French hard core Rap band Suprême NTM, which has been strongly controversial from their early days (the fact the NTM acronym stands for the French translation of Fuck Your Mother certainly doesn’t help), saw its popularity of the band grew year after year during the 90s. View More
Foreign acts often tried to release albums in French, or at least a few songs, to penetrate completely this market. The real UFO that is Manu Chao did just about the opposite singing mostly in Spanish with a few tracks in French, Portuguese and English. This one of a kind started his solo career in 1998 a few years after leading underground cult band Mano Negra.
Even if legendary French musical Starmania was first released in 1978, albums related to the franchise sold over 2 million copies during the 90s. This gave ideas to its lyricist Luc Plamandon who wrote some twenty years later a new musical, Notre-Dame de Paris, along with his composition partner Richard Cocciante.
Brittany, the region at the very west of France, always had a highly developed local culture. This can be verified in many aspects and music is no exception. From this region, Dan Ar Braz, Alan Stivell or more recently Nolwenn Leroy have been quite successful in France. Nobody came even close to Manau smash yet as they took France by storm in 1998.
There is no secret that Celine Dion album D’Eux is the best selling of all-time in France. Written by Jean-Jacques Goldman, the winning pair joined their skills again with French follow up album S’Il Suffisait D’Aimer. While reproducing sales of the previous album was near impossible, selling massive amounts was a given from day one.
There is obviously no need to introduce Madonna, the best selling female artist of all-time worldwide. In France, as in most markets, she managed impressive sales throughout her career. Although, the early 90s weren’t that successful, with her four 90-96 studio albums averaging less than 300,000 copies. However, 1998 album Ray Of Light was a real tour de force for the singer sending her back to her hey-day success.
When you are old enough to get your new album produced by your own son, I guess it tells something about your longevity, especially when you started at 16. Despite already being the best selling artist of all-time by 1999, Johnny Hallyday had yet to get a million selling album.
After two albums which sold over 4,5 million together, the 1999 comeback of Francis Cabrel was one of the most anticipated of all-time. Hardly the most active act when it comes to promotion, the poetic singer crushed absolutely everyone in terms of sales per album during a decade, even the likes Johnny Hallyday, Patrick Bruel or Jean-Jacques Goldman.
By 1993, Patrick Bruel held the highest selling French album of all-time with his 1989 release Alors Regarde. As it often happens with such a sudden and disproportionate success, the singer suffered a strong backlash and follow up 1994 release, although selling decently for most artists, ended being a strong disappointment. Thus, Juste Avant was a pivotal album, re-installing the artist as a major seller or marking him as a one-album wonder.
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