Singer Rufus Wainwright releases ‘Over the Rainbow’ cover for Pride month

2x GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright recently covered the Judy Garland classic “Over The Rainbow.

The song’s release comes at the cusp of Pride Month and was recorded for the singer’s upcoming virtual concert event: Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios. That concert sees Wainwright performing his groundbreaking 2007 tribute to Judy Garland, Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, in its entirety, live from Los Angeles’ famed Capitol Studios. 

The event will premiere Thursday, June 10 at 8:00 PM (AEDT/EST/CET), celebrating what would have been Garland’s 99th birthday. Tickets for Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios are available now exclusively via Veeps priced at $30 (advance)/$35 (day of show). 

There will also be ticket bundles available with the opportunity for fans to participate in an intimate Q&A with Rufus priced at $60 (advance) / $65 (day of show). Ticket buyers also will have access to an exclusive film “Inside the Red Ruby Slippers – Backstage with Rufus does Judy at Capitol Studios” which has behind the scenes of this special event.

“I was about 5 years old when I started singing ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’,” says Wainwright.  

“My mom would occasionally wake me up in the middle of the night and make me sing the song to guests to end the party. They would feel so bad that the kid was still up that late at night and leave. Much later, she accompanied me on the piano at Carnegie Hall, the Palladium, the Olympia and the Hollywood Bowl during the Rufus does Judy shows in 2006 and 2007. After she passed away, I am only doing the beginning lines of the song a cappella without any piano accompaniment as an honor and memory to her and the hole she has left behind.”

It has a deeply personal meaning to me to sing this song. I think my mom and I singing that song together was also her finally acknowledging my homosexuality with which she struggled for a long time. I am sure that similarly to my experience this song means a lot to LGBTQ folks young and old and their struggles with coming out and living a proud queer life.

Rufus Wainwright

 Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios will also see Wainwright backed by a four-piece band in front of a micro-audience comprised of 2x Academy Award-winning actress Renée Zellweger, winner of last year’s “Best Actress” Oscar for her spectacular performance as Garland in 2019’s Judy. In addition, Wainwright will be joined musically by award-winning star of stage and screen Kristin Chenoweth in person at Capitol Studios and his sister Martha Wainwright from Montreal.

“I’ve been wanting my moment with Rufus for forever.  It’s finally happening!” says Chenoweth.

Rufus Wainwright and Kristin Chenoweth

“I am still awed by Rufus’ voice just as I was 22 years ago in a friend’s living room where I heard him perform for the first time,” says Zellweger. “Witnessing Rufus do the entire Judy Garland Carnegie Hall show was the most special day and I loved sharing the time.”

The first complete performance of the Rufus Does Judy tribute in five years, Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios will be commemorated with a limited edition t-shirt created for the occasion in partnership with Wainwright’s longtime friend, legendary designer Michael Kors. 

The t-shirts will be available via Rufus’ Merch Store for pre-order immediately and in Michael Kors Collection stores nationwide towards the end of May, with all proceeds benefiting LGBT human rights organization OutRight Action International through June – Pride Month 2021 – or while supplies last. The t-shirt marks the latest collaboration between Kors and Wainwright, who earlier this month performed music for the blockbuster launch of Kors’ 40th anniversary collection for Fall/Winter 2021. 

Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios – which marks a rare complete performance of Wainwright’s now-legendary homage to 1961’s Judy Garland At Carnegie Hall – showcases more than twenty-five American standards spanning swing, jazz, and pop, including three songs by George & Ira Gershwin, two Rodgers & Hart classics, two from Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz, plus favorites by Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Irving Berlin, Noël Coward, and more. Among the highlights are such Garland signature songs as “The Man That Got Away,” “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” “Swanee,” and of course, “Over The Rainbow,” along with a special bonus rendition of “Get Happy,” which was not performed by Garland at the original 1961 concert. 

An ingenious, compellingly charismatic live artist, Wainwright recently announced “Unfollow The Rules In The Local Valley Tour” a live in-person tour where he’ll perform songs from his much lauded 2020 album Unfollow The Rules Tour along with classic songs from his illustrious catalogue. 

For scheduled dates and other information, please visit rufuswainwright.com/tour

To purchase tickets for Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios, visit rufuswainwright.veeps.com


OutRight Action International fights for the human rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere. OutRight works at the international, regional and national levels to research, document, defend, and advance human rights for LGBTIQ people around the world. Registered as a 501c3 non-profit in the US, OutRight has staff in six countries and works alongside LGBTIQ individuals across four continents towards lasting change. 

OutRight is the only LGBTIQ organization that has a permanent presence to advocate at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for progress for LGBTIQ people, with special consultative status that allows it to address the concerns of LGBTIQ people globally at this important world forum.  

For more information or to make a donation, please visit outright international.org

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