Roch Voisine, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, actor, radio and television host who lives in Montreal, Quebec and Paris, France. Born in Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada, he grew up in Saint-Basile, New Brunswick and later moved to Notre-Dame-du-Lac when he was 12. After high-school he attended the University of Ottawa where he graduated in 1985 with a degree in physiotherapy. Voisine aspired to be a professional ice hockey player. He had to set his plans aside when he was severely injured while playing baseball in 1981. Leap ahead 5 years and in the summer of 1986, he has his music debut singing on Canada Day in front of 50,000 people at la Ronde amusement park in Montreal. The rest is history, as they say. He’s since sold millions, I mean millions of records, toured the world, received numerous awards as both a musician and a humanitarian, and probably holds the title as Canada’s best looking man. I tried to get hold of Roch for an interview but after much chasing I was only to discover he was on a plane, on his way to begin his European tour. So I give you… his story….
Roch Voisine had his great music debut in the summer of 1986 where he sang before more than 50,000 people at LaRonde in Montreal on Canada Day. And, after many televison appearances, he hosted Top Jeunesse in 1988, a television show which brought him considérable public attention. A year later, he interpreted Danny Ross, a leading role in the popular television series « Lance et Compte ». In June 1989, he released his first album Hélène, which in a very short time became a huge success in Quebec and in France.
Just three weeks after the album was released in France, Hélène held first spot for nine consecutive weeks on the Top 50 chart. Roch Voisine’s success was spectacular and dazzling: three million records were sold and the album held first place on the charts in Quebec, France Belgium, Switzerland and Norway. In 1990, in the midst of all of this success, Roch Voisine won the award for francophone Album of the year at the Victoires de la musique awards in France. He launched his first french tour and released the album, Double, on which many English songs could be heard.
In March 1991, Roch Voisine embarked on his second European tour : thirty eight concerts in the biggest venues and performing before 250 000 fans. It was madness in Paris, where for two evenings more than 30,000 spectators crowded in front of the doors of the Palais des sports. The following year, he became the youngest artist ever to receive the distinct honorary title of the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres awarded by the French government. February 6th was the kickoff for his Europe tour, which he opened in Bercy before more than 15 000 people. The tour continued in major cities across France, Belgium and Holland with more than sixty sold out shows. The High point of his European tour was a concert on April 17, 1992 at the Champ de Mars in Paris before 75 000 spectators. The show was broadcast live by TF1 television with an estimated audience of 14 millions viewers.
In May 1995, he returned to the United States and settled in Los Angeles and fully engaged himself ito his creative passion. He began writing the lyrics for his new English album, Kissing Rain. He would devote the whole of 1996 to record the album and surround himself with the finest musicians from California and a few special guests like Richard Marx. The album was released in Canada in late November 1996. In 1997, Roch Voisine set out on a new tour to promote the disc, having just been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
In the summer of 2000, he goes back to the recording studio and the results are two Christmas albums, one in french and the other one in english. A Christmas concert followed the release of L’album de Noël and of Christmas is Calling.
n January 2001, Roch travels to Africa as a Unicef representative. Upon his return, he begins to record his 11th album, Roch Voisine, which was launched in Quebec and in France. In 2002, the album Higher is released followed by Je te serai fidèle which climbs rapidly to the top of the best sellers list with more than 500 000 copies sold in France, Switzerland and Belgium. As a crowning achievement, Roch is awarded the « Male francophone artist for 2005 » at the NRJ Music Awards.
On May 19, 2007 Roch Voisine received an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Moncton, Edmunston Campus, to commemorate his musical accomplishments. A Diamond disc was awarded for 8 million albums sold which would compensate his 20 year career.
In August, a new album Americana was released on the European market. It was recorded in Nashville, the heart of country music in the United States. Americana 1 would be the first in a series of albums regrouping the indispensables of North American music. In late 2008, he was presented with the Excellence Award for Leadership in Canada by the University of Ottawa in recognition for his participation in the Unicef organization in Africa.
In August 2009, Americana II was released in Europe. With the public’s excited enthusiasm for Americana I & II albums, Roch traveled throughout France, Belgium and Switzerland until December 2009.
In September 2010, Roch presented Americana I in Canada followed by the recording of the album, Confidences. This new album was released last December in Europe and will be available in Canada in late 2011. From mid-November to mid-December, Roch took a break between concerts and the promotion of Americana in Canada to travel to Europe. He spent the month promoting the release of his album Confidences in France, Switzerland and Belgium. Just two months after the album became available in stores, it was certified Gold with 50,000 copies sold…
This year, Roch invites you to an inspiring, unique, and a new way of experiencing his live show. Accompanied by two other musicians, Roch will perform his greatest hits in their purest and most intimate format yet. Roch has remained ever-present and loyal to his fans throughout the years and has now created a new concert to showcase his music while feeling even closer to his beloved audience.
Roch Voisine appears Tuesday, March 5 at Showplace Performance Centre.