Era Inducted To: Modern Era
Composer(s):Billy Clements, Phillip Mitchell
After playing in a variety of soul/R&B groups in the 1960s, Georges Thurston took a gig as the on-stage percussionist to Quebec singer Claude Dubois and began working as a record producer with Tony Roman. Equally at home on keyboards, guitar and drums, Thurston wrote and performed with many artists including Robert Charlebois, Nanette Workman and François Guy.
A true French-language soul, disco and funk music pioneer, Georges Thurston first came to prominence with Aimes-tu la vie comme moi ?, a hit song that helped him top Quebec and European charts. His popularity was confirmed with his performance in front of an audience of 300,000 in Marseille, France, where he shared the stage with such prominent artists as Joe Cocker and Weather Report.
Thurston released his first album in 1975 under the title of Boule Noire (litteraly translated as Black Ball), a reference to the shape and colour of the fashionable Afro hairstyle he was currently sporting. Later incorrectly introduced as ‘Boule Noire’ on a television show by host Pierre Lalonde, the name stuck, and the persona of ‘Boule Noire’ was born.
With its life afferming lyrics and contagious energy, Aimes-tu la vie comme moi ? became a huge hit and earned Thurston a Gold Record in Quebec in 1976. Loto Québec also used it in one of their commercials.
In 1995, Georges Thurston received a SOCAN Classic Award for Aimes-tu la vie comme moi ? for reaching 25,000 radio plays.
In 2006, Georges Thurston learned that he had incurable and inoperable cancer. He donated the song Aimes-tu la vie comme moi ? to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. Thurston recorded a moving acapella version of the song for a television commercial to be used as part of a prevention blitz, which garnered two awards of excellence for Cossette advertising agency. Aimes-tu la vie ? is also the title of an autobiographical book that was released days before the musician’s death.
Georges Thurston unfortunately passed away on Monday, June 18, 2007.