Published on March 1st, 2023

A pop-rock singer with gold records and a heart to match, Sarah McLachlan may or may not also be a saint. But she is surely as well-known today for pet rescue and other causes as she is for music. The writer and singer of the consoling anthem “Angel” is also the caring narrator of an iconic pet rescue ad campaign from the ’00s (which she sportingly sent up this month in a camping-themed Super Bowl ad for Busch Light beer).

Born in Canada and raised by adoptive parents, McLachlan started playing music as a pre-schooler and signed her first record deal in her teens. It’s been music and model citizenship ever since. McLachlan broke through with a pair of albums, “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” in 1993 and “Surfacing” in 1997, and parlayed the latter into Lilith Fair, a festival tour of women artists and female-fronted bands that she founded and championed.

Conservatory-trained, she went on to open a string of music schools in Canada offering free instruction to at-risk kids. During the pandemic she played fundraisers for food banks and the Red Cross, and put her music online to console grief-stricken Canadians after a man went on a shooting rampage in her native Nova Scotia. Nowadays the honorary notation “OC OBC” — for Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia — trails her name almost as often “Grammy winner” precedes it.

She hasn’t released a new studio album since 2016’s “Wonderland,” and her current tour, going by recent set lists, will be a greatest-hits lap of wistful piano pop (“Adia,” “Ice Cream Song”) and moody light rock (“Building a Mystery,” “Possession”). But there’s no doubting that this Canadian lady with the velvet voice, who makes attractive music and helps people and pets, has a claim on the singer-songwriter zeitgeist. If she just wants to play fan favorites, we’re there. Formal canonization can wait, and anyways McLachlan once said in a Reddit AMA, “I don’t adhere to any particular religion.”

Sarah McLachlan plays 7pm Wednesday March 1 at the Kravis Center’s Dreyfoos Hall in West Palm Beach. ~ Tim Moffatt