Beginning in the mid-'90s, Pascal Obispo was one of French pop's most successful singer/songwriters, releasing a steady stream of commercial blockbuster albums, scoring Top Ten hit singles with regularity, embarking on sold-out concert tours, writing songs for a musical of his own idea, and collaborating with a long list of French pop stars, from Florent Pagny to Fatal Bazooka.
Born on January 8, 1965, in Bergerac, France, he made his solo album debut in 1990 with Le Long du Fleuve on EMI. Co-written with Franck Darcel, the album was largely unsuccessful and is often overlooked. Success came with Obispo's second album, however. Plus Que Tout au Monde, released in 1992, was the first of many albums in association with Sony Music. Produced by hitmaker Nick Patrick, who had recently worked with the Gipsy Kings, the album spawned several hit singles with "Plus Que Tout au Monde" and "Tu Vas Me Manquer." Obispo's third album, Un Jour Comme Aujourd'hui, was released in 1994, and became just as successful, spawning another couple hits with "Tombé Pour Elle" and "Tu Compliques Tout."
Following a concert tour in support of Céline Dion, Obispo's popularity skyrocketed to new heights in 1996 with Superflu, which reached number two on the French albums chart. Superflu spawned several hit singles, including the Top Ten smashes "Personne" and "Lucie," and sold over a million units, earning diamond sales certification and charting for nearly two years. In the wake of this success, Obispo collaborated with French pop stars Florent Pagny on his album Savoir Aimer (1997), including the chart-topping title track, and Johnny Hallyday on his album Ce Que Je Sais (1998). He also embarked on a popular concert tour documented on the chart-topping album Live 98 (1998).
In 1999, Obispo released the album Soledad, collaborated with Pagny once again on RéCréation, and co-wrote and produced Patricia Kaas' smash hit album Le Mot de Passe. After the turn of the century, Obispo scored a Top Five hit with "Millésime," a new studio recording included on the live album Millésime Live 00/01 (2001). The follow-up album, Studio Fan: Live Fan (2004), likewise a mix of studio and live recordings, spawned the chart-topping hit "Fan" and the Top Ten hits "Zinedine" and "Mourir Demain." As usual, his subsequent major albums of the 2000s -- Les Fleurs du Bien from 2006 and Welcome to the Magic World of Captain Samouraï Flower from 2009 -- were commercial blockbusters.
Beginning in 2009, Obispo took some time to transform his idea for a musical comedy, Adam et Ève: La Seconde Chance, into reality. Mounted and performed live, it was also filmed and recorded for release in 2011, with a starring role for Thierry Amiel. He also assembled a compilation, 2013's Millésimes, which included hits, duets, and live tracks. By the end of the year, he had released his ninth studio album, Le Grand Amour, which reached number three on the French charts. Tenth album Billet de Femme, released in 2016, used the poetry of Marceline Desbordes-Valmore set to music; it became Obispo's first number one album in years. ~ Jason Birchmeier