Vintage Video: k.d. lang Turns the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games Into a Hoedown (1988)

28 years ago tonight, on February 28, 1988, the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary came to a close and k.d. lang was part of the closing ceremonies, turning the whole stadium into a giant hoedown with Turn Me Round.

The performance was a turning point in her career, putting her in front of an international audience. Turn Me Round was the opening song from her second album and first for a major label (Sire/Warner Brothers), 1987's Angel With a Lariat. Produced by Dave Edmunds, the album was hard to pin to a specific style. While Turn Me Round was pretty straight country, other songs included elements of rock, rockabilly and new wave. The album reached number 53 on the Billboard Country Albums.

lang's next album, 1988's Shadowland, would cement her as a true country stylist. Produced by Nashville legend Owen Bradley, who was responsible for the sound of Patsy Cline, the album included a collaboration with Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn and Brenda Lee on the Honky Tonk Angels' Medley. While it did well on the country charts, hitting number 9, country radio and many country fans were unwilling to embrace lang for the talent that she was and she soon started to add in more elements of pop, R&B and other genres into her music.


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