Yungchen Lhamo

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Yungchen Lhamo
Yungchen Lhamo.jpeg
Yungchen Lhamo singing at the Colours of Ostrava festival in the Czech Republic, 2007
Background information
Also known asGoddess of Song = translation of her birth name
OriginLhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
GenresNew-age, Traditional, World
Years active1990–present
LabelsRealworld Records

Yungchen Lhamo (Tibetan: དབྱངས་ཅན་ལྷ་མོ) is a Tibetan singer-songwriter living in New York City. She won an Australian Record Industry Association award (ARIA) for best Folk/World/Traditional album, and was then signed by Peter Gabriel's Realworld Record label.

Yungchen has performed with Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) and has sung duets with Natalie Merchant on Ophelia. She collaborated with Annie Lennox on her album Ama. Lhamo's recordings have been used in Seven Years in Tibet and many Tibetan documentaries. Yungchen has also performed at other venues such as London's Royal Festival Hall, New York City's Carnegie Hall, and Berlin's Philharmonic Hall.

Life and career[edit]

Yungchen Lhamo has toured extensively throughout the world, singing unaccompanied, a combination of songs of her own unique composition and traditional Buddhist chant and mantras. She has performed with artists including Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel, Billy Corgan, Natalie Merchant, Bono, Sheryl Crow and Michael Stipe. She has performed in the Lilith Fair Festival and toured widely as a part of the WOMAD World music festivals.

Lhamo's name means "Goddess of Song" – a name given to her by a lama soon after she was born near Lhasa. Yungchen left Tibet in 1989 to make pilgrimage to Dharamsala. She was inspired to reach out to world through her music. She moved to Australia in 1993, then to New York City in 2000.

Lhamo's Australian debut album, Tibetan Prayer, produced by John Prior, won the ARIA Music Awards for best Folk/World/Traditional Music release in 1995. She is the first Tibetan singer to win a prestigious music industry award.[1] The success of that record led to her signing with Peter Gabriel's Real World label. Her first record for the label, Tibet, Tibet, mainly features a cappella renditions of original compositions—authentic Tibetan Buddhist prayers and songs. Her next recording, Coming Home, was a collaboration with producer Hector Zazou, showcasing her voice, and also featuring chanting by Tibetan monks, a wide range of mostly modern Western instruments, and the benefits of multi-track recording, enabling Lhamo's voice to be layered repeatedly.

On November 20, 22 and 24, 2007, at the Louvre Museum in Paris, Yungchen accompanied a site-specific dance work 'Walking The Line' by American choreographer Bill T. Jones. This performance, with solo percussion by Florent Jodelet, took place in one of the museum's locations (the one-hundred meter perspective) stretching from the Winged Victory of Samothrace, to the Renaissance Arch (from the Stanga Palace) in which the celebrated sculptures The Dying Slave and The Rebellious Slave (c1513) by Michelangelo are exhibited.

Lhamo's album Ama (which means Mother in the Tibetan language) was released in April 2006 and was produced by Iranian-American musician Jamshied Sharifi. Featured artists include Annie Lennox and Joy Askew. Yungchen's music has earned her recognition by the Province of Genoa, Italy, as a “Messenger of Peace” and she was awarded the title of “Ambassador of Culture”.


  • Tibetan Prayer (1995)
  • Tibet, Tibet (1996)
  • Coming Home (1998)
  • Ama (2006)
  • Tayatha (Yungchen Lhamo & Anton Batagov) (2013)[2]


  1. ^ ARIA Music Awards of 1995
  2. ^ Lohr, Michael. "Yungchen Lhamo Interview". New Renaissance Magazine. Renaissance Universal. Retrieved July 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]