The extrovert son of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, Rufus Wainwright grew up mainly in Canada after the divorce of his parents. He studied piano in Montreal and was appearing on stage with his mother Kate and aunt Anna by the time he was 13. A year later one of his own songs I'm-a-Runnin was featured in the movie Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller. His self-titled debut album in 1998 was widely acclaimed, although follow-up Poses (2001) was hindered by Wainwright's wild lifestyle and addiction to crystal meth. Painful recovery led to some of his best work, including the albums Want One, Want Two and Release The Stars. In 2006 he performed an ambitious concert at New York's Carnegie Hall, recreating Judy Garland's famous live album recorded there 45 years earlier and took another leap of faith in 2009 when his opera Prima Donna was performed at Manchester International Festival in England. He also continued to sing family shows with his sister Martha Wainwright and mother Kate McGarrigle - who made her last performance with him at London's Royal Albert Hall shortly before her death in 2010. Soon afterwards his mother's death he released his sixth album All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu, another ambitious effort that included adaptations of three William Shakespeare sonnets.
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