Martha Wainwright

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Martha Wainwright
Martha Wainwright 2.jpg
Wainwright performing at the Cambridge Folk Festival, 2008
Background information
Born (1976-05-08) May 8, 1976 (age 43)
OriginMontreal, Quebec
GenresFolk, pop
Years active1996–present
LabelsMapleMusic Recordings
Associated actsRufus Wainwright, The Wainwright Sisters
WebsiteOfficial website

Martha Wainwright (born May 8, 1976) is a Canadian-American folk-rock singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of American folk singer and actor Loudon Wainwright III and Canadian folk singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle. She was raised in a musical family along with her older brother, Rufus Wainwright, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Early musical development[edit]

Wainwright released an independent cassette, Ground Floor, in 1997. The following year, her song "Year of the Dragon" appeared on The McGarrigle Hour, an album released by Kate & Anna McGarrigle. Shortly after this recording, Martha began singing backup vocals for her brother, and released the six-song EP Martha Wainwright in 1999.

Following her drama classes at Montreal's Concordia University, she moved to New York City, where she established herself as singer and songwriter. She made contacts within the industry, one of whom 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.

She performed "Tower of Song" and "The Traitor" at the Leonard Cohen tribute concert which became the film and album Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man.

Performance and media attention[edit]

In 1988, Wainwright sang the end credit song "Tommy Come Back" for the movie Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller. She also sang the French version of the song "Tommy, Reviens" for the French version of the movie titled "Les Aventuriers du Timbre Perdu."

In 1999, Wainwright sang the title track in the short animated film When The Day Breaks, directed by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis and produced by the National Film Board of Canada or NFB.

In 2001, Wainwright recorded "Star Crossed Lovers" with Propellerheads for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Indigo, a tribute to Duke Ellington, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease

Since the release of her album, I Know You're Married..., Wainwright toured in Europe, Canada, the United States and Australia. She has positive reviews; Tricia Summers, of, describes Wainwright's stage presence, of July 23, 2008, as: "Slowly strumming her guitar and alone on stage with a powerful voice, she knew she had the crowd wrapped around her finger."[citation needed]

Wainwright has received positive reviews for her performances.[1] 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 Bowl in September 2007.

She recorded the song "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" with Snow Patrol in 2006.

In May 2007 Martha Wainwright, her mother, Kate McGarrigle, and cousin Lily Lanken performed "Golden Hair" and "See Emily Play" at the Syd Barrett memorial concert at the Barbican Centre in London.

In 2010, Martha contributed background vocals on the Courtney Love/Hole album Nobody's Daughter.

In 2013, she recorded the soundtrack album for the fourth season of the television drama series Trauma,[2] including covers of songs by Offenbach, Claude Dubois, Daniel Bélanger, Ariane Moffatt, Michel Berger and Luc Plamondon and Kate and Anna McGarrigle, as well as French translations of her own songs "I Will Internalize", "When the Day Is Short" and "This Life".

In 2014, she appeared in all four episodes of the HBO television miniseries Olive Kitteridge, portraying Angela O'Meara, who sings and plays the piano in the restaurant – and later in the nursing home – in the fictional seaside town of Crosby, Maine, performing covers of 1970s pop tunes.

She participated in the 2015 edition of Canada Reads, advocating for Jocelyne Saucier's novel And the Birds Rained Down.[3]

Personal life[edit]

She married her producer Brad Albetta in September 2007; as of 2018 they are divorced.[4] They have two sons, Arcangelo and Francis Valentine.[5]



  1. ^ Jude Rogers (June 23, 2007). "Guardian Review, June 23. 2007 for example". London: Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  2. ^ "Au tour de Martha Wainwright"., February 26, 2013.
  3. ^ "CBC announces Canada Reads finalists". Toronto Star, January 20, 2015.
  4. ^ Dunlevy, T'cha (December 17, 2018). "Rufus and Martha Wainwright's Noël Nights continues family tradition". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Dunlevy, T'cha (December 17, 2018). "Rufus and Martha Wainwright's Noël Nights continues family tradition". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved December 1, 2019.

External links[edit]