Lara Fabian

Infobox musical artist
Name = Lara Fabian


Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Lara Crokaert
Born = birth date and age|1970|1|09
Origin = Etterbeek, Belgium
Occupation = Singer, Vocalist, Songwriter, Actress
Genre = Pop
French pop
Pop/Rock
Adult Contemporary
Dance
Instrument = Vocals, Piano, Keyboards
Voice_type = soprano
Years_active = 1986–present
Label = Polydor
Sony Music
Universal Music Group
URL = [http://www.lara-fabian.fr/ LaraFabian.fr]

Lara Fabian (born Lara Crokaert January 9, 1970 in Etterbeek, Belgium) is an international Belgian-Italian singer, known for her vocal prowess and skilled technique. She sings in French, Italian and Spanish in addition to English, all of which she is fluent in. She has also sung in Portuguese, and once in German back in 1988 for a German version of "Croire" ("Glaub"), although she speaks neither language fluently. She also speaks a little Dutch (Flemish). She has sold over 12 million records worldwide so far. She became a Canadian citizen in 1994 at the time she began her career in Quebec.

Early life

Lara Fabian was born to a Flemish father and a Sicilian mother. Her name was inspired by her parents' appreciation of the theme song of the film Doctor Zhivago. Although born in Etterbeek (Belgium), she spent her first five years in her mother's hometown of Catania in Sicily, learning Italian as a first language, before moving back to Brussels in Belgium. Fabian began singing, dancing, and taking piano lessons at a very young age and began formal music lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels at age eight. She began writing and performing her own songs during her ten years study at the conservatory. Before pursuing a full-time career in music, Fabian studied to be a lawyer. Fabian's songs were greatly influenced by both her classical vocal and music theory training and by contemporary artists such as Barbra Streisand and Queen.

Music career

1986-1993: Early music career

During the 1980s, Lara Fabian entered a number of European competitions and won several prizes. A consequence of winning one of these contests in 1986 was the release of her first ever single, "L'Aziza est en pleurs" / "Il y avait". Both were written by the Belgian composer Marc Lerchs as a homage to the deceased French singer Daniel Balavoine.

In 1988, the RTL TV channel in Luxembourg invited Lara to represent the country at the 33rd Eurovision Song Contest, held that year in Dublin, Ireland. The song presented to Lara was a composition made by Jacques Cardona and Alain Garciac entitled "Croire" (Trust) and reached a respectable fourth place that night. The winning song that year was titled "Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi" and launched the career of its performer, Fabian's fellow francophone artist, Céline Dion, who on sang behalf of Switzerland. Fabian's "Croire" became a hit single that year in Europe selling nearly 500,000 copies.

In 1990, Fabian travelled to Canada to promote her third single "Je Sais" and fell in love with the province of Quebec. In 1991, with two suitcases and $1,000 in her pocket, Fabian and her friend and musical collaborator, Rick Allison, moved to Montreal, Canada to embark on a career in North America. They began their own music label and publishing company, Productions Clandestines. Rick first met Lara in a jazz bar in Brussels some years previously and was impressed by Fabian's vocals on Ella Fitzgerald's "Summertime". The pair worked steadily on writing and recording songs.

In August 1991, Fabian's self-titled French-language debut album, "Lara Fabian", was released in Canada and sold over 100,000 copies. This debut album went on to be certified "Gold" in 1993 and then certified plat2inum the following year. The success of the album's upbeat Dance-pop singles such as "Le jour où tu partira", "Les murs", and "Qui pense à l'amour" gave Fabian the radio exposure she needed. She received several nominations at the 1993 "ADISQ awards" and a poll published around that time revealed that she was considered Quebec's most promising singer.

1994-1996: Breakthrough album: "Carpe diem"

Fabian's constant touring in Quebec helped her 1994 album "Carpe diem" to become her breakthrough album. The album went "Gold" less than three weeks after its release, and spawned three hit singles: "Tu t'en vas", "Si tu m'aimes", and "Leïla". The following year, the album went "Triple Platinum" and Fabian's SRO tour attracted more than 150,000 fans. The success of "Carpe diem" was recognized at the 1995 ADISQ gala. Fabian received two Félix awards: Best Show Of The Year and Best Female Singer Of The Year (a category that is voted upon by the public).

In January 1995, Serge Lama requested that Fabian join him on the stage of the Paris venue Palais des Congrès to perform "Je suis malade", which she had recorded on "Carpe diem". Impressed by the audience's response to their duet, Lama immediately asked Fabian to sing the song once more on her own, this delighted the audience.

In 1996, Walt Disney Studios immortalized Lara's voice when they asked her to voice the character of Esmeralda in the French version of the animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Disney also included Fabian's French version of the song "Que Dieu aide les exclus" (God Help The Outcasts) on the film's English soundtrack album beside Bette Midler's version. This was a unique move for the company.

1997-1999: Mainstream international success: "Pure" and first "Live"

After the success of "Carpe diem", Fabian signed a contract with the French Polydor label for several albums and "Pure" was released in June 1997. "Pure" sold over two million copies in France alone and the album went platinum in less than two weeks. The album spawned several hit singles: "Tout", "Je t'aime", "Humana" and the anti-homophobia anthem "La Différence". "Tout", "Je t'aime" and "Humana" each sold more than one million copies. Fabian was again bestowed with awards, being awarded a Félix for Popular Album Of The Year at the 1997 ADISQ gala and was also nominated for two Juno Awards in the Best Female Singer and Best Selling French Album categories.

This recognition once again attracted the attention of movie studios. The producer of Daylight (starring Sylvester Stallone) asked Fabian and Rick Allison to write a song for the movie. They created the French song, "Tant qu'il y aura de l'amour". For the film this was performed in English by Donna Summer and Bruce Roberts.

In January 1998, Fabian sang a duet with Johnny Hallyday at a benefit concert given for the Restos du Coeur in France. The pair would later perform this duet again at the Stade de France in front of 240,000 fans as part of Hallyday's concert tour. Fabian's own tour during this time had two sold-out shows at L'Olympia (France). A month later, on that very same stage, Lara was given the Discovery Of The Year award during the Victoires de la Musique Gala. Also in 1998, Polydor released Fabian's Canadian hit album "Carpe diem" in Europe and her international popularity was secured, as exemplified by the decision of the famous Grévin Wax Museum to unveil Fabian's wax effigy, as a Quebec City museum had already done. This made her the first female Canadian singer ever to be honoured by the Paris institution.

Lara spent most of Fall 1998 in France, where she embarked on an extensive tour of 24 cities including Paris, Lyon, Marseilles, Geneva and Monaco. During this sold-out concert tour, Lara performed for audiences of more than 150,000. In November 1998, Lara received the Félix Award for "Artist With The Most Recognition Outside Quebec" at the "ADISQ Gala". In December, Lara was chosen Revelation Of The Year by the magazine Paris Match, which put her on its cover to mark this occasion.

In March 1999, Fabian released her first live album, simply named "Live", which debuted at #1 on the French charts. This helped solidify the international buzz around her and she received an international recording contract from Sony Music.

In May 1999, Fabian was honoured at the "World Music Awards" in Monaco, where she was given the award for "Best Selling Record for the Year 1998" for her album "Pure". In July 1999, with over 6 million records sold across Europe, Polydor released Fabian’s self-titled debut album from 1991. This European version of the album contained slight modifications, such as a new album cover and the addition of the hit single "Croire".

1999-2001: Extension of success to the US and Latin America: "Lara Fabian"

In the summer of 1999, Fabian crossed the Atlantic to record her first English-language album, "Lara Fabian", in New York and San Francisco for the Sony label. The songs were written and produced with the help of her partner Rick Allison as well as Dave Pickell, Walter Afanasieff, Glen Ballard and Patrick Leonard.

The Dance-pop song, "I Will Love Again", her first English single, reached #1 on the U.S.A. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play. It also peaked #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #10 Adult Contemporary) as well as appearing on several other international charts. A follow-up ballad, "Love By Grace", became a moderate Adult Contemporary chart hit peaking at #24. The third single, the Dance-pop song, "I Am Who I Am" remixed by Hex Hector became an underground club hit, but did not chart. Meanwhile in Europe, the single "Adagio" charted at #5 on the French singles chart and #3 on the Belgian singles chart.

The album itself debuted at #1 on the Billboard "Heatseekers" new album chart, reached #1 on the French album chart and #2 on the Belgian album chart. For the Asian version of the album, Fabian collaborated with American-Taiwanese pop star, Lee Hom Wang on the song "Light of my life". [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU1S6A4Yvqs YouTube - Wang Leehom feat. Lara fabian - Light of my Life ] ]

During this period, Fabian recorded songs for several Hollywood motion picture soundtracks such as "The Dream Within" for the ' soundtrack and, "For Always" for the ' soundtrack. The "" Soundtrack has two versions of the song "For Always". One version is of Fabian solo, the other version is a duet with singer Josh Groban. Fabian has also ventured into acting, appearing in the film "De-Lovely", performing Cole Porter's "So In Love" with Mario Frangoulis. This song appears on the movie soundtrack. Also, Fabian's "Givin' Up On You" appears on the soundtrack "Songs From Dawson's Creek, Vol. 2".

2001-2003: Return to French roots: "Nue", "Live 2002" and "En toute intimité"

"Nue" (Naked) was Fabian's fourth French album and was released in the Fall of 2001 in both Québec and France, making her return to her French singing roots. Her experiences surrounding her first English album were intense and, although critically praised, personally exhausting. "Nue" is the documentaion by Fabian and her partner and producer, Rick Allison, of her emotional ride in the preceding few years. It is an album that gave listeners a much more vulnerable and fragile perception of Fabian although presented with an exceptional vocal strength. Her fist single released in the summer of 2001 was the anthem "J'y crois encore" which was a top 20 French hit and was followed by the release of the album later that month. The album reached #1 in Belgium and #2 in France but had little impact in Québec. Other singles followed, such as Fabian's personal favourite, "Immortelle", a strong song that remains constantly present in Fabian's live concerts. "Aimer Déjà" was also released as a single and in 2002 "Tu es mon autre" (a duet with fellow Belgian friend and singer Maurane), was nominated for song of the year and reached the top 5 in France. This has become another trademark song in Fabian's career and she has performed it many times with many other artists, including Rick Allison during her 2001/2002 tour. In addition, this album was also released in Portugal and reached the top 10 on the album charts during the Fall of 2001 as a consequence of the tremendous success of Fabian's previous English album.

Also in 2002, Fabian contributed to the "World Soccer Championship" CD release with the song "World At Your Feet" written and produced by Gary Barlow.

Towards the end of 2002, Fabian released her second live album, "Live 2002", from her latest tour together with a DVD showcasing concerts recorded in December 2001 in Belgium at the Forest National and at Le Zénith in Paris.

By early 2003, Fabian was once again touring. This time the concert was presented in a more intimate and acoustic atmosphere at the Casino de Paris every Monday night. An acoustic set that became her transition towards a new Lara Fabian that the public was on verge of knowing and worshiping. During this tour, Maurane and Daniel Lavoie both appeared as guests, duetting with Fabian on "Tu es mon autre" and "Je suis mon coeur" respectively. These acoustic concerts were released as a live CD and DVD at the end of 2003, under the title "En toute intimité".

2004: Second English language release: "A Wonderful Life"

In 2004, Fabian released her second English album, "A Wonderful Life". The project was commercially unsuccessful but critically-praised. The album did not come close to the success of her previous English debut effort but created a path for a sound and musical change that would trademark Fabian's future musical style. The more organic sound is due to the work of French guitarist Jean-Félix Lalanne, and also working with producers such as Desmond Child, Anders Bagge and the British team True North (composed of Take That singer Gary Barlow and Elliot John Kennedy). The centrepiece of this record, as Fabian stated on a promotional interview for this album, is "Review My Kisses". This song was written by Desmond Child and planned to be recorded initially by Fabian herself. It was recorded by LeAnn Rimes in 2002 for her album "Twisted Angel".

The first single release (though only for radio) was "The Last Goodbye" in the US and most other countries (except France). The video premiered on Portuguese talk show "Herman Sic" one day before the album was released. In the meantime, Fabian decided to release a different song in France, considering that "The Last Goodbye" was too "American" for an audience that was more used to her own songwriting. She released (with a video as well) the song "No Big Deal". Neither of the songs achieved massive or moderate, partly attribuatble to Fabian's personal decision to withdraw from the project and also due to conflicts with Sony Music. The album was not promoted and its release was cancelled in the United States.

At least one song from the album, "I Guess I Loved You", saw some moderate success when included on a Brazilian soap opera. Brazil is still one of the countries with a strong passion for Fabian's music, and therefore this song was chosen for the soundtrack of "Senhora do Destino" (Lady Of Destiny) almost gaining the same popularity that "Love By Grace" did when similarly chosen in 2001. The song also gained some popularity in Portugal for the same reasons, though it was never officially released or promoted.

For the rest of 2004 Fabian was in almost complete seclusion from the music scene, having left her second English record aside. Newspapers began speculating about a serious disease that had affected her. The drama became so exaggerated that Fabian herself was forced to appear on a short interview in Québec later that year explaining some of the reasons she withdrew from the public eye and also why she had returned to her native Belgium, leaving Québec (where she had lived in lived Westmount for nearly 15 years).

2005-2006: A new musical direction: "9" and "Un Regard 9"

In March 2005, Fabian re-appeared on the music scene in France (and also in Canada) with her fifth French album, "9". This title symbolically resembles "a change" and "a rebirth [...] the end of a period of time in one's life and simultaneously the beginning of another". It marked a completely different direction in Fabian's musical and personal life. The album is performed differently, with smoothness, serenity and with a lot of joy, far from the in-depth and dramatic vibes of earlier recordings. Critics that had often given bad reviews of Fabian's vocal abilities, claiming that she "screamed", or that she was just attempting to be another Celine Dion finally saw a singer who no longer used her vocal power to reach her audience.

"9" yielded the hit single "La Lettre", a song co-written by Fabian and composed by her new partner, Jean-Félix Lalanne. He is responsible, along with Fabian herself for the composition and production of the album's 11 tracks. Other singles from "9" were "Ne lui parlez plus d'elle", "Un Ave Maria", "Il ne manquait que toi" (a song written by Lara and inspired by Lalanne) and the gospel-infused "L'homme qui n'avait pas de maison".

The success of "9" was cemented by a huge tour titled "Un regard 9". This tour reached France, Belgium, Switzerland, Lebanon, Russia, Quebec, Turkey, Luxembourg, Mauritius, French overseas territories in the Caribbean and Oceania and totalled more than 60 concerts. Lara also performed in Portugal for the first time, showcasing songs from her two English records and a few French songs such as "La Lettre".

In October 2006, Lara released a CD and DVD of this tour, both titled "Un regard 9 Live". Both the CD and DVD were recorded during Fabian's concerts on 29th March 2006 at Le Zénith in Paris. The CD presents 15 live performances plus a brand new song, "Aime", which was recorded in a studio in Montreal. This song has been recorded in both English and French, though the latter version is the only one officially released so far. "Aime" was initially performed live during a few concerts in Belgium as gift for her native Belgium fans but the enthusiastic response and feedback prompted Fabian to record the song and include it on a forthcoming release. On TV shows, where Lara promoted the song as a single, one can see the audience putting their hands in the air in the shape of a heart, a sign Lara made during her tour and that has now became a symbol for the song and its meaning.

2006-2007: An Italian collaboration and live concerts in Europe

According to messages left by Lara Fabian on her [http://www.lara-fabian.fr official site] in 2006, her next studio album was to be her first Italian-language project. Few details have been released except that she has been working with Neapolitan singer and songwriter Gigi D'Alessio, who appeared once at one of her shows, and whose performance is included as a bonus on Fabian's recent live DVD, "Un regard 9 Live". The two artists recorded a song called "Un Cuore Malato" (Ill heart), which they performed live during the fourth night of the 2007 Sanremo festival on Rai Uno, the main Italian public channel. There is also a French/Italian version of this duet "Un Coeur Blessé" and this was released to French radio in Summer 2007.

In June 2007, Fabian worked in Rome and Los Angeles to record sessions for her Italian album. In the meantime, the single "Un Cuore Malato" (with Gigi D'Alessio) reached the top of the Italian charts and #16 in France. As part of her time in Los Angeles, Fabian worked with David A. Stewart (musician and record producer known for his work with Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (former Alanis Morissette producer and writing partner) on a "multilingual" album which is reputed to include songs in English, Spanish, French, Italian and a few other languages (resembling albums by singers such as Josh Groban, Mario Frangoulis and Russell Watson with whom Fabian has recorded before). This album is expected to be released in late 2008. Fabian revealed some time ago that she wrote a song with Dave Stewart called "Between Hatred And Love" and a few tracks with Glen Ballard for to this project. Ballard had previously composed a track for Fabian titled "Ivy" and this was released as a b-side for the single "Adagio" in 1999.

Also in 2007, Fabian was has been in Québec to perform a two night concert at the Olympia de Montreal (re-opening this theatre after its long renovation) presenting her Quebec fans with some of the atmosphere of her 2005-2006 European Un regard 9 tour. In addition, Fabian performed private acoustic sessions in countries such as Portugal, Turkey and Russia. On the 14th October 2007, Fabian was a surprise guest at the only concert Gigi D'Alessio gave in France at the famous Olympia in Paris, just a few days before the birth of her daughter. Fabian surprised everyone by appearing and performing their successful duet "Un Cuore Malato". The concert was broadcasted through an Italian TV channel.

2008: Return to the music scene and new French album

Lara Fabian returned to the music scene a few months after her daughter's birth in 2008 and has been doing some concerts in countries such as Ukraine, Russia and Greece. In Greece she was a guest in a concert by Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis, with whom Fabian had previously duetted on the song "So In Love" featured in the movie "De-Lovely" in 2004. Fabian has also made a few TV appearances (such as 60th Anniversary of Israel where Lara performed a Hebrew song and dueted with Israeli singer Noa).

On a recently given interview for a Russian radio "Silver Rain", prior to a concert in Moscow, Fabian expressed how much she loved and admired the deceased talented young singer Grégory Lemarchal and claimed he was her favourite Star Academy participant from all seven editions done so far. She was also asked about what she thought of the talent shows that have brought so many people to the world of music. Fabian responded with "Who are we to judge? [...] These young people don't know how this machinery works, but we can't kill their dreams, can we?". In addition to the interview, she performed Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" specially for LeMarchal during her Moscow concert.

On 6th February 2008, Fabian's official site announced that she will be in Belgium during some of 2008 preparing to record a brand new French album with famous pianist Mark Herskowitz, who had also composed and arranged the hidden instrumental track featured on the 2001 album "Nue". It is said to be "an album of traditional savour" and is inspired by classical pieces by Chopin and Gerschwin. The album will be partly recorded in Montreal, Canada. [www.lara-fabian.net] Fabian is expected to release this album towards the end of 2008. Fabian's record company, Universal, presented an statement saying that this record would be released on December 1st 2008, though there is still no confirmation from Fabian nor from her management. No further details have been revealed regarding her anticipated Italian album. It is highly suspected, however, that the new French album may be the so-called "multilingual" project previously mentioned, considering the fact that songs in Spanish, Italian, and English are said to be included on it.

Discography

Voice

Lara owns a vocal range of 4,1 octaves, being technically a Soprano Leggero. She is able to hit both high and low notes that span from C#3 to G#8, allowing her to sing in a Whistle Register though she rather prefers not to do it. She once stated, concerning this singing technique on French singer Amel Bent and, obviously, Mariah Carey, that it can be quite dangerous to one's vocals chords "it's possible technically for a while but not humanly possible as one gets older".

Writing for other artists

Fabian has written for other artists such as French female singers Chimène Badi, Nolwenn Leroy and Myrial Abel. She also composed for Daniel Levy and is said to be currently working with a former contestant from "Nouvelle Star 3", Roland. She has often praised the voice and talent of successful female singer Amel Bent, who was also a contestant on that show.

Acting career

On a recent press release, Lara confirmed that she will start acting on a French play with two other famous French actors. Her role will be of a man, whose character Lara hasn't so far revealed. Lara expressed excitement on this new adventure she is embarking on a new adventure; an adventure that as she states "acting is related to being a singer, as interpretating a song makes a singer become a small actor on a song". And it seems as well that theatre isn't the only acting experience Lara will undertake in the near future: she was surprisingly asked about her expected audition to an upcoming American film in Hollywood she might be in, an issue that was supposed to be kept secret for a while.

Personal life

After several rumours stating different dates for the birth of Lara's daughter, finally on the 20th November, Belgian singer Maurane, a very close friend of Lara (both shared vocals on the single "Tu Es Mon Autre" in 2002), revealed during her concert at the Cirque Royal that night that "...little Lu was born this morning!". Lara has spent the last few days at the Edith Cavell Hospital, in Uccle (Belgium). Lucette is the name of the little baby girl born on the 20th November 2007. Lara's longtime dream finally saw its light. [www.larafabian.net]

ee also

*List of number-one dance hits (United States)
*List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart

References

External links

* [http://www.lara-fabian.fr Official Web Site] (available in French, English and Italian)
* [http://www.lara-fabian.net/ Lara Fabian French Site]
* [http://www.rfimusique.com/siteen/biographie/biographie_6084.asp Biography of Lara Fabian] , from Radio France Internationale
* [http://www.larafabianmediadepot.cjb.net Lara Fabian Media Depot]
* [http://sonymusic.ca/LaraFabian/ Sony Canada Official Lara Site]
* [http://www.insidecx.com/interviews/archive/larafabian.html Lara Fabian Interview]
* [http://www.laramapassion.com All Lara Fabian's career]
* [http://www.ooltra.net/Index.php?a=LaraFabian English translations of Lara Fabian's songs]


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