Sophie Ballantine Hawkins (born November 1, 1967) is an American singer, songwriter, musician and painter. Her highest-charting singles 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, Hawkins 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 was certified gold. Three singles from the album made the UK Top 40, including "Right Beside You" which peaked at #13 (and reached number 2 on the Dutch Top 40 singles chart.).
A 1998 documentary by Gigi Gaston, titled The Cream Will Rise, followed Hawkins during one of her tours and captured her struggle to deal with past troubles with her family, including her mother and brother. Music and riffs by Hawkins were 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 insisted 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's 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 2012, Hawkins starred as Janis Joplin in the play, Room 105 which was written and directed by her longtime girlfriend and manager, Gigi Gaston. After another long hiatus she released her fifth album of all new material in 2012, titled The Crossing.
On April 4, 2013, Sophie appeared on the TV series Community as herself, performing "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" and "As I Lay Me Down".
Amid rumours that Hawkins had dated Martina Navratilova and Jodie Foster, she said "I've never met any of the women I'm supposed to have had affairs with." She identifies as omnisexual.
In 1994, she posed nude for Interview. She met the photographer Bruce Weber and was asked if she could do a photo shoot with him. She had her own clothes when she showed up to the photo shoot but he had a dress he wanted her to try on. She did not think it looked very good on her. It got to the point where she only had a coat on and the photographer suggested she take that off too. By this stage she was not even thinking about how she looked as she felt quite comfortable with him. He later told her that giving her the unflattering dress was part of his plan to get her naked.
On November 18, 2008, she gave birth to a son, Dashiell Gaston Hawkins. He was named in part for Hawkins's longtime friend and manager, Gigi Gaston, who directed a documentary about Hawkins titled The Cream Will Rise.
In May 2010, Hawkins began supporting Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization of on-the-water advocates who patrol and protect more than 100,000 miles of rivers, streams and coastlines in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. She is donating 100% of the proceeds of her single "The Land, the Sea, and the Sky" to the organization.
In August 2007, Hawkins headlined the first Los Angeles Women's Music Festival in support of its 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.
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 also wrote in her blog, "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."
In February 2011, Hawkins performed at the Big Gay Party event staged by GOProud, an organization of gay conservatives, as part of the year's Conservative Political Action Conference festivities. In an after-show interview, Hawkins gave her views on issues such as gun ownership, the free market, limited government and identity politics.