Lara Fabian (born Lara Crokaert , 1970 in Etterbeek, Belgium) is an international Belgian singer, known for her vocal prowess and skilled technique. She sings in French, Italian and Spanish, in addition to English, and is fluent in them all. She has also sung in Portuguese, and once in German in 1988 for a 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. Her vocal range in performances is Eb3 to G#6, over 3 octaves, as fully shown in a Youtube video called "Lara Fabian's Live Vocal Range", by user AnonimuzZ: http:www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bSoQybgIKs.
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.
1986-1993: Early music career
See also: Lara Fabian (French album)
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, C?line Dion, who sang on 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 platinum the following year. The success of the album's upbeat Dance-pop singles such as "Le jour o? tu partira", "Les murs", and "Qui pense ? 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"
See also: Carpe diem (Lara Fabian album)
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 "Le?la". 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 F?lix 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 Congr?s 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"
See also: Pure (Lara Fabian album) and Live 1999 (Lara Fabian album)
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 Diff?rence". "Tout", "Je t'aime" and "Humana" each sold more than one million copies. Fabian was again bestowed with awards, being awarded a F?lix 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 Gr?vin 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 F?lix 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"
See also: Lara Fabian (2000)
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 Leehom Wang on the song "Light of my life".
During this period, Fabian recorded songs for several Hollywood motion picture soundtracks such as "The Dream Within" for the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within soundtrack and, "For Always" for the AI:Artificial Intelligence soundtrack. The "AI: Artificial Intelligence" 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 intimit?"
See also: Nue (Lara Fabian album), Live 2002 (Lara Fabian album), and En Toute Intimit? (Lara Fabian album)
Nue (Naked) was Fabian's fourth French album and was released in the Fall of 2001 in both Qu?bec 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 first 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 Qu?bec. Other singles followed, such as Fabian's personal favourite, "Immortelle", a strong song that remains constantly present in Fabian's live concerts. "Aimer D?j?" 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 Z?nith 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 intimit?.
2004: Second English language release: "A Wonderful Life"
See also: A Wonderful Life (Lara Fabian album)
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-F?lix 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 Qu?bec 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 Qu?bec (where she had lived in Westmount for nearly 15 years).
2005-2006: A new musical direction: "9" and "Un Regard 9"
See also: 9 (Lara Fabian album) and Un regard 9 Live
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 rebirththe 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.
9 yielded the hit single "La Lettre", a song co-written by Fabian and composed by her new partner, Jean-F?lix 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 29 March 2006 at Le Z?nith 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 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 Bless?" 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 in Qu?bec 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.
2009: Return to the music scene: "Toutes les femmes en moi"
See also: Toutes les femmes en moi
Lara Fabian returned to the music scene a few months after her daughter's birth in 2007 and has been doing some concerts in 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 duetted with Israeli singer Noa).
On an interview for Russian radio station "Silver Rain", prior to a concert in Moscow, Fabian expressed how much she loved and admired the late singer Gr?gory 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.
During 2008, Fabian was in Belgium 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". The album will be partly recorded in Montreal, Canada. 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.
Fabian confirmed the release of this much anticipated new album, Toutes les femmes en moi, on her official website on 20 October 2008. Fabian stated on her website that Toutes les femmes en moi is "daring" and that "Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Klezmer, Tango, Neo Classic, White Soul come close without disturbing each other...". According to Fabian's official website the album will be released on May 26 2009. The first single release from this album is Soleil, Soleil, a cover of the Nana Mouskouri song, which was sent to French radios on March 11 2009. Fabian will be promoting the album during the next few months before starting a new tour later this year. The album is a "self-portrait" where Lara reveals her strong admiration for some of the most impressive female singers in France and Qu?bec that have inspired her as both a woman and as an artists and, as she states "have constructed ". The album came as a result of two situations, where at one point Lara had had a deep reflective conversation with her best friend Natalie about how can anyone truly explain that people are what they have become (a question to which Lara replies has being a result of all the women that are part of her both at a personal level and musically; and after that she had a discussion with Polydor France boss Pascal Negre who told her that she should be comfortable about herself as a singer not letting herself be influenced by those old criticisms and views that followed her over the years concerning her singing and personality. According to him, she should just be herself and sing exactly the way that represent who she is and who she has always been regardless those who tried to knock her down. Lara thanks each and every one the selected singers hommaged on this album with real life letters she actually wrote to them in different periods of her life thanking them for their inspiration and perseverance that helped her in her own professional and personal life. She pays tribute to artists such has Maurane, V?ronique Sanson, Dalida, Nana Mouskouri, Catharine Lara, France Gall and C?line Dion among others.
It was recently revealed by the singer during her current promotional tour in France that there is an English recorded album equivalent to TLFM called "Every Woman In Me" that showcases in an acoustic environment with piano and vocals her own interpretation of some of the most amazing classic songs from some of the most recognized women in the recording anglo-saxonic industry around the world with names such as Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, Karen Carpenter, Kate Bush, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald and even Lara's forever idol Barbra Streisand. The album will only be released online and during her upcoming francophone tour "Tous Le Femmes En Moi Font Son Show" that will start later in September this year. Lara has, however showcased a few numbers from this release in her 5 day recent concert tour in Russia, a country where is has become a huge star over the last four year with both her English and French repertoire.
The second single of the album confirmed is the song "Tous Les Femmes En Moi", Lara's only original recording included and also the album's title track.