Rufus Wainwright

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Rufus Wainwright in Vancouver in 2014

Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright (born July 22, 1973) is an American-Canadian[1] singer-songwriter and composer.

He has released seven studio albums and three live albums, as well as three compilation albums. Additionally, he has written music for theater and an opera (Prima Donna) and is currently working on his second opera (Hadrian).

Personal life

Rufus was born in Rhinebeck, New York, USA as the eldest child of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle. His parents divorced when he was three and he moved to Montreal, Canada with his mother and younger sister Martha. From 1988 to 1991 he attended Millbrook School, a boarding school in Duchess County, New York.

In May 2005 Rufus met his now husband Jörn Weisbrodt during a concert in Berlin, Germany. They got engaged in November 2010 and married on 23 August 2012 at their home in Montauk, New York.

On 2 February 2011 Rufus' daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen was born. Her mother is Lorca Cohen who is her main caregiver. Jörn was declared by Rufus as Viva's "deputy dad".


He started playing the piano at age six and started touring with his mother and his aunt Anna at age 13. When he was 15 he was nominated for a Genie Award for Best Original Song for "I'm a-Runnin'", a song he had written for the movie Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller. He also performed the song in the film. A year later, Rufus was nominated for a Juno Award for Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year.

Further reading

  • Kirk Lake: There Will Be Rainbows. A Biography of Rufus Wainwright. Orion Publishing Group, London 2009, ISBN 0-7528-9838-8.