Je te dis vous
“Papa wanted me to be happy and my mother was my first fan.” Patricia Kaas
One of the most popular recording artists in France, Patricia Kaas has sold over 16 million albums since the release of her first album, “Mademoiselle chante...” (1988). She achieved international success thanks to “Je te dis vous” (1993), “Dans ma chair” (1997) and “Le Mot de passe” (1999). Her more recent releases, including “Piano Bar” (2002), “Sexe fort” (2003) and “Kabaret” (2008/2009) proved to be less successful in France but enjoyed higher chartings and sales in Germany, Switzerland, Finland and Russia. In addition to 7 studio albums, Kaas has released 6 live albums, 2 compilation albums and 22 singles. Her most popular singles include “Mademoiselle chante le blues” (1987), “Mon mec à moi” (1988), “Quand Jimmy dit” (1989), “Les hommes qui passent” (1990), “Il me dit que je suis belle” (1993) and “Quand j'ai peur de tout” (1997). The single “Et s'il fallait le faire” (2009) from the “Kabaret” album, was chosen as the French entry at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, where it finished in 8th place.
On the acting front, Kaas starred as Jane Lester in the French movie “And Now... Ladies and Gentlemen...” (2002), opposite Jeremy Irons.
Kaas, who is of French and German descent, has an interest in improving the relationship between the two countries. In 2003, she was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz Order of Merit First Class of the Federal Republic of Germany for her efforts.
Childhood and Family:
Patricia Kaas was born on December 5, 1966, in Forbach, Moselle, France. She is the youngest of seven siblings born to a French father, Joseph, and a German mother, Irmgard. Her father supported the family by working as a miner. Young Patricia was raised in Stiring-Wendel and spoke German until age 6. Thanks to her love for music, she was singing English language songs by age 8.
And Now... Ladies and Gentlemen...
With encouragement from her parents, Patricia Kaas began giving concerts at small events when she was 8 years old. She then won first place at a pop song contest.
Kaas, however, did not turn professional until age 13 when she signed a contract with Saarbrücken Club Rumpelkammer, thanks to the help of her brother, and adopted the stage name Pady Pax, after local brass band Pax Majorettes, of which she and her sister Carine were members. She went on to perform with the band Dob's Lady Killers for seven years.
Following unsuccessful attempts in the music industry, Kaas' luck changed when she was spotted by Bernard Schwartz while performing at the Rumpelkammer in Saarbrücken. She was introduced to the songwriter François Bernheim, who in turn convinced the French actor Gérard Depardieu to produce her. Kaas' first single, “Jalousie” (“Jealous”), was launched in 1985. The song, produced by Depardieu and written by Bernheim and Depardieu's wife, Elisabeth, was a disappointment but did put the singer on the radar of songwriter Didier Barbelivien, who wrote Kaas' first big hit, “Mademoiselle chante le blues” (“Lady Sings the Blues”). Released in November 1987, the song debuted at No. 29 on the French charts and peaked at No. 7. The song was certified silver by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP) in 1988.
Kaas' debut studio album, “Mademoiselle chante...,” was released in December 1988 under Polydor Records. It entered the French album charts at No. 19 before rising to No. 2. The song stayed in the Top 10 for 64 weeks and 118 weeks in the Top 100. “Mademoiselle chante...” went gold in France shortly after its release and within three months went platinum. It was certified diamond in 1990. The album was also a success in Switzerland (double platinum), Belgium (platinum) and Canada (gold). In addition to “Mademoiselle chante le blues,” the album produced the hit singles “Mon mec à moi” (#5), “Quand Jimmy dit” (#10), “D'Allemagne” (#11) and “Elle voulait jouer cabaret” (#17). “Mon mec à moi” and “Quand Jimmy dit” became silver singles. In 1988, Kaas won her first Victoire de la Musique in the category of Discovery of the Year for “D'Allemagne.” She picked up her next Victoire de la Musique, this time for Female Musician with Most Record Sales Abroad, the following year.
In 1990, Kaas parted ways with her former label and joined CBS/Sony. “Scène de vie” (“Moments in Life”), hit the music stores on April 9, 1990. The album debuted at No. 2 on May 10th before rising to No. 1 on the French Albums chart, where it remained for ten weeks. It eventually went diamond. “Scène de vie” went platinum in Canada and double platinum in Switzerland, where it charted at No. 15. The album yielded four singles with “Les hommes qui passent” (# 7), “Les Mannequins d'osier” (#21), “Kennedy Rose” (#36), which was dedicated to the matriarch of the Kennedy clan and mother of former U.S. president John F. Kennedy, and “Regarde les riches” (#27). In support of the album, Kaas toured various countries.
Kaas won the Golden Europa, one of Germany's biggest music awards, in the category of Female Singer of the Year in 1990. The next year, she picked up a Bambi for Female Artist of the Year, a World Music for Best French Female Artist of the Year, and a Victoire de la Musiques for Female Interpreter of the Year and Female Musician with Most Record Sales Abroad. She went on to receive 3rd place in the category of Best International Female Singer at the 1992 ECHO awards in Cologne and the 1992 Victoire de la Musique for Female Artist with Most Record Sales Abroad.
The third studio album “Je te dis vous,” was released on April 6, 1993. The album became No. 1 in France and went diamond in 1994. It was No. 2 in Switzerland, where it also achieved double platinum status, No. 11 in Germany and No. 83 in the Netherlands. It also went gold in Canada and platinum in Finland. The first single, “Entrer dans la lumière,” peaked at No. 15 in France. The next single, “Il me dit que je suis belle,” rose to No. 5 in the French Singles chart and was certified silver by SNEP. The live album “Tour de charme,” her second live album after 1991's “Carnets de scène,” followed in November 1994. Recorded in April 1994 at Zénith (Caen, France) during the “Je te dis vous” tour, the album peaked at No. 14 on the French Albums chart and was certified platinum in 2001.
Kaas released the album “Dans ma chair” on March 17, 1997. It went to No. 2 in France and eventually achieved double platinum status there. The album also charted in Belgium (#1), Switzerland (#5; gold status), Finland (#8; gold), Germany (#16), Netherlands (#77) and Austria (#45). Kaas had her next silver hit single with “Quand j'ai peur de tout,” which peaked at No. 11 on the French Singles chart. The second single, “Je voudrais la connaître,” made the Top 20 in France. The third live album, “Rendez-vous,” recorded at the Olympia (Paris, France) during the Dans ma chair tour in June 1998, was released in August 1998. It peaked at No. 6 and went double gold in France. “Dans ma chair” won the singer the 1998 IFPI Platinum Europe Award.
Kaas' next studio album, “Le Mot de passe,” was released on May 14, 1999. It peaked at No. 2 on the French Albums chart and eventually achieved platinum status. The album also went gold in Belgium (#2) and Switzerland (#14) and spawned the singles “Ma Liberté contre la tienne” (#34) and “Une Femme comme une autre” (#78). The live album “Live” followed in August 2000. Recorded at concerts in the Dôme (Marseilles, France), Opéra (Avignon, France), Ludwigsburg Palace (Ludwigsburg, Germany) and an unidentified location in Paris during the Le Mot de passe tour, the album peaked at No. 5 in France and was certified double gold. The album scored two minor hit singles with “Mon Chercheur d'or” (#74) and “Les Chansons commencent” (#70). Also in 2000, Kaas won the Victoire de la Musique Award and the Adenauer-de-Gaulle Prize.
The album “Piano Bar” was launched on November 19, 2002, and enjoyed moderate success in France, where it peaked at No. 10 and only achieved gold status. The album, however, had higher sales and chartings in other countries, including Belgium (#6), Switzerland (#6), Germany (#12), the U.S., the U.K., Finland and Russia. “Piano Bar” generated a single titled “If You Go Away,” which peaked at No 83 in France. 2002 also saw the singer net the Goldene Europa in the category of International Female Artist of the Year.
It was also in 2002 that Kaas made her acting debut in “And Now... Ladies and Gentlemen...,” a French thriller directed, produced and co-written by Claude Lelouch. The film, which she starred with Jeremy Irons, was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival out of competition. It performed poorly at the box office. Kaas also recorded a song with the same title on her “Piano Bar” album.
Released in 2003, the album “Sexe fort” peaked at No. 9 on the French Albums chart and was certified double gold by SNEP. The album also charted in Belgium (#3), Switzerland (#6), Finland (#31) and Germany (#55). The live album “Toute la musique...” (2005) peaked at No. 10 in France and No. 34 in Germany. It was recorded at the Cirque Royal (Brussels, Belgium) during the Sexe Fort Tour in November 2004.
Kaas did not release a new studio album until “Kabaret” in 2008, which she also produced. The album rose to No. 15 in France and received gold status in 2009. It also charted in Switzerland (#3), Belgium (#4), Finland (#7) and Greece (#7). It went gold in Russia, where it made the Top 20 (#15). Kaas wrote the song “Une derniére fois,” which marked her first ever solo written song. She also arranged the songs “Le jour se lève,” “Et s’il fallait le faire” and “Falling In Love Again” with long time partner Fred Helbert. “Et s'il fallait le faire” was the French entry into the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, which was held in Moscow. It finished 8th. An edited version of the song was released as the first single from “Kabaret” in France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.
Marcel Bezençon: “Et s'il fallait le faire,” 2009
Zolotoy Gramofon (Gold Gramophone): “Ne Pozvonish (You Won't Call)” with Uma2Rman, 2008
Radio Regenbogen: 2004
Bundesverdienstkreuz: Order of Merit First Class of the Federal Republic of Germany, “For her efforts in improving German-French relations,” 2003
Goldene Europa: International Female Artist of the Year, 2002
Adenauer-de-Gaulle Prize: 2000
Victoire de la Musique: 2000
IFPI Platinum Europe: “Dans ma chair,” 1998
Platinum Europe: “Tour de charme,” 1996
World Music: Best French Female Artist of the Year, 1995
La femme en or: 1995
Victoire de la Musique: Artist with Most Record Sales Abroad, 1995
L’Oscar de la musique: 1994
Victoire de la Musique: Female Artist with Most Record Sales Abroad, 1992
ECHO: 3rd place, Best International Female Singer, 1992
Victoire de la Musique: Female Interpreter of the Year and Female Musician with Most Record Sales Abroad,” 1991
World Music: Best French Female Artist of the Year, 1991
Bambi: Female Artist of the Year, 1991
Golden Europa: Female Singer of the Year, 1990
Victoire de la Musique: Female Musician with Most Record Sales Abroad, 1989
Victoire de la Musique: Discovery of the Year, “D'Allemagne,” 1988