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Tibetan spiritual singer-songwriter Yungchen Lhamo will perform at Blueshore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts

Yungchen Lhamo
Yungchen Lhamo has introduced Tibetan spiritual music to many people in the West. Photo by Tenzin Shaydrup.

A U.S.-based musician who fled Tibet in 1989 will sing her original songs in North Vancouver later this week. Yungchen Lhamo’s latest album is One Drop of Kindness, which is also the name of a charitable foundation that she created in 2004. Lhamo, who often sings a cappella, will perform at the Blueshore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (January 25).

Over her lengthy career, Lhamo has performed or recorded music with Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox, Bono, Natalie Merchant, and Billy Corgan, among others.

“Yungchen sings like an unearthly creature,” Merchant told Newsweek in 2015. “Her voice has the power to stop time and makes everything else in the world fall away. Her voice transports you.”

Nearly 35 years ago, the Lhasa-born musician left her homeland, travelling 2,000 kilometres to Dharamsala, India, which is the Dalai Lama’s home in exile. She later moved to Australia, where she recorded her first album, Tibetan Prayer. It won an Australian Recording Industry Award in 1995 for Best World Music Album. That marked the first time that a Tibetan had ever won a mainstream music award in a western country.

This success led to three albums on Gabriel’s Real World Records label. The third of these three discs, Ama, included the track “Fade Away” with Lennox.

Lhamo also wrote and sang three songs—”Om Mani Padme Hung”, “Refugee Prayer”, and “Ari-loo—in the 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet, which starred Brad Pitt.

Listen to Yungchen Lhamo’s “Fade Away”, featuring Annie Lennox.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.