With a singular and authentic voice as well as an absolute sense of melody, singer-songwriter Francine Raymond has triumphed on the radio waves in Quebec and reached the highest rankings on the charts during the last thirty-five years: eight consecutive No. 1s, 18 SOCAN awards, 14 nominations at the ADISQ award ceremonies, the Félix for singer-songwriter of the year, and an Octave d’or international Francophonie award granted by Radio France International (RFI) for her song Y’a les mots.
Her discography includes five critically acclaimed albums. With her extensive stage experience, Francine Raymond presented herself as she is, comfortable with both fiery passion and sweetness, as connected with her musicians as she is with her audience.
Some of her songs have been immortalized in pedagogical books or performed by other renowned artists such as Chimène Badi, Roch Voisine and Isabelle Boulay.
The songs she created between 1986 and 1996 with her guitarist Christian Péloquin have always given priority to folk and rock roots, ballads being laid on masterful harmonic progressions, with upbeat bridges and choruses that live in us for life.
Whether it is “Vivre avec celui qu’on aime,” “Y’a les mots,” “Tous les bateaux font des vagues,” “Pense à moi,” “Souvenirs retrouvés,” “Pour l’amour qu’il nous reste,” “Pour te revoir” or “Magie noire et blanche,” her hit songs have left their mark on the collective imagination.
Born in Montréal on June 9, 1956, Francine Raymond grew up in the southwest of the island and showed a keen interest for drawing and music at a very young age. Committed to sharing her favourite music and her very first songs, she left home at age 15, with her guitar on her back, to charm audiences everywhere she played. Between 1973 and 1977, she joined several bands and, through this experience, she deepened her interpretation of all the musical styles that lived in her.
Her career took off in 1978 when she got the opportunity to perform her own repertoire in a series of primtime television shows.
The same year, she started the band “Hollywood and Vine” with the brothers Michel et Christian Péloquin. Through this band, she met Jean-Claude Châle, who became her vocal coach. During this seven-year adventure, she learned, alongside Christian Péloquin, the rudiments of composition and co-arranging, and she gained significant experience as a performing artist. Their success allowed the band to accompany Pierre Bertrand and to take part in the Beau Dommage reunion in 1984, a lucky break that led, the following year, to Francine Raymond singing back vocals for renowned artists like Francis Cabrel, Michel Berger, Johnny Hallyday and Michel Rivard.
By creating her own record label, she entered into a licensing agreement with Sony Canada, Belgium and France, with whom she launched her first, self-titled, album on May 1, 1987. With Péloquin, she composed, among other things, the music for the song “Vivre avec celui qu’on aime” to lyrics by Luc Plamondon. Ten years later, the song was consecrated SOCAN Classic, marking at least 25,000 radio performances.
On October 27, 1989, her sphomore album titled “Souvenirs retrouvés” – a dense yet warm concept album weaved around some of her most intimate memories – was released to popular success, critical acclaim and widespread recognition by her peers.
On March 17, 1993, Francine Raymond came back strong with a major album in her discography, “Les Années Lumières,” which hit No. 1 in the charts five times in a row. The only other North American artist to have achieved this feat is Michael Jackson, with the album “Thriller.”
Francine received the Félix award for singer-songwriter of the year in 1993 at the ADISQ award ceremony. Her subsequent tours were a resounding success. The album was also launched in France and in Belgium. It was acclaimed by the public and critics alike as well as it was in Québec.
Her fourth album, “Dualité,” released on November 19, 1996, included the irresistible radio hits “Tous les bateaux font des vagues” and “Magie noire et blanche.” Francine Raymond once again started a major tour. The following year, she compiled her best songs on Dix ans de succès 1987-1997.
Her songs were full of compassion, and she herself became a spokesperson for Earth Day
In 2002, Francine Raymond also published her first poetry book, Lettres compost, in parallel with the launch of her fifth album Paradis Perdu, named “album of the year” by Le Devoir. This title, as well as some of the songs, seemed to foreshadow her withdrawal from public life. She gave one last acoustic concert with Christian Péloquin for Women’s Day in 2005.
In 2014, Francine Raymond’s hits were assembled on the compilation Présents du passé (presents from the past), directed by Éditorial Avenue. The whole body of work from Francine Raymond’s five albums is available on digital platforms here and in the Francophone world.
Francine Raymond is celebrating 40 years on stage. She is presenting rare performances in the context of conceptual shows combining sound and images, new songs and photographic works.