French pop singer Lara Fabian was born in January, 1970, in Etterbeek, Belgium. Raised in north Belgium and Italy by her Flemish father and Sicilian mother, the French, English, Italian and Spanish speaking Lara knew that she wanted to be a performer at an early age.
With singing, dancing, piano, and music lessons to boot, Lara had already begun taking lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels by the age of 8 and continued taking them for the next 10 years. By age 14, Lara had begun performing and writing songs, while her father, a former guitarist and backup vocalist, would accompany her on the guitar.
All the music lessons in the world cannot take all the credit for Lara's musical formation. Lara listened to the radio and was fascinated by such artists as Barbra Streisand and the late Freddie Mercury of Queen.
Listening to this diversity of music influenced Lara's style, who claims that although she is a pop singer, her music is not purely pop -- it varies from classical and rock, to country.
In the years that followed, Lara entered European singing competitions, winning several prizes. She won fourth prize in a prestigious European competition for singing her single "Croire".
Beginning to achieve success and fame in Europe with the release of several hit singles on a French label, Lara felt that she had to leave what she refers to as "conservative" Europe, so that she could be herself and explore who she really is.
When she crossed the Atlantic and moved to Montreal, Quebec right after high school, she simply fell in love with the city and knew that this was to be her next home.
Now motivated to work and start her career in North America, Lara established an independent record label and publishing company.
Under the umbrella of an existing production company, and with the help of her old friend, producer/songwriter Rick Allison, Lara was ready to begin her creative process.
In 1991, Lara released her first album, co-written by Rick Allison and featuring Lara singing in French, and it was a hit. Selling 100,000 copies, it led to Lara touring Quebec in support of her album.
3 years later, Lara followed up her debut album with a second musical effort, entitled Carpe Diem. This album equally did not disappoint. It has sold more than 800,000 copies and was a hit in both Quebec and France.
Lara's 2 previous albums were only an inkling of the success that Lara was yet to achieve. Her third album, 1997's Pure, sold 2 million copies in France alone, and spawned several hit singles.
Among them was the song "La Difference", which was an attempt to end intolerance of other's differences, specifically an end to homophobia. In Europe, the song became an anthem for tolerance.
After extensive touring following the release of each album, Lara released a compilation of her live performances in Quebec and Europe, entitled Lara Fabian Live. The double album landed the number one spot on the French album chart the week it was released.
Disney also asked Lara to sing as the voice of Esmerelda in the French version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Other recognition she has received includes: a wax effigy of Lara at the Grevin Wax Museum of Paris and the Best Selling Benelux Artist at the 1999 World Music Awards.
Sony Music, who got word of Lara's tremendous success in Europe and Quebec, wanted to sign the singer/songwriter to their record label.
She headed for the United States, and recorded her first English album, working with big league producers such as Walter Afanadieff (who has worked with Mariah Carey), Pat Leonard (Madonna) and Brian Rawling (Cher).
Lara doesn't consider herself to be a singer, nor a diva -- she refers to herself as "a songwriter with a voice" -- and with her soulful voice and diverse style, Lara has definitely proven to have crossed many international boundaries.