Carole Pope 2014
6 August 1946 |
Carole Ann Pope (born August 6, 1946) is a British-born Canadian rock singer-songwriter, whose provocative blend of hard-edged new wave rock with explicit homoerotic and BDSM-themed lyrics made her one of the first openly lesbian entertainers to achieve mainstream fame. She is the sister of Emmy Award-winning television producer and screenwriter Elaine Pope.
The Rough Trade years
Pope was raised in Scarborough, Ontario, where she met her longtime musical partner, Kevan Staples at an audition for another band. In 1968, they began performing together as a duo in Yorkville, which was Toronto's live music and arts district at the time. In 1970, they adopted the name O, changing it to The Bullwhip Brothers the following year.
She won the Juno Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist in 1981, and subsequently won the Juno Award for Best Female Vocalist in 1982 and 1983. She and Staples co-wrote the 1983 single "Transformation," recorded by Nona Hendryx. Pope also appeared as a guest vocalist on the Payola$ single "Never Said I Loved You," which was a top ten hit in 1983. She teamed up in 2000 with the Payola$ founder, Paul Hyde, to sing the duet "My Brilliant Career" on his album Living Off the Radar.
During the 1980s Rough Trade won a Genie Award, and earned four gold and two platinum records. Although the band did not record or perform extensively after its final Deep Six in '86 tour, they did not officially break up until 1988.
Although she has recorded and toured to promote several solo albums, and has played reunion shows with Rough Trade, Pope's solo career has been lower-profile than her time with the band.
Pope issued a debut solo single in 1988 (Nothing But A Heartache/I'm Not Blind), but did not issue a follow-up release for several years afterward. In 1991, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue opportunities in soundtrack work and acting.
Pope issued EPs in 1995 and 1999. In 1997, she provided the voice for the schoolteacher in the animated version of Pippi Longstocking.
In 2000, Random House published Pope's autobiography, Anti-Diva. The book included Pope's first public acknowledgement that she had been in a relationship with British singer Dusty Springfield in the early 1980s. Pope also claimed to have had a brief romance with Andrea Martin of SCTV fame. As of April 2013 a film version of her biography was under development.
Soon afterward, Pope re-recorded the Rough Trade single "High School Confidential" for the Queer as Folk (Season 1) soundtrack. She also appeared in the Toronto production of The Vagina Monologues in 2001, then moved to New York City to continue writing and recording.
In 2005, after returning to Los Angeles, Pope released her debut full-length solo album, Transcend. It appeared 21 years after her previous full length album had been issued with Rough Trade. Six years later, in 2011, she released her second full-length album, Landfall, featuring a duet with Rufus Wainwright.
- Nothing But A Heartache/I'm Not Blind (1988)
- Johnny Marr (2007)
- Shining Path/Tell Me (2010)
- Viral 01/Viral 02 (2011)
- Francis Bacon (2013)
- Lesbians in the Forest (feat. Peaches) (2013)
- Vagina Wolf (2014)