Luc Plamondon

1996 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Popular Music)

An early passion for Aznavour's music, the shock of the Beatles, four years of Europe during the Sixties' explosion of pop culture. Match this with a fascination for European art, culture and languages. The ingredients combine in this brilliant maker of songs to produce the quintessential pop mélodiste, with huge success on both sides of the Atlantic.

A prodigious creator, he has written more than 500 songs since 1970, when his very first song, Dans ma Camaro, with music by André Gagnon, rocketed to the top of the charts in Quebec. Since then it's been a succession of hits for such Quebec stars as Diane Dufresne, Renée Claude, and today, Céline Dion.

In France, pop greats Johnny Hallyday, Petula Clark and Julien Clerc sing his songs. His remarkable resonance with these interpreters of his music produces a unique synergy. His rock operas Starmania and La Légende de Jimmy, about James Dean, have also had enduring success.

Fame sits on him well through a "jet-setter" style of life. Yet, as expressed through the No. 1 theme of his songs, his soul retains a love of solitude.