Born: 1972, Sainte-Félicité, QC
• 4 Juno Nominations
• Won the Felix for Female Artist of the Year 7 Times
• 7 songs nominated for the Felix Song of the Year award
• Diamond Album in France (Mieux qu’ici bas, 2000)
• 20th biggest song of the year 2000 in France (“Parle-Moi”)
Studio Albums and Singles
1996: Fallait pas
• Singles: “J’enrage” (#7 WP), “La vie devant toi” (#7 WP), “Et mon coeur en prend plein la gueule” (#19 WP), “Tu n’as pas besoin” (#9 WP)
1998: États d’amour
• Singles: “Je t’oublierai, je t’oublierai” (#33 France; Felix-Nominated), “Le Saule” (Felix-Nominated), “J’ai mal à l’amour” (Felix-Nominated), “La Lune”, “États d’amour”
2000: Mieux qu’ici-bas
• Diamond in France
• Juno-Nominated Album
• Singles: “Parle-moi“, (#1 Belgium; #2 France; #20 YE France), “Un Jour ou l’autre” (#22 BEL; #31 FR), “Jamais assez loin” (Felix-Nominated), “Mieux qu’ici-bas”
2004: Tout un jour
• Singles: “C’est quoi, c’est l’habitude”, “Tout au bout de nos peines”, (#3 FR; #7 BEL; #23 Switzerland)
2007: De retour à la source
• Juno-Nominated Album
• Singles: “Entre Matane et Baton Rouge” (Felix-Nominated)
2008: Nos Lendemains
• Singles: “Ton Histoire” (#14 FR; Felix-Nominated)
2009: Chansons pour les mois d’hiver
• Singles: “Chanson pour les mois d’hiver” (Felix-Nominated)
Isabelle Boulay was born on the north shore of the Gaspé Peninsula and became fascinated by music as a child listening to tunes from the jukebox in her parents’ restaurant. Her family, including her grandmother and aunt encouraged and nurtured her singing. She sang in a group as a child and entered a singing contest in Matane when she was a teenager. Judge Joselito Michaud, became her manager a few years later.
Boulay’s friends entered her into the Petite-Vallée song festival in 1990 without her permission, but she went ahead and performed. Later on, she won the Best Performer award at the International Song Festival in Granby and was invited to participate in Les Franco Folies de Montréal.
From there, she proceeded to France representing Radio Canada at the Truffe de Périgueux festival in Périgord. She won the Best Singer award and returned home to appear in a TV series. At some point she drew the attention of Luc Plamondon who was searching for new talent to appear in his Starmania rock opera. She ended up playing the role of Marie-Jeanne, succeeding Luce Duffault.
Boulay was offered a recording contract and her debut album, Fallait pas, with the assistance of Daniel Deshaime, came out in 1996. Three songs made the Top 10 in the Quebec singles chart. Two years later saw the release of platinum-certified États d’amour. Three of its tracks were nominated for the Felix Song of the Year award. Isabelle herself won the first of seven Female Artist of the Year awards.
It was her third release, however, that made her an international superstar. Mieux qu’ici-bas was certified Diamond in France and was nominated for a Juno award. “Parle-moi” topped the charts in Belgium and was the 20th biggest song of the year in France. At the 16th Victoires de la Musique awards in France, Boulay won Discovery of the Year and Mieux qu’ici-bas won Victory Album Discovery of the year beating out the likes of Garou and France’s own hot new superstar Alizée.
In 2002, Boulay recorded the live album Au moment d’être à vous with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier Place des Arts, a big seller. Her next studio album was Tout un jour, released in 2004. Paying homage to growing up in a small town, she came out with De retour à la source in 2007, a collection of country ballads. It went platinum in Canada and was nominated for a Juno. Nos Lendemains and Chansons pour les mois d’hiver followed in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Copyright 2011 by the Canadian Music Blog