For a generation of LGBT people, K.D. Lang’s 1993 critically-acclaimed, Grammy-winning album, “Ingénue,” offered an introspective and ultimately uplifting escape from homophobia, discrimination and the still-devasting AIDS epidemic.
Hits like “Constant Craving” and “Miss Chatelaine” could be heard on radio stations by day and high-energy remixes fueled the action at gay nightclubs well into the wee hours of the night. The singer was already a hero to the LGBT community after she publicly came out in the Advocate in 1992, but this album made her a legend.
Now, 25 years later, Lang is back on the road with her “Ingénue Redux” tour, sharing that iconic sound with the very fans who remember it best. She’ll perform the album in its entirety on Friday, Sept. 7 at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale.
SFGN caught up with Lang in between concerts to talk about the tour, her career and more:
Did you ever imagine that “Ingénue” would become an iconic album?
I didn’t have any idea. It was just a very personal, honest and vulnerable record. I think that at the time it really resonated with people because in the early 90s and late 80s, AIDS and the HIV crisis was in full swing, Queer Nation was outing people, it was a tumultuous time… it really resonated and became a symbolic record and still gives me a sense of pride and motivation in this era.
“Ingenue” was a commercial breakthrough at the time, but musically, the album seemed to run counter to the trends in the industry.
There is one thing I’ve always tried to do, which is not rely on a trend or try to be modern. I just try to do my own thing. Nirvana, Madonna, Bjork were out, and [my music] was the opposite of what was happening, but I was just focusing on making my own music.
You’ve also written hit songs for other artists. Do you approach these songs differently than you would for songs you plan to record? What’s going through your mind?
Usually the fear of God is running through my mind! I don’t feel like I’m particularly prolific, I’m just thankful the creative juices are flowing. I always try to be honest and write in a way that can be authentic to any relationship, to myself, to a higher spiritual power, or your dog.
When you look back at your career, what has been the secret to your longevity?
I just worked very hard. I was super tenacious and kept working. It was always more about the journey for me. I’ve slowed down in the last few years, but that’s okay.
You risked your career and came out in a very public way. While times certainly have changed, what advice would you offer young LGBT people, especially aspiring performers?
I don’t think the message is different from anyone I would address: having a loving solid relationship with yourself and allowing that to reflect in every relationship you have with anyone else, and maintaining a healthier place for yourself.
What is one thing about K.D. Lang that our readers might be surprised to learn about you? Do you have a hobby or guilty pleasure?
There are no secrets left. [laughs] People know everything about me.
K.D. Lang performs her album “Ingénue” and more at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $30 at BrowardCenter.org.