Described as France's answer to Susan Boyle, vocalist Lisa Angell had been a regular performer across the club circuit for several years before shooting to fame in her forties thanks to an appearance on a TV variety show.
A passionate music fan from a young age, she won several radio talent contests as a teen and, encouraged by her parents, studied at the Conservatoire de Nice. But her desire to sing the songs of Barbra Streisand, Jacques Brel, and Nicole Croisille rather than any classical works inspired her decision to leave after eight months, and she spent the subsequent decade performing at various piano bars in the Côte d'Azur. After a brief move to Paris failed to further her career, she contemplated giving up singing, but eventually went on to land permanent residencies at the Casino Ruhl and at a gay bar run by her friend. She received her big break after accompanying magician Dani Lary in his touring comedy show, Le Chateau des Secrets, and later on the televised Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde, where she attracted the attention of popular entertainer Patrick Sébastien, who asked her to appear as a solo artist on his France 1 talent show, Les Annees Bonheur. Her rendition of Ginette Reno's "J'ai Besoin de Parler" wowed audiences and record company bosses alike, resulting in a major-label deal with Polydor. Produced by Sébastien, her debut album, Les Divines, was released in 2011, and featured several new co-written songs alongside covers of tracks by Charles Aznavour ("Mourir d'Aimer"), Bette Midler ("The Rose"), and Edith Piaf ("Non Je Ne Regrette Rien"). ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi