Pierre Garand

Pierre Garand

Canadian musician, popular singer, sought-after actor.
Date of Birth: 26.06.1972
Country: Canada

  1. Biography of Garou
  2. Early Life and Musical Journey
  3. Rise to Fame
  4. Success and Solo Career

Biography of Garou

Canadian musician, popular singer, and in-demand actor, Garou's solo career is thriving. His first album, "Seul," sold over 2 million copies and solidified his popularity and success in the French-speaking countries, thanks to the hit musical "Notre-Dame de Paris" in which he played the lead role of Quasimodo. Garou gave over 80 concerts in various countries in 2001, and his album "Seul... avec vous" went platinum in France and gold in Quebec.

Pierre Garand

Early Life and Musical Journey

Garou, whose real name is Pierre Garand, was born on June 26, 1972, in Sherbrooke, a city in Canada near Quebec and Montreal. He received his stage name "Garou" from his friends, who noticed his passion for nightlife, as the French word "loup-garou" means "werewolf". At the age of three, his parents gifted him a guitar, and he started learning piano and organ a couple of years later. Surprisingly, Garou dreamt of becoming an archaeologist in his childhood to discover something new.

Initially, Garou was a model student at Seminary in Sherbrooke, but by the age of 14, he became rebellious. Despite efforts from his parents and teachers to connect with him, they were unsuccessful. In 1987, Garou became the guitarist of a band called "The Windows and Doors" formed by his classmates, and his first performance took place in a school hall. After completing his studies, he joined the Canadian Army as a trumpeter. However, in 1992, at the age of 20, Garou left the army and returned to the streets and bars of Sherbrooke, where he sang and played the guitar.

Rise to Fame

In 1993, to earn some money, Garou took up various odd jobs, including grape picking. He spent almost every night performing at discos, entertaining the locals with his guitar and singing. In March of the same year, a friend invited Garou to a concert by chanson singer Louis Alarie. During the break, she asked Alarie to let Garou sing at least one song, and the bar owner was so impressed with Garou's performance that he offered him a job. From that point, Garou started traveling from one café to another with his guitar and self-prepared repertoire, building a name for himself. Until 1997, he performed at a trendy establishment called "Liquor's Store de Sherbrooke". The owner, Francis Delage, organized "Garou Sundays," inviting other musicians to perform on stage with the emerging artist. It is no doubt that everyone present was amazed by these impromptu concerts.

Over time, Garou honed his skills and in the summer of 1995, he formed his own band called "The Untouchables," specializing in blues and rhythm and blues music. The band, consisting of Garou, a trombonist, trumpeter, and saxophonist, accompanied him during his grand tour in 2000, dedicated to the release of his first album "Seul," which contained 14 compositions. During one of the band's performances in 1997, Luc Plamondon, the creator of the libretto for the original French version of the musical "Notre-Dame de Paris," noticed Garou and realized he had found his Quasimodo. Soon, Garou auditioned for Plamondon and composer Richard Cocciante, who offered him to perform some arias from the musical, including the famous "Belle" and "Dieu que le monde est injuste" ("God, How Unfair the World Is"). The next day, they informed Garou that he would be playing Quasimodo.

Success and Solo Career

For two years, Garou played Quasimodo in "Notre-Dame de Paris," traveling from Montreal to Paris, London to Brussels. In 1999, he received several prestigious awards for his role, including the "World Music Award" for the song "Belle," which topped the French charts for 33 weeks and was recognized as the best song of the half-century. In 2000, Garou and other French cast members, including Daniel Lavoie and Bruno Pelletier, participated in the English production of the musical, further increasing his popularity.

Following the success of "Notre-Dame de Paris," Garou received numerous offers and became truly famous. In 1998, he participated in the recording of the album "Ensemble contre le sida" ("Together Against AIDS"), and he sang the song "L'amour existe encore" ("Love Still Exists") in a duet with Hélène Ségara, who played Esmeralda in the musical. At the end of 1999, Garou, along with the entire "Notre-Dame de Paris" troupe, performed in Celine Dion's New Year's show. During the preparations for her farewell concert in Montreal, Garou performed one of his best and most beautiful songs, "Sous le vent" ("Under the Wind"), as a duet with Celine. The song is now at the top of the charts in French-speaking countries.

Currently, Garou's solo career is thriving. His first album "Seul" sold over 2 million copies, and thanks to the popularity of "Notre-Dame de Paris," he is one of the most renowned artists in French-speaking countries. In 2001, he gave over 80 concerts in various countries, and his album "Seul... avec vous" went platinum in France and gold in Quebec. In March 2002, Garou performed a major concert at the Bercy Stadium in Paris. A release of his English-language album is planned for spring 2003. It is my hope that Garou will continue to bring joy to his fans with his heartfelt songs and maintain his infectious charm for many years to come.