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Marie-Élaine Thibert

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Count Marie-Élaine Thibert among the myriad young singers launched to fame via the reality TV phenomenon of the early 21st century. Born in Montreal on April 18, 1982, Thibert studied vocal music and violin at l'École Pierre-Laporte de Montréal before entering the 2003 debut season of Star Académie, the Québecois spinoff of the international television amateur showcase -- she quickly emerged as a fan favorite, even collaborating with idol Celine Dion on her way to surviving into the final round. Although Thibert lost to eventual champion Wilfred Le Bouthillier, she still earned a recording contract and sold more than 300,000 copies of her self-titled debut LP. A tour followed in late 2004, with the closing night at Montreal's Bell Centre filmed for a successful DVD release. The album went on to claim the 2005 Juno Award for Francophone Album of the Year, and set the stage for its chart-topping 2007 follow-up, Comme Ça. ~ Jason Ankeny

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18 April 1982 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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