Lara Fabian (born Lara Crokaert; January 9, 1970, Etterbeek, Belgium) is a Belgian-born international singer who also holds Canadian citizenship. Multilingual, she sings in French, Italian and Spanish, English, in all of which she is fluent.
She has also sung in Portuguese, and once in Hebrew on Israel's 60th Independence Day celebrations and in German in 1988 for a version of "Croire" (ger.: "glauben" eng.: "believe"), although she speaks neither language fluently. She also speaks a little Dutch (Flemish). She has sold over 18 million records worldwide so far. She became a Canadian citizen in 1994 at the time she began her career in Quebec. She is an colortura light-lyric soprano with five-octave range.
Born to a Flemish father and a Sicilian mother in Etterbeek, she spent her first five years in her mother's hometown of Catania in Sicily, learning Italian as a first language, before moving back to Brussels. She began singing, dancing, and taking piano lessons at a very young age and began formal music lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels at age eight. She began writing and performing her own songs during her ten years study at the conservatory. Fabian's songs were greatly influenced by both her classical vocal and music theory training and by contemporary artists such as Barbra Streisand , Celine Dion and Queen.
During the 1980s, Lara Fabian entered a number of European competitions and won several prizes. A consequence of winning one of these contests in 1986 was the release of her first ever single, "L'Aziza est en pleur" / "Il y avait". Both were written by the Belgian composer Mar Lerchs as a homage to the deceased French singer Daniel Balavoine.
In 1988, the RTL TV channel in Luxembourg invited Lara to represent the country at the 33rd Eurovision Song Contest, held that year in Dublin, Ireland. The song presented to Lara was a composition made by Jacques Cardona and Alain Garciac entitled "Croire" (Trust) and reached a respectable fourth place that night. The winning song that year was titled "Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi" and launched the career of its performer, Fabian's fellow francophone artist, Céline Dion, who sang on behalf of Switzerland. Fabian's "Croire" became a hit single that year in Europe selling nearly 500,000 copies.
In 1990, Fabian travelled to Canada to promote her third single Je Sais and fell in love with the province of Quebec. In 1991, with two suitcases and $1,000 in her pocket, Fabian and her friend and musical collaborator, Rick Allison, moved to Montreal, Canada to embark on a career in North America. They began their own music label and publishing company, Productions Clandestines. Rick first met Lara in a jazz bar in Brussels some years previously and was impressed by Fabian's vocals on George Gershwin's "Summertime". The pair worked steadily on writing and recording songs.
In August 1991, Fabian's self-titled French-language debut album, Lara Fabian, was released in Canada and sold over 100,000 copies. This debut album went on to be certified Gold in 1993 and then certified platinum the following year. The success of the album's upbeat Dance-pop singles such as "Le jour où tu partira", "Les murs", and "Qui pense à l'amour" gave Fabian the radio exposure she needed. She received several nominations at the 1993 ADISQ awards and a poll published around that time revealed that she was considered Quebec's most promising singer.
1994-1996: Breakthrough album: "Carpe diem"