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' 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.
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.
A 1998 documentary by Gigi Gaston, entitled 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, the release of Hawkins' third album was delayed by her record company, Sony Music, who 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.
In August 2007, Hawkins headlined the first Los Angeles Women's Music Festival in support of the festival's dual agenda of supporting animal rescue groups and promoting and supporting female musicians. Hawkins is a vegan and a long-time supporter of animal rights. Despite rumours that she is a lesbian, Hawkins' website states that she is, in fact, bisexual.
In February 2008, Hawkins re-recorded her hit "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" as Damn We Wish You Were President in support of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Hawkins wrote, "Hillary Clinton's achievements come from her heart. She has initiated so much positive change for families, children, victims of crime and the environment in her struggle for the forward movement of America and the working people of this nation".
On November 18, 2008, she gave birth to a son, Dashiell Gaston Hawkins. He was named in part for her longtime partner and manager, Gigi Gaston. Hawkins is said to be working with famed producer Nile Rodgers for a new release due Fall 2009. She collaborated with him previously on the September 11th Benefit Single "We Are Family", a remake of the Sister Sledge classic.