Rufus Wainwright Welcomes Daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen

Like Elton John and Neil Patrick Harris before him, Rufus Wainwright managed to sneak his new fatherhood beneath your prying eyes. The singer announced on his website that he and partner Jorn Weisbrodt are the proud new fathers of daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen, born Feb. 2. “The little angel is evidently healthy, presumably happy and certainly very very beautiful,” the note reads. “Daddy #1 would like to offer everyone a digital cigar and welcome the little lady in with a French phrase from his favorite folk song, A La Claire Fontaine : ‘Il y a longtemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.’” A reader relays that Rufus actually dedicated a song to Viva at his sister’s concert last Friday while appearing on stage with Martha, who was performing an Edith Piaf collection, though he didn’t mention at the time who this Viva person was. And the fourth name Cohen? That would belong to Lorca Cohen, who carried Viva and is the daughter of Leonard.

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  • jazz4111

    The mother of the baby is Lorca Cohen – Leonard Cohen’s daughter and a very close friend of Rufus.

  • Kieran

    I bet he was hoping for a boy. Oh well.

  • mp

    The announcement really makes it sound more like “Gay dude gets his bestie female friend pregnant (and his boyfriend is cool with it)” rather than “two gay men borrow some woman’s womb to make a baby.” The whole announcement is about as pretentious as you’d expect from RW. But whatever the circumstances, congratulations to them. The kid’s got to have some serious creative genes coming from both sides.

  • TwlightoftheDogs

    Happy for them. But the announcement sucks the big one.

  • Teresa

    Congrats to Rufus, Jorn, and Lorca. Welcome to the world, little Viva Katherine.

    And who the h*ll cares how the announcement was worded?

    For those who are too ignorant to know better, Lorca is a very, very close friend of Rufus’. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least that she agreed to carry his child.

    For that matter, no one except those involved knows of the plans to parent this baby, so stop speculating in such a snarky way about something you know NOTHING about.

    The birth of any baby is one of life’s little miracles, so just let it go at that.

  • TwlightoftheDogs

    Oh give a rest. The world is complicated. Pretentious people are allowed to have kids, we can be happy for them having those kids, and we can also acknowledge what they are with another equally pretentious person telling us what we do or do not know without even asking.

  • j

    I don’t understand why you would want to acknowledge how pretentious they are (without actually explaining what you even mean by that in this context) instead of just being a) indifferent or b) happy for them. The world’s a strange place.

  • robert

    I bet MP and Twlight are the same person. Congratulations to Rufus on being a father!!!

  • irisgirl

    I’m on the “let’s just be happy for them” team.

    Except to note what amazing musical genes this little one must have!

  • maximien

    okay, nasty squibblers & queens … just shut up and let them enjoy their lives as they want it!

  • David Ehrenstein

    Rufus’ pretentiousness is why we love him. So great to see him naming his babby after Susan Hoffman.

  • Dick

    Mazel Tov

  • Right Wingers Are Socioptahs (John From England)

    Good for them!

  • Soupy

    Congratulations to them. I’d be more interested in the Cohen genes. Wish I could have his baby. Everyone has a singer whose voice is like nails on a chalkboard and that’s Rufus for me. But it’s nice when anyone has a baby who wants one.

  • redball

    I don’t follow Rufus in the news much, but what exactly is pretentious here? The fact that he used French in the announcement? I LOVED that part but maybe that’s because I used to be quite good at French back in the day….

    I certainly found the announcement more entertaining than the trite boilerplate ones we often see (and often from publicists!), to the tune of, “X and Y welcomed a healthy baby into their lives on _____”!

  • thematics

    Rufus is known for his over-the-top emoting, so let’s condider the birth announcement ‘poetic’ perhaps rather than ‘pretentious.’ Putting part of the text in French without an English translation may be fine for many of his Canadian and European fans, but sort of ‘lame’ for fans in his birth-country USA.

    This is the Canadian version of a royal baby: a blending of the Wainright, Cohen and McGarrigle (spelling?) clans!

    Congrats to the happy parents and the rest of the extended family

  • redball

    @thematics: True, simply providing a translation would have been less exclusionary of him! :)

  • thematics

    “I’ve loved you for a long while, but never will I forget you” is my best shot, perhaps someone else can do better. It sounds less cheesy in French, however.

  • redball

    @thematics: I largely agree with that! I’d probably remove the “but” since there was no “mais” in the French.

    To the English-speaking ear, doesn’t pretty much everything sound better in French? :-) At least it does to me. I wonder how much of that is an innate characteristic of English vs. French and how much of it is cultural romanticization of the French language. And do the French themselves think their language is prettier? Any linguists out there who known something about euphony & comparative euphony of languages?

  • TwlightoftheDogs

    @David Ehrenstein: Hey, at least you admit it is what it is. It doesn’t mean anything to anyone other than those folks who need to pretend otherwise to say that he’s pretentious.

    On a really weird note, why is that every time someone says something that others don’t like, they become conspiratorial. Now, I am also someone else posting here because they don’t like it.

    Weird. Hey conspiracy guy- this isn’t that important that I am going to create a sock puppet for it. Its pop culture. We are enjoying discussing it. This site and this entire post could be deleted today, and the world as we know it will go on.

    So, let’s have fun with this. Call a duck a duck. Still be happy for them because have kids is cool.

  • SKOC211

    Shocked he didn’t name her Judy.

  • TomInElPaso

    Shocked that you’re not named Judy.

  • TwlightoftheDogs

    I believe the connection is to the album, which he worked on correct?

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