Childhood & Early Life
Patricia Kaas was born on December 5, 1966, in the small town of Forbach, Lorraine region, eastern France, as the youngest of seven children, to French miner, Joseph Kaas and German citizen, Irmgard.
She spent her childhood in the French bordered commune of Stiring-Wendel and spoke only Lorraine Franconian, the language spoken in the house.
She wasn’t really interested in school, but was happy on the stage and hence, started singing from a very young age.
Encouraged by her mother, her first stage performance came at the age of 8, after which she continued performing at various small events.
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Her first professional breakthrough came at the age of 13 when she was signed by the German cabaret-club, Rumpelkammer, in Saarbrucken, where she performed regularly for seven years.
While trying her luck in the music industry, she was noticed by architect Bernard Schwartz who introduced her to songwriter Francois Bernheim, after which French actor Gerard Depardieu agreed to sponsor her music.
Her first single ‘Jalouse’ was released in 1985, but failed to make a mark. However, it proved to be a great experience in her upcoming career.
In 1987, her single ‘Mademoiselle chante le blues’, written by Didier Berbelivien, became her first hit and was placed at No. 7 on the French singles chart. She recorded her next ‘D’Allemange’ in 1988.
Her first album ‘Mademoiselle chante…’, out in 1987, ranked at No. 2 in the French album charts for two months, going platinum in France, Switzerland and Belgium, and gold in Canada.
She embarked on her first world tour in 1990, performing 196 concerts in 12 countries, in front of her 750,000 fans.
With the release of her 1990 album ‘Scene de vie’, which incorporated the blues, pop and jazz beats with the traditional French tunes, she finally earned recognition in the international market.
In 1991, she recorded a double live album ‘Carnets de scene’, which was re-released by Sony as a live DVD 13 years later.
Her second world tour ‘Tour de charme’, in 1993, took her to 19 countries, including Hanoi, where she became the first French artist to perform after the Vietnam War. Her tour was later released as a live album in 1994.
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Her third world tour consisted of performances in 23 countries which was later converted into a live album ‘Rendez-vous’ in 1998, which included the track ‘L’aigle noir’, sung be great French singer Barbara.
She recorded her fifth studio album ‘Le mot de passe’ in 1999. The same year, she performed at the ‘Michael Jackson & Friends’ concert, which aired in 39 countries to support UNESCO, Red Cross, and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
In September 1999, she performed on CCTV’s programme in Paris, to be broadcast in China. Besides, she collaborated with Francis Cabrel and Ricky Martin on duets for other TV performances.
In 2000, she performed at the Jardin du Luxembourg Park addressing 30,000 mayors of France and an audience of 60,000, accompanied by the Orchestre National de Lille headed by Jean-Claude Casadesus.
She ventured into acting with the 2001 film ‘And now… Ladies and Gentlemen’, opposite English actor Jeremy Irons. The same year, she released her first ‘Best of’ album titled ‘Rien ne s’arrete’ including tracks from 1987 to 2001.
Her concept album ‘Piano Bar by Patricia Kaas’, recorded in 2002, was probably her first English album. This was followed by a world tour ‘Piano Bar Live’ with performances in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Her 2003 album ‘Sexe fort’ failed but its tour was a big hit, which continued till 2005, with performances in Europe, Russia, Siberia, USA, Korea, Canada, and China.
A few live performances marked her career for the next few years until 2008 when she recorded the hit single ‘Ne pozvonish’ with Uma2rman, a Russian rock group.
Her latest double album ‘Kabaret’ was recorded in 2009
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She participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 with the song ‘Et s’il fallait le faire’ and finished 8th, with the song being well-received by the critics and audience.
She published her autobiography ‘L’Ombre de ma Voix’ in 2011, which became a runaway success and has been translated into over six languages.
In 2012, she released ‘Kaas chante Piaf’ as a tribute to the French singer Edith Piaf, which included 21 of the latter’s greatest tracks.
Awards & Achievements
In 1987, she received the ‘Discovery of the Year’ award at the Victoires de la Musique awards.
She bagged the ‘Best Foreign Sales’ and ‘Best Female Artist’ awards at the Victoires de la Musique and won one of Germany’s biggest music awards, the Golden Europa, in 1990. She received the Golden Europa again in 2002.
In 1991, she was honored with the Bambi Award and the World Music Award.
She received the ‘Best Foreign Sales’ award at the Victoires de la Musique and ‘Best French Artist of the Year’ at the World Music Awards, in 1995.
In 2000, she was bestowed with the Adenauer-de-Gaulle award in Berlin.
She was honored with National Cross of Merit (Deutsch Verdienstkreuz Erste Categorie) from the German ambassador to France and the First Class Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany from the German government, in 2003.
She was declared as the highest-paid singer in the world, with an estimated $75 million earnings, by ‘People With Money’ magazine.