Martha Wainwright: ‘My happiest decade is also my saddest – this decade’
The singer-songwriter on her famous musical family, coping with death, divorce and parenting, and how her childhood was still easier than Prince Harry’s
Martha Wainwright, 46, is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter, daughter of folk musicians Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle and sister of singer-composer Rufus Wainwright. She has had to work throughout her life to come confidently into her own with piercingly honest songs that tell it like it is – and how it was. Her disarming page-turner of a memoir, Stories I Might Regret Telling You, mixes steadiness with vulnerability.
Throughout your life, your career has been talked about within your family context – is that a blessing or a curse?
I used to see it as a curse but am learning to take it as a blessing. The blessing also came as a responsibility after my mother died [in 2010]. There was a vacuum created by a great artist who had taken up a lot of room in my life, for better or worse. There was a need not to fill her shoes specifically but to live up to whatever I could do. Not that I’m saying I’ve achieved that…