Simard, Nathalie

Nathalie Simard. Singer, b Île d'Orléans, near Quebec City, 7 Jul 1969. Sister of René Simard, Nathalie Simard was initially associated with the latter's career, and was noticed by the same producer, Guy Cloutier. At age 10, she recorded with René 'Tous les enfants du monde,' the theme song of Unicef's fund-raising campaign. As her brother had done some years earlier, she touched an audience of children and parents with her angelic voice. Her first album, Joyeux Noël, was launched at Christmas, 1979.

Simard's career made a rapid rise with Nathalie chante pour ses amis, which sold 30 000 copies. She was the star of a television special, 'Une journée dans la vie de Nathalie'. She and her brother then toured the province of Quebec, performing at the Place des Arts in Montreal, the Grand Théâtre in Quebec City and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Again with René, she hosted two television shows broadcast live from Disneyworld, Fla, and from Disneyland, Cal. In 1981, La Rentrée sold 75 000 copies in 21 days. A remarkable commercial success in the children's market, Nathalie Simard had a fan club that then numbered some 50 000 members, and her name was associated with a line of clothing. 'La Danse des canards' ("The Duck's Dance") sold over 200 000 copies. At 13, she was the youngest singer from Quebec selling that many records. At that time, she signed a contract with the Japanese record company, Alpha, and was the guest, along with her brother, of the Song Festival in Tokyo. When she came back, she taped several television shows in Vancouver in honour of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Following a year of further training in Los Angeles, she hosted for three years on Télé-Métropole the children's program 'Le Village de Nathalie,' which won her the Métrostar Award.

In 1987, Nathalie Simard decided to exchange her public of children for a teen-age audience. With her brother, she recorded Tourne la page; the album's title song won Félix Awards for best-selling single and for videoclip of the year in 1988. In 1989, she took part in the Festival de Fief, in Bordeaux (France) and in the 'Enfant soleil' telethon.

Later Career

In the 1990s, Nathalie Simard took a prolonged absence from her music career, releasing only a few recordings, one of which was the children's album Une femme . . . un enfant. In 2004, Cloutier was convicted of assaulting her; she then established La Fondation Nathalie Simard to aid victims of abuse. She appeared in the Genie-nominated film Les Voleurs d'enfance - Thieves of Innocence (2005), and released her final recording (Il y avait un jardin, with French and English compositions by Jim Corcoran, Gilles Vigneault, and others) in 2007. She retired in early 2008.