Sophie B. Hawkins
Sophie B. Hawkins
Hawkins in 2006
|Birth name||Sophie Ballantine Hawkins|
|Born||November 1, 1964|
Manhattan, New York, United States
|Genres||Rock, pop, pop rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, drums|
Sophie Ballantine Hawkins (born November 1, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and painter. Born in New York City, she attended the Manhattan School of Music for a year as a percussionist before leaving to pursue a music career. She achieved critical and commercial success with her first two albums, producing a string of single hits including "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover", "Right Beside You", and "As I Lay Me Down". However, a dispute with her record label Sony Music over her third album, Timbre, caused her to leave, setting up her own independent label. This label, Trumpet Swan Productions, has published her subsequent recordings.
Hawkins is a vegan and long time supporter of animal rights and environmental causes. She is also a well-known social and political activist, supporting events promoting women in music and LGBT rights. In 2008, she endorsed Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Hawkins's debut album, Tongues and Tails, was released in 1992. It achieved both worldwide commercial success and critical acclaim, earning her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1993. The single "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" went to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the USA and was also a Top 20 hit in the UK. Hawkins was asked to perform Bob Dylan's "I Want You," which she covered on Tongues and Tails, for the 1992 Madison Square Garden concert honoring Dylan's 30th anniversary as a musician; this was later released as The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration.
Whaler, her second album, was released in 1994. Produced by Stephen Lipson, it also contained a US top 10 hit, "As I Lay Me Down," and was certified gold. Three singles from the album made the UK Top 40, including "Right Beside You," which peaked at #13.
A 1998 documentary by Gigi Gaston, titled The Cream Will Rise, followed Hawkins during one of her tours and captured her struggle to deal with past troubles with her family, including her mother and brother. Music by Hawkins was included throughout the film.
Also in 1998, Hawkins's record company, Sony Music, delayed the release of her third album. Its executives were unhappy with the finished product and wanted Hawkins to rework some of the material. In particular, they insisted that Hawkins remove a banjo track from one of the songs. Hawkins refused to accommodate them, citing artistic integrity as her main reason. After a lengthy battle between Hawkins and the company, the album, Timbre, was eventually released in 1999, though Sony declined to promote it. Hawkins subsequently left the label and founded her own label, Trumpet Swan Productions. In 2001, Timbre was re-released on Hawkins's label, now as a two-disc set that contained new songs, demos, remixes, and videos. Her first independently recorded and released album, Wilderness, was released in 2004.
In 2012, Hawkins starred as Janis Joplin in the play, Room 105, which was written and directed by her longtime girlfriend and manager, Gigi Gaston. After another long hiatus she released her fifth album of all new material in 2012, titled The Crossing.
On April 4, 2013, Sophie appeared on the TV series Community as herself, performing "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" and "As I Lay Me Down" during the community college's "Sophie B. Hawkins Dance," so named because one of the characters confused the singer with Susan B. Anthony and Sadie Hawkins.
Sophie appeared at the age of 54 on the German TV show Night Moves, in 2019, singing several songs, discussing her past, and showing off a bit of her drumming talents.
In an interview with Rock Cellar Magazine in 2012, Hawkins said that she identified as omnisexual. Although there were rumors she had dated Martina Navratilova and Jodie Foster, she denied those, saying, "I've never met any of the women I'm supposed to have had affairs with."
In 1994, Hawkins posed nude for Interview. As she explained to Ed Rampell when he interviewed her for Q magazine, she met the photographer, Bruce Weber, and was asked if she could do a photo shoot with him. She had her own clothes when she showed up to the photo session, but he had a dress he wanted her to try on. She did not think it looked very good on her. It got to the point where she was only wearing a coat, and Weber suggested she remove that too. By this stage, she was not even thinking about how she looked as she felt quite comfortable with him. Weber later told her that giving her the unflattering dress was part of his plan to get her naked.
In August 2007, Hawkins headlined the first Los Angeles Women's Music Festival in support of its dual agenda of supporting animal rescue groups and promoting and supporting female musicians. Hawkins is a vegan and a long-time supporter of animal rights.
In February 2008, Hawkins re-recorded her hit "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" as "Damn, We Wish You Were President" in support of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Hawkins also wrote in her blog, "Hillary Clinton's achievements come from her heart. She has initiated so much positive change for families, children, victims of crime and the environment in her struggle for the forward movement of America and the working people of this nation."
In May 2010, Hawkins began supporting Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization of on-the-water advocates who patrol and protect more than 100,000 miles of rivers, streams and coastlines in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. She donated 100% of the proceeds of her single "The Land, the Sea, and the Sky" to the organization.
In February 2011, Hawkins performed at the Big Gay Party event staged by GOProud, an organization of gay conservatives, as part of the year's Conservative Political Action Conference festivities. In an after-show interview in the reason.tv documentary "Liberal in Bed, Conservative in the Head: Sophie B. Hawkins." Hawkins gave her views on issues such as gun ownership, the free market, limited government and identity politics.
Awards and nominations
|1993||Grammy Awards||Herself||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|1995||RSH Gold Awards||Kraftrille des Jahres||Won|
|1996||APRA Music Awards||"As I Lay Me Down"||Most Performed Foreign Work||Nominated|
- The Cream Will Rise (1998) dir. Gigi Gaston
- Beyond the City Limits (Rip It Off) (2001) dir. Gigi Gaston
- Community episode "Herstory of Dance" (2013)
- Sieczkowski, Cavan (February 9, 2015). "Singer Sophie B. Hawkins, 50, Is Pregnant With Second Child". The Huffington Post.
- "Sell Out Hit – Room 105 is Extended through December 30th!". sophiebhawkins.com. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- "Sophie B. Hawkins Welcomes Daughter Esther Ballantine". people.com. July 10, 2015. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- "Baby Girl on the Way for Sophie B. Hawkins - at 50!". people.com. February 26, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- Rampell, Ed. (December 2012). "Inside Janis Joplin's 'Room 105' – Interview with Singer Sophie B. Hawkins". Rock Cellar Magazine. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Sutcliffe, Phil (January 1995). "Sophie B Hawkins interview." Q Magazine, issue 100.
- Feb 1994 v24 n2, p. 122
- "Los Angeles Women's Music Festival official website". Lawmf.com. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
- "Blog entry of 16 02 2008 from her official site". Sophiebhawkins.com. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- "Liberal in Bed, Conservative in the Head: Sophie B. Hawkins" (video). Reason.tv. YouTube.