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Isabelle Boulay

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  • Born: Sainte-Félicité, Quebec, Canada
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Isabelle Boulay vaulted from success on the theatrical stage and in television to international fame as one of the premier Francophone pop divas of her generation. Born July 6, 1972, in Sainte-Félicité, Quebec, Boulay spent much of her childhood in and around her parents' restaurant, where she often performed to the delight of friends and patrons. In time she began entering local talent contests, and claimed her first victory at the age of seven. She harbored few if any dreams of a professional music career, however, studying literature before friends surreptitiously entered her in the 1990 Petite-Vallée Song Festival. Boulay's performance was nevertheless a tremendous success with the judges, and a year later she took home top prize at the Granby Song Festival with her rendition of Jacques Brel's "Amsterdam," resulting in an invitation to compete in Les FrancoFolies de Montréal. In 1993 Boulay represented Radio Canada at Périgord, France's "Truffe de Périgueux" festival, emerging as the winner of the "Chanson Francophone" category. The exposure captured the attention of composer and producer Luc Plamondon, who cast her to replace Luce Dufault as Marie-Jeanne in a revival of his David Bowie-inspired rock opera Starmania. Boulay next surfaced as the singing voice of Alys Robi in the television series of the same name. In late 1996, she also issued her debut solo LP, Fallait Pas, scoring a minor Canadian hit with the single "J'enrage." The 1998 follow-up, États d'Amour, proved Boulay's commercial breakthrough, galvanized by the Plamondon-penned smash "Je T'oublierai, Je T'oublierai." She also earned Best Female Singer of the Year at the annual Félix Awards. Boulay's 2000 release Mieux Qu'ici Bas made her a star in France, where she won Best New Artist honors at the Victoires de la Musique awards. She toured both Quebec and France in the year to follow, with a pair of dates at Montreal's Wilfried-Pelletier yielding the live release Au Moment d'Être à Vous. Benjamin Biolay and Pierre Jaconelli co-produced Boulay's 2004 effort Tout un Jour. De Retour à la Source followed three years later, reaching the number two spot on the Canadian pop charts.


Isabelle Boulay, CQ (born 6 July 1972 in Sainte-Félicité, Quebec) is a francophone Canadian singer.

^ "Isabelle Boulay". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 


Born in Sainte-Félicité, where her parents owned a restaurant, Boulay moved to the nearby city of Matane at the start of her adolescence, and studied literature at Cégep Limoilou. In 1988, her friends signed her up, without her knowledge, for a singing contest in Matane, where she made the acquaintance of Josélito Michaud, who later became her agent. In 1990, at the Petite-Vallée song festival, she won an award for her performance of "Les gens de mon pays" (Gilles Vigneault). The following year, in 1991, she won the Granby song festival for her rendition of "Amsterdam" (Jacques Brel) and "Naufrage" (Dan Bigras). She was also invited to take part in the festival Les FrancoFolies de Montréal. In 1992, she performed in France at Théâtre Dejazet, introducing Bill Deraime. In 1993, she represented Radio Canada at the "Truffe de Périgueux" festival held in Périgord, France, and was awarded the prize for Best Singer in the "chanson francophone" category.

Following Boulay's success in France, she was noticed by songwriter Luc Plamondon, who was looking for emerging talents to perform in a new production of his rock opera Starmania. There, Boulay portrayed the role of Marie-Jeanne from 1995 to 1998. She also provided the singing voice for Quebec singer Alys Robi in the TV miniseries of the same name, adding to her popularity in Quebec.

In 1996, Boulay released her debut album, Fallait pas, written and produced by Daniel Deshaime. She also participated again in Les FrancoFolies de Montréal. She began recording her second album, États d'amour, in 1997; it was released in Quebec February 1998 and sold well, being certified as gold by September. The album was released in France in November. In 1998 she was also nominated for four Félix Awards but failed to win any. In 1999, the single "Je t'oublierai, je t'oublierai" from États d'amour peaked at #33 on the French charts. Boulay made a number of media appearances in France in 1999, and, in the summer, sang again in the FrancoFolies de Montréal, where the live album Scènes d'amour was recorded. She also performed with Serge Lama at the Olympia, and introduced Francis Cabrel on tour, as well as introducing Julien Clerc during his tour in Montreal. In October, she was given the Félix award for female singer of the year.

Since then, she has had considerable success both in Quebec and in Europe. Her biggest-selling album in France was the 2000 release Parle-moi. On 14 February 2008, she was presented with the medal of the National Assembly of Quebec by the mayor of her hometown, in recognition of her contribution to the arts.

Personal life[edit]

In October 2008, Boulay and her producer Marc-André Chicoine, had their first child together, Marcus.

^ "Isabelle Boulay, biography". Radio France Internationale. Retrieved 22 November 2013. ^ "Biographie - Isabelle Boulay" (in French). Audiogram. Retrieved 22 November 2013. ^ "Isabelle Boulay, biographie" (in French). Radio France Internationale. Retrieved 22 November 2013. ^ "Fallait pas, credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 November 2013. ^ Cite error: The named reference CertifCA was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Isabelle Boulay - Je t'oublierai, je t'oublierai, lescharts.com. Accessed on line 5 Dec 2013.^ "Isabelle Boulay Welcomes Son Marcus". The Insider. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2009. 

Awards and recognition[edit]

1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008: Félix Award: Female singer of the year2000: Félix Award: Pop album of the year (Scènes d'amour)2001: Victoires de la musique: discovery of the year for artist and album (Mieux qu'ici-bas)2001: Félix Awards: Pop album of the year (Mieux qu'ici-bas)2001, 2005, 2007, 2008: Félix Award: Show of the year (singer)2001: Juno Awards: nomination for Best Female Artist, two nominations for Best Selling Francophone Album (Mieux qu'ici bas, Scènes d'Amour)2005, 2008: Félix Award: Quebec artist best known outside Quebec2007: Félix Award: Country album of the year (De retour à la source)2008: Juno Awards: nomination for Francophone Album of the Year (De retour à la source)2012: Made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec2012: Made a knight of the Order of La Pléiade^ Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 1999, ADISQ. Accessed on line 20 November 2013.^ "Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 2000". ADISQ. Retrieved 20 November 2013. ^ "Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 2001". ADISQ. Retrieved 20 November 2013. ^ "Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 2002". ADISQ. Retrieved 20 November 2013. ^ "Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 2003". ADISQ. Retrieved 20 November 2013. ^ "Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 2007". ADISQ. Retrieved 20 November 2013. ^ "Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 2008". ADISQ. Retrieved 20 November 2013. ^ "Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 2005". ADISQ. Retrieved 20 November 2013. ^ "Les récipiendaires de l'Ordre national du Québec" (in French). ^ Isabelle Boulay honorée, Émilie Clément-Émond, 21 March 2012, fr.news.yahoo.com. Accessed on line 9 Dec 2013.
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Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
06.12.15 College Maisonneuve Montreal, QC Canada