French pop singer Garou vaulted to fame as Quasimodo in the 1998 stage musical Notre-Dame de Paris. Born Pierre Garand in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on June 26, 1972, he was a child prodigy who mastered piano and guitar while still in primary school.
As a teen, he joined his classmates' rock band Windows and Doors, and later played trumpet in a Canadian military marching band. While working day jobs including fashion store clerk and produce picker, Garou continued moonlighting in Montreal-area clubs and busking on street corners. During the mid-'90s, he was a weekly fixture at the Sherbrooke nightspot the Liquor Store of Magog, and also fronted his own band, the Untouchables. In 1997 Garou met theatrical producer Luc Plamondon, who cast him in the starring role of Quasimodo in Notre-Dame de Paris, a musical adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The production proved a box office smash, and after a run at Paris' Palais des Congres, Garou continued his performance during the show's French tour. On New Year's Eve 1999, Garou also joined Canadian pop icon Celine Dion on-stage during a Montreal concert, and with the help of Dion's manager/husband, René Angélil, he soon signed a recording contract, issuing his solo debut, Seul, in late 2000. "Sous le Vent," Garou's duet with Dion, proved an international hit and the singer went on to win four Adisq Gala Awards, including Best Male Singer and Best Pop-Rock Album. Reviens followed in 2004, and in mid-2006 Garou issued his self-titled third LP. He continued to record, both live and studio albums, switching from French to English singing. 2012 saw the release of his seventh studio recording, Rhythm'n'Blues. ~ Jason Ankeny ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi