Canadians have been enjoying k.d. lang since 1983, when she was performing what she called Cow Punk Music, which was really a combination of Country, Rockabilly, and Rock and Roll, all delivered with a unique attitude. Watch:
At the time she maintained she was the reincarnation of Patsy Cline and even called her back up band the Reclines. They put out three LPs together: A Truly Western Experience, Angel with a Lariat, and Absolute Torch and Twang, all of which were well received by both Country and Rock and Roll fans.
However, she was still considered an underground artist. As the WikiWackyWoo explains:
Lang first earned international recognition in 1988 when she performed, as "The Alberta Rose", at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.
Lang's career received a huge boost when Roy Orbison chose her to record a duet of his standard, "Crying, " a collaboration that won them the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 1989. The song was used in the Jon Cryer film Hiding Out released in 1987. Due to the success of the song, Lang received the Entertainer of the Year award from the Canadian Country Music Association. Lang would win the same award for the next three years, in addition to two Female Vocalist of the Year awards in 1988 and 1989.