Carole Pope

Carole Pope (born August 6, 1950 in Manchester, England) is a Canadian rock singer-songwriter, whose provocative blend of hard-edged New Wave rock with explicit homoerotic and BDSM-themed lyrics made her one of the first openly lesbian pop stars in the world. She is the sister of Emmy Award-winning television producer and screenwriter Elaine Pope.

Pope was raised in Scarborough, Ontario, where she met her longtime musical partner, Kevan Staples at an audition for another band. In 1968, they began performing together as a duo in Yorkville, which was Toronto's live music and arts district at the time. In 1970, they adopted the name O, changing it to The Bullwhip Brothers the following year.

In 1975, they added several other musicians to the lineup, changing the band name to Rough Trade. With Rough Trade, Pope often performed in black leather pants and bondage attire.

Pope won the Juno Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist in 1981, and subsequently won the Juno Award for Best Female Vocalist in 1982 and 1983. She and Staples co-wrote the 1983 single "Transformation", recorded by Nona Hendryx. Pope also appeared as a guest vocalist on the Payola$ single "Never Said I Loved You", which was a top ten hit in 1983.

During the 1980s Rough Trade won a Genie Award, and earned four gold and two platinum records.

Although the band did not record or perform extensively after its final Deep Six in '86 tour, they did not officially break up until 1988. Three years later Pope moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and television soundtrack work. Although she has recorded and toured to promote several solo albums, and has played reunion shows with Rough Trade, her solo career has been lower-profile than her time with the band.

In 2000, Random House published Pope's autobiography, Anti-Diva. The book was Pope's first public acknowledgement that she had been in a relationship with British singer Dusty Springfield in the early 1980s. Pope also mentioned a brief romance with Andrea Martin, of SCTV fame.

Soon afterward, Pope re-recorded the Rough Trade single "High School Confidential" for the Queer as Folk (Season 1) soundtrack. She also appeared in the Toronto production of The Vagina Monologues in 2001, then moved to New York City to continue writing and recording.

In 2004, after returning to Los Angeles, Pope released a full-length solo album, Transcend.

Solo discography

  • Radiate (1995)
  • The Silencer (1999)
  • Transcend (2004)


  • Pope, Carole (2000). Anti diva : an autobiography. Toronto: Random House Canada. ISBN 0-679-31048-7.
  • Pope, Carole (2001). Anti diva : an autobiography. Toronto: Vintage Canada. ISBN 0-679-31137-8.

External links

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