The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) is pleased to announce that Daniel Lavoie will be inducted by Jim Corcoran at its 2022 Gala, hosted by Marie-Mai, at Toronto’s Massey Hall on Sept. 24, 2022. Lavoie will join this year’s illustrious cohort of inductees, which includes Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, Alanis Morissette, and David Foster.
Born in Dunrea, Manitoba in 1949, Daniel Lavoie is a singer-songwriter, actor, and poet. A citizen of the world, he feeds himself with travel, and relentlessly explores the different avenues available to him. He’s given us a multitude of unforgettable songs, notably “Ils s’aiment,” “La danse du smatte,” “J’ai quitté mon île,” “Tension attention,” “Le pape du rap,” “Qui sait,” “Jours de plaine,” and of course, “Je voudrais voir New York.”
Boasting a career spanning half a century and a discography of 24 albums, he’s one of the most talented singer-songwriters of his generation, and the most esteemed by his peers, in both Québec and France. He’s written countless classics, as well as songs for Luce Dufault, Mireille Mathieu, Maurane, Isabelle Boulay, Bruno Pelletier, Florent Pagny, Lara Fabian, Roch Voisine, Céline Dion, Enzo Enzo, Nana Mouskouri and many others.
His first album À court terme (1975), was produced by Gilles Valiquette, and includes the hit “J’ai quitté mon île.” The general public discovered him in 1979 with Nirvana bleu, whose songs “Angéline,” “La danse du smatte,” and “Boule qui roule” were very popular on radio. Between 1980 and 1981, he won the Male Artist of the Year Félix award twice. In 1983, alongside Daniel Deshaime, he co-produced the album Tension Attention, which went on to win three Félix Awards: Song of the year for “Tension Attention,” Male Artist of the Year, and Album of the Year – Author and/or Singer-Songwriter. The song “Ils s’aiment” sold more than two million copies in Europe and Québec, and was recorded in English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Portuguese. Moreover, the people of France consecrated it as the “Song of the Century” in 1999. In 1985, Lavoie won a Midem d’or in Cannes for “Ils s’aiment,” the Félix for the Artist who has been the Most Successful in the Francophone Market outside of Québec, as well as the Victoire for Best Francophone Album of the Year for Tension Attention.
In September 1988, along with Michel Rivard, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Bruce Springsteen, he participated in Human Rights Now, a benefit show for Amnesty International presented at Montréal’s Olympic Stadium. Released in 1990, the album Long courrier quickly reached the top of the charts, thanks to the songs “Le pape du rap,” “Qui sait,” “Jours de plaine,” and “Long Courrier,” and won the Félix for the Pop-Rock Album of the Year. A tour of Québec followed the release of his album Ici in 1995. Lavoie then explored the world of children’s songs with Le Bébé dragon 1 (which earned him the Félix in the category Children’s Album) and Le Bébé dragon 2.
He then moved to Paris for several months to perform in the musical Notre-Dame de Paris by Luc Plamondon and Richard Cocciante. The adventure brought new height to the singer’s career; his interpretation of the priest Claude Frollo continued with performances in Montréal, the recording of the English version of Notre-Dame de Paris, additional performances in Paris, and a series of shows in London.
In 2002–2003, Daniel played the character of the aviator in the musical comedy Le Petit Prince, inspired by the famous Antoine de St-Exupéry book. He followed up with the album Comédies humaines, produced by Philippe Eidel.
After a creative break, he released 2007’s Docteur Tendresse, and participated in the project Douze hommes rapaillés (2010) which won the Félix for Show of the Year – Performer, and the Félix for Album of the Year – Contemporary Folk in 2011. In November 2011, he released his 22nd album, J’écoute la radio, which retraces 40 years of his career through 11 fresh takes on his greatest songs.
For a few years, Lavoie worked alongside Laurent Guardo on La Licorne Captive, a contemporary music project with a medieval flavour. Released in 2014 on the prestigious label Le chant du monde/Harmonia Mundi, the album received countless rave reviews. He then participated in the symphonic concerts The Most Beautiful Songs of Notre Dame de Paris with the original team, performing in the largest concert halls of Moscow, Kyiv, St. Petersburg, and Beirut, before a dazzling three-night finale in Paris-Bercy.
The album Mes longs voyages was released in 2016. In recent years, Lavoie has rejoined the cast of Notre Dame de Paris, and travels around the world while continuing to write songs. His mind is always full of projects.
In 2023, Daniel Lavoie will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of Tension Attention, which was a huge success in the French-speaking world. The vinyl and CD re-release will be followed by a major tour of Québec.