Monday, May 24, 2010

Nolwenn Leroy

Nolwenn Leroy (born 28 September 1982 in Saint-Renan, Finistère) is a French singer and songwriter, revealed by popular French TV reality show Star Academy in 2002. She is probably best known for her hit singles "Cassé" and "Nolwenn Ohwo!".


Nolwenn and her parents left Saint-Renan in 1982. Until 1993, she moved out several times before finally settling down with her family in her grandparents' house in St-Yorre. Her father, professional footballer Jean-Luc Le Magueresse, had deserted the family in 1992, when she was only 10 years old.
Nolwenn studied at the "Collège des Célestins" in Vichy. When she was 11, her music teacher detected her musical skills and encouraged her to learn how to play violin. When she was 13, she won the "Les écoles du désert" contest sponsored by the Cora supermarket chain, and went on a humanitarian mission from Gao to Timbuktu, in Mali which she later claimed had a profound influence on her.
In July 1998, she was sponsored by the Vichy Rotary Club on a one-year student exchange to the United States, in Cincinnati, Ohio. During that stay, she attended a two-day workshop in the Hamilton High School, a performing arts school. When she came back to France, she spoke fluent English, and decided to attend classical singing classes in the Vichy music conservatory.
In 2001, she enrolled in the university of Clermont Ferrand, where she studied law, hoping to lay down an alternative career in the diplomatic services.

Star Academy

Having watched the first edition of Star Academy (France) in 2001, Nolwenn became fascinated by Armande Altaï, one of the show's judges and so, decided to enroll in her singing class. She was later cast for the second season of the show. Following certain rumours, her family denied that Armande Altaï pulled strings for her to be selected as a finalist. The public chose her as the winner over fellow finalist, Houcine, on 21 December 2002.

Musical career

Debut Album (2003-2004)
Her first album, Nolwenn, was released in March 2003 and certified platinum (more than 400,000 sold) in November. As of 2006, Universal Music claims that more than 700,000 albums have been sold, but no other official certification has been made by the SNEP (Syndicat national de l'édition phonographique). Four singles: "Cassé", "Une Femme cachée", "Suivre une étoile" and "Inévitablement" have also been released. On 6 December 2003, Nolwenn Leroy started a tour throughout France, Belgium and Switzerland.

Histoires Naturelles (2005-2007)
Leroy's sophomore album, Histoires Naturelles, was produced by Laurent Voulzy and released in December 2005. Four singles were released from the album; the lead single, "Nolwenn Ohwo!", written by Alain Souchon and Voulzy, immediately hit number 1 in the French music charts. The second was the title track song, "Histoire Naturelle". Both released with music videos, "Histoire Naturelle"'s music video carried the theme of the album. Portraying her being treated as a Natural History gallery asset, she also appears as a spider and a cocoon which gradually turns into a butterfly in the music video. The third single, "Mon Ange", only had a digital release. "J'aimais tant l'aimer" was only a promotional single. On 30 September 2006, Leroy began her second tour, during which she would perform songs from both albums. Her first live album, entitled Histoires Naturelles Tour, was released in late October 2007.
[edit]Le Cheshire Cat & Moi (2008-present)
Leroy started to work on her new album in late 2007. She wrote her song with Teitur Lassens. Retrieved 6 May 2008 Later, she flew to Los Angeles to write songs with Jonatha Brooke and Michelle Featherstone. Nolwenn has also taken part in the writing and for the first time in the composing. This album is produced, arranged and realised by Teitur with the contribution of Jonatha Brooke, Michelle Featherstone and Rupert Hine. The album was recorded in Sweden and in the Faroe Islands.
According to her official site, her latest album is to be released on December 7, 2009,  and will have a more acoustic feel than "Histoires Naturelles."


The music of Nolwenn Leroy has been studied for its neurological impact in geriatric populations.The researchers have discovered that Leroy's music may have more of an impact than other music, noting that "the music of Nolwenn Leroy was found to be significantly superior to other music tested" (in Abrahams, 2008). The researcher coined the term "the Nolwenn Effect" to describe the phenomenon, noting that "the music of Nolwenn Leroy appears to have a different effect on brain based modulation of gait and stance than other music tested to date" (in Abrahams, 2008). Mozart is the only other test music specified. As of 2-18-08, the U.S. study is complete and no substantial results appear to be published. The NIH credits the chair of the study as a chiropractor associated with his own chiropractic school in Florida.


Year Title Chart positions
2003 Nolwenn 1 2
2005 Histoires Naturelles 3 44
2009 Le Cheshire Cat et Moi 26 -
Year Title Chart positions Album
2003 "Cassé" 1 4 Nolwenn
2003 "Une Femme Cachée" 40 78
2003 "Suivre Une Etoile" 12 44
2004 "Inévitablement" 31 -
2006 "Nolwenn Ohwo!" 1 29 Histoires Naturelles
2006 "Histoire Naturelle" 30 -
2006 "Mon Ange" 14* -
2007 "J'aimais Tant L'Aimer" - -
2007 "Reste Encore" - -
2009 "Faut-il, Faut-il Pas ?" - - Le Cheshire Cat et Moi
* French Download Charts
- Shows that the single did not chart or was not released as it was a promotional single

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