Crooner Grégory Charles was a veritable cultural phenomenon in his native Quebec, enjoying concurrent success as a recording artist, television personality, and concert-hall showman.
The son of a jazz-loving Trinidadian father and a piano-teaching French-Canadian mother, Charles was born in Montreal on February 12, 1968. A child prodigy, he won a national piano competition at age seven, resulting in a series of performances accompanied by some of Canada's most respected symphony orchestras. While attending law school, Charles moonlighted as an actor, co-starring in the television series Chambres en Ville. Beginning in 1991, he hosted a daily radio show on Montreal station CKOI, and a year later was named host of the television game show Que le Meilleur Gagne, a position he held for five years. Charles nevertheless remained rooted in music, and in 1998 backed Quebecois superstar Celine Dion on tour as a pianist and backing vocalist. In 2001, he was also awarded his own three-hour weekly radio show on Radio-Canada, a freewheeling affair spotlighting his prowess as a singer, pianist, and walking encyclopedia of musical knowledge. Two years later Charles premiered Noir et Blanc, a long-running one-man variety show that he later performed in New York City. In late 2004, the show yielded his debut LP, Gospel Live Noir et Blanc. With 2006's I Think of You, Charles enjoyed his greatest commercial success to date, debuting atop the Canadian pop charts. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi