Yungchen Lhamo's international success as a Tibetan singer is unprecendented. She has toured the world, singing unaccompanied a combination of songs of her own composition and traditional Buddhist chants and mantras. She has performed on the bill with many well-known popular music acts, bringing her traditions to new audiences. She has toured extensively as a part of the WOMAD World music festivals.
Yungchen Lhamo's name means "Goddess of Song," a name given her by a holy man soon after she was born near Lhasa. She left Tibet in 1989 at age 25, via the perilous navigation of the Himalayas in order to escape the oppressive Chinese regime governing Tibet. She made a pilgrimage to Dharamsala, to receive the blessings of the Dalai Lama, where he lives in exile. She was inspired to reach out to the world through her music, to share her culture and educate people about Tibet. She moved to Australia in 1993.
Lhamo's Australian debut album Tibetan Prayer won the Australian Record Industry Award for best World Music release in 1995. She is the first Tibetan singer to win a prestigious music industry award. Her most recent recording, Coming Home is a collaboration with Hector Zazou, showcasing her beautiful voice, and also featuring chanting by Tibetan monks, a wide range of mostly modern Western instruments, and the benefits of multi-track recording, enabling Lhamo's voice to be layered repeatedly.