Rufus Wainwright is a Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter, was born into a family of musical pedigree: his mother is Kate McGarrigle and his father is Loudon Wainwright III. His sister, Martha Wainwright is also a musician, as is his half-sister Lucy Wainwright Roche and his aunt, Sloan Wainwright.
Rufus was born in New York but moved to Canada when his parents divorced. He was aged three at that time. He attended Millbrook School as well as studying piano at Concordia and Mc Gill Universities.
As a child, Rufus Wainwright would play piano in 'The McGarrigle Sisters and Family' band, mainly playing folk music. At the age of 14, he played his song 'I'm a-Runnin' in the film Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller. He won a Genie Award for Best Original Song.
Wainwright began playing weekly shows at Café Sarajevo and produced a demo tape that was passed in to Van Dyke Parks. Parks then passed the tapes onto the head of DreamWorks, Lenny Waronker, who signed Wainwright to the label.
In 1996, he moved to New York City and recorded his debut album, Rufus Wainwright, released in 1998. To promote the release of the album, he toured with Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Wainwright wrote the majority of his second album whilst he lived in the Chelsea Hotel for six months. Poses was released in 2001 and he toured with Tori Amos, Ben Folds and Sting to promote the album.