you for sharing iyour talent with the world! Do you have CD out with that song on it?

Deborah, you can hear k.d. sing "Hallelujah" on her most recent release, Recollection, her first-ever career retrospective. The Vancouver 2010 version is available at iTunes.

I play the video daily, to touch my soul to God.

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