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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan is back with her first album of original music in seven years, "Laws of Illusion," and plans to hit the road again with other female musicians.
McLachlan, recently divorced and with two young daughters, said she was ready to focus again on her career and resurrect the Lilith Fair tour, an all-female traveling concert series she helped found in 1997 which ran for three consecutive summers.
"I talked to my two managers and my agent who are my partners, and every year we get together and talk about Lilith, and reminisce, and it was always like 'ugh, too much work'," McLachlan, 42, told Reuters Television.
"Then last year we got together, and we started talking about it, and we said 'you know, we could do this again, we could give it the energy that it needs, we have the time on our hands to do it, and we could make it something even more fabulous than it was last time'."
Grammy-winning McLachlan said she founded the original tour because she became fed up with the perception that female artists could not be enough of a draw for concertgoers.
She proved them wrong in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and hopes to do the same with the 2010 incarnation.
The new tour will feature a wide array of artists, from hip hop stars like Rihanna, Queen Latifah, and Mary J. Blige, to Lilith Fair veterans Sheryl Crow and Emmylou Harris, to new acts and classics like country music queen Loretta Lynn.
"There's a wealth of great new artists out there as well as a lot of the ones who were there last time to draw from," she said.
Stepping back onto the stage with her first studio album in seven years has been a breeze for McLachlan, who returns with a mixed collection of songs that reveal a playful and carefree woman that fans might not recognize immediately.
Her sixth album "Wintersong" was released in 2006 but that was a mixture of Christmas songs rather than her own material.
"I sort of feel like after seven years, I'm stepping out and revealing myself again," said McLachlan.
Her new album, out on June 15, has produced her new single "Loving You Is Easy."
"It just felt like the right track to go with because I am really happy, and I feel strong, and I feel like I want to grab life by the you know what's and go for it," she said.
"It's happy, and people say 'oh it's a really happy song, I miss the sad Sarah,' and I say 'well don't worry honey, it's still there'," she added .
McLachlan said she was happy to take a break from the music industry when she did, citing the sexualized, highly marketed corporate pop music trends of recent years.
"Music is always very cyclical, and I remember, it felt like the door got slammed shut, and it felt like there was this huge swell of boy-bands and girl-bands, and sort of prefabricated bubblegum pop, very heavy in marketing and sexuality," she said.
"I make the music I make, and I'm very grateful, and it's a luxurious position for me to be in, where I don't have to follow any trends. I don't have to write a song because it has to live in a certain format," she said.
The Lilith Fair tour kicks off in Calgary on June 27 and will head to 18 cities across North America before concluding on August 16 in Dallas, Texas.
Reporting by Reuters Television, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith