kd lang’s celebrity needs little explanation. She has one of the finest voices in contemporary music; she’s charismatic beyond telling; she turns otherwise polite lesbians into mad, sex-crazed, knicker-throwing beasts.
But that last aspect of her fame is moderating with age, she claims. There’s not so much now. The peak of that was probably in Australia in the mid-90s, she says.
kd turns 41 on the day of the opening ceremony, which she says gives her all the more reason to celebrate. Her Gay Games appearance will also fulfil a promise -“ kind of.
I promised Mardi Gras thousands of times, always saying some day I would perform, she says, adding that her scheduling never allowed it. This is probably about as close as I am going to get. It will be a spectacle, I’m sure.
kd has never performed at a Gay Games event before, but was present at the Vancouver Games in 1990 as a spectator -“ which she describes as an amazing experience.
But she’s also no stranger to the sporting pitch.
I was a big time athlete when I was a kid, she reveals. I threw javelin and played volleyball and softball, pretty much every sport that was available to me.
She still swims for fitness these days but says her involvement in sport has waned. As I get older it’s a little more difficult, she explains.
But as we all know, the Games offer a lot more than just sporting competition.
I know the Gay Games are getting bigger every time, and I know Australia and Sydney can throw a good party, she says.
Unfortunately, she won’t be in town for long to soak up the Games ambience. She’ll perform two songs at the opening ceremony and one song at the Welcome party, and then pretty much immediately hop on a plane again. Her total time in Sydney amounts to three days.
I’m doing Leno on the 4th, and after that I’m off to China for a UNICEF concert, she explains. Her new album, What A Wonderful World (a compilation of Louis Armstrong duets with 60s crooner Tony Bennett), gets released on 5 November.
Recording the new album has put kd on a new curve. It’s been very interesting for me, learning a lot about that older style of singing, she says.
As for what she will be performing at the opening ceremony, she’s remaining tight-lipped, but ceremony insiders say the assembled gay and lesbian choirs will be involved, it will be part of the Remembrance segment, and that there won’t be a dry eye in the house. Believe it!