When Hélène Ségara released her debut album in 1996, it initially failed to chart. She wasn’t exactly an unknown when her follow up album, Au Nom D’Une Femme, was issued yet. In-between, she participated actively to two 2-million selling albums, Romanza by Andrea Bocelli, boosted by their duet on Vivo Per Lei, and musical Notre-Dame De Paris. Those albums were respectively the #1 selling albums of 1997 and 1998, increasing greatly Hélène Ségara popularity.
In terms of overall worldwide sales nobody can compete with the Beatles. In terms of album sales in France yet several acts, including international ones – Michael Jackson or Pink Floyd among others – seriously challenge their hegemony. It hasn’t prevent One 2000 compilation from managing huge sales in the country.
Following the insane madness which surrounded Notre-Dame de Paris musical in 1998, French authors and labels hoped to reproduce this scenario. Time to write and prepare new musicals, three were launched and backed by strong promotion in 2000. Not all became successful yet as Ali Baba pretty much flopped, but both Les Dix Commandements and Roméo Et Juliette were big.
By the end of the 90s vocal Canadian singers from Quebec were insanely popular in France. The obvious example of Celine Dion was only the top of the iceberg with Garou, Bruno Pelletier, Linda Lemay, Lara Fabian (although born in Belgium) and many more hitting large successes. Their anti-star image was highly loved and it wasn’t Isabelle Boulay, maybe the least known singer ever to sell a million copies of an album who would contradict that trend.
Coming back from seven – yes, seven – consecutive million selling studio album, one can only do badly when releasing a new album. Selling a million would be rated as barely normal while missing it would be a failure. Jean-Jacques Goldman still did good yet as Chansons Pour Les Pieds not only passed the million but did it in an incredible fashion.
Being as mysterious as popular may seem a strong contradiction. Nevertheless, that’s exactly the case for the one of a kind artist that is Mylène Farmer. Everything on her career has always been View More
Challenging TV channel giant TF1 is near impossible in France. The once petite chaîneM6, mostly dedicated to 7-25 audience, achieved this feat by successfully responding with Popstars program to first channel’ Star Academy.
Many soundtracks are well known for being part of all-time best sellers everywhere – a la Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Bodyguard or Titanic. Strong selling local soundtracks have been a very rare phenomenon yet although France music scene is dominated by local acts. We can name three main ones, each selling over a million: Le Grand Bleu by Eric Serra, Amélie Poulain by Yann Tiersen and Les Choristes by Bruno Coulais.
Released following the 2001 Christmas week to benefit as much as possible from the TV show final episode, L’Album (also titled Les Reprises) by Star Academy 1 sales broke all expectations. Despite a first week truncated to three days only, it was still enough for it to sell about 130,000 copies, reaching in such a short period #85 of the year.
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