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Martha Wainwright (born May 8, 1976) is a Canadian-American folk-rock singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of American folk/blues musician Loudon Wainwright III and Canadian folk singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle. Along with her older brother, Rufus Wainwright, Martha was raised in Montrealmarker, Quebecmarker, Canadamarker, in a musical family.

Early musical development

In 1998, Wainwright took the first step toward her musical career, through the recording of her song "Year of the Dragon" as a contribution to The McGarrigle Hour, an album released by her mother, Kate, and her aunt, Anna McGarrigle. Shortly after this recording, Martha began singing backup vocals for her brother, Rufus. Although her musical beginnings and early recording opportunities were made possible through her already established parents and brother, she soon distinguished herself from her family and created her own musical identity.

Following her incomplete studies in drama at Montreal's Concordia Universitymarker, she moved to New York Citymarker, where she established herself as singer and songwriter. She made contacts within the industry, one was producer Brad Albetta, who worked with Wainwright to produce her self-titled debut album, Martha Wainwright (released April 12, 2005 by MapleMusic Recordings).

Albetta worked again with Wainwright to produce her second album, I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too, released in Canada on June 10, [2008. Artists contributing to the album include Pete Townshend (The Who), Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Garth Hudson (The Band), as well as her mother, brother and aunt.

Wainwright is signed with the independent record labels Rounder Records in the United States, DiS in the United Kingdom, MapleMusic Recordings in Canada, V2 Records in Europe and Shock Records in Australia.

Style and genre

Wainwright's style has been described as a meld of folk, rock, country, and chanson singing. She drew inspiration from Leonard Cohen, to whom she paid tribute at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 24, 2006, singing Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel". She performed "Tower of Song" and "The Traitor" at the Cohen tribute concert which became the film and album Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man.

Performance and media attention

Since the release of her album, I Know You're Married..., Wainwright has been touring extensively throughout Europe, Canada, the United States and Australia. She has received positive reviews; Tricia Summers, of, describes Wainwright's stage presence, of July 23/08, as: "Slowly strumming her guitar and along on stage with a powerful voice, she knew she had the crowd wrapped around her finger".

Wainwright has received positive reviews for her performances. She appeared at the 2007 Bonnaroo and at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness-shire in August 2007. She duetted with Snow Patrol at the V Festival and Lollapalooza, and performed with her brother at the Hollywood Bowlmarker in September 2007.

She married her producer Brad Albetta in September 2007.

Annie Lennox joined with Wainwright and 22 other female artists to raise awareness of the transmission of HIV to unborn children in Africa. The single "Sing" was released on World Aids Day on December 1, 2007, when Lennox appeared at the Nelson Mandela 46664 concert in South Africa.

On the 18th November 2009 she appeared on the BBC Two TV music show 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks', where she was mistaken for Catatonia lead singer Cerys Matthews by fellow guest Dappy.



  1. Guardian Review, June 23. 2007 for example

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