Although actor/pop singer Sylvie Vartan is Bulgarian, she would eventually receive recognition from the French, usually singing entirely in the language of her adopted homeland. Born August 15, 1944, in Iskretz, Bulgaria, Vartan showed great talent for both acting and singing at an early age, resulting in an appearance in the Bulgarian film Under the Yoke in 1950. Two years later (while only ten years old), Vartan and her family relocated to France. 1961 would prove to be an important year for Vartan's career, as she entered a recording studio for the first time, picked up some TV work, and appeared at the famed Olympia Theater. The early '60s saw the release of a steady stream of singles, EPs, and albums (such as 1962's Sylvie), in addition to further appearances in European movies -- including A Moonlight in Maubeuge and Just for Fun.
Other impressive accomplishments for Vartan in the early '60s included recording a pair of songs ("If I Sing" and "Most Beautiful to Go to Dance") with famed country artists Chet Atkins and Ray Stevens, and playing on the same bill as the Beatles at the Olympia in January of 1964. During the mid-'60s, Vartan concentrated on making inroads to the American music market, as she appeared on such TV shows as The Ed Sullivan Show, Hullaballooh, and Shindig, while one of her best singles, "2'35 de Bonheur," hit the charts in early 1967. Subsequently, Vartan kept on issuing albums and touring at a steady rate right up to the 21st century, as 2001 saw the release of the 14-track career overview L'Essential. ~ Greg Prato