Sophie Ballantine Hawkins (born November 1, 1967, in Manhattan, New York City, U.S.) is an American singer, songwriter, musician and painter. Her biggest hits are "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover", "Right Beside You", and "As I Lay Me Down".
Hawkins's debut album, Tongues and Tails, was released in 1992. It achieved both worldwide commercial success and critical acclaim, earning her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1993. The single "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" went to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles' chart in the USA, and was also a top 20 hit in the UK. As a result of this success Sophie was asked to perform I Want You during "Bobfest" a concert held on October 16, 1992 in Madison Square Garden honoring Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary as a musician.
Whaler, her second album, was released in 1994. Produced by Stephen Lipson, it also contained a US Top 10 hit, "As I Lay Me Down," and made gold status. Three singles from the album made the UK top 40, including "Right Beside You" which peaked at #13. It reached number 2 in the Dutch Top 40
A 1998 documentary by Gigi Gaston, titled The Cream Will Rise, followed Hawkins during one of her tours and captures her struggle to deal with past troubles with her family, including problems with her mother and brother. Music and riffs by Hawkins are included throughout the film.
Also in 1998, Hawkins's record company at the time, Sony Music, delayed the release of her third album. Its executives were unhappy with the finished product, and wanted Hawkins to rework some of the material. In particular, they were insisting that Hawkins remove a banjo track from one of the songs. Hawkins refused to accommodate them, citing artistic integrity as her main reason. After a lengthy battle between Hawkins and the company, the album, Timbre, was eventually released in 1999, though Sony declined to promote it. Hawkins subsequently left the label and founded her own label, Trumpet Swan Productions. In 2001, Timbre was re-released on Hawkins' label, now as a 2-disc set that contained new songs, demos, remixes, and videos.
Her first independently recorded and released album, Wilderness, was released in 2004.
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