July 25: French-Canadian singer, Lynda Lemay is 45-years-old today.

Lynda Lemay grew up in Portneuf, a small town near the St Laurent river near Quebec. Shy as a youngster, Lynda dreamt of becoming an archaeologist in later life, but her love of poetry and literature started her wring her own poems. She wrote her first song - "Papa es-tu là ?" - when she was nine-years-old.

Lynda's passion for writing continued into her teens and, besides writing song lyrics, she also taught herself to play guitar. She won the top award in the "Québec en chansons" song contest at the age of 18. However, after finishing school, Lynda temporarily abandoned her music career, devoting herself to studying for a literature degree instead. Around this period she also spent most of her free time writing a novel. 

Music finally came back into her life and with the support and encouragement of her family, Lynda began to dream of launching a professional singing career.

Living in Quebec, Lynda supported herself through a series of odd jobs and soon began working in local "bars à chansons" where she discovered the work of Quebecois songwriters and French chanson classics. Before long, the budding young singer even ended up landing a few gigs on the bar circuit herself, where she performed accompanying herself on guitar.

Lynda's vocal talent and finely-crafted lyrics made her an extremely popular fixture on the "bar à chanson" scene. Her fame spread rapidly through word-of-mouth and she soon became as much of a hit in professional circles as she was with local audiences. Lynda's career took off in earnest, however, when she triumphed at the Granby Song Contest in 1989, carrying off the award for "Best Singer-Songwriter" thanks to her song "La veilleuse."

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Following her success at Granby, Lynda went on to meet a number of music industry professionals and in 1991 ended up going into the studio to record her debut album Nos Rêves. This album led to Lynda refining her style with a series of new songwriters and composers such as Martin Leclerc.

By 1994 Lynda was already back in the studio recording her second album, Y. The new album, showcased Lynda's talent as a first-class songwriter capable of penning lyrics about everything from traumatic subjects like rape ("On m'a fait la haine") to frivolous, light-weight subjects like pencils ("Drôle de mine"). Lynda's debut album had impressed the critics, but this time round she found herself with a huge commercial hit on her hands. Y earned Lynda her first gold disc.

Lynda embarked on a major promotional tour of the album in October 1994, starting in Montreal. Lynda made an instant impact on French audiences when she performed at the "Francofolies" music festival in La Rochelle in July '95. She ended up winning the "Prix du Sentier des halles." Later that year Cogeco, a cable distribution company based in Quebec, gave Lynda a grant of $25,000 to help her develop her career.

Also in 1995 she married the famous Franco-Canadian comedian Patrick Huard. The couple, already individual celebrities in their own right, quickly became one of the most prominent show business couples in Quebec.

The European release of Y coincided with the release of a brand new album, la Visite, which featured a selection of live tracks as well as Lynda's trademark song, "Mon père, c'est le plus fort." Lynda Lemay soon became a popular fixture on the French music scene.

Following the release of her third album, Lynda hit the road again, embarking upon an extensive tour of Quebec and Europe in March '98. Lynda went on to appear at "A l'heure du Québec," a music festival organised in the Swiss town of Pully in June. At the end of the year, ynda returned to France to perform a six-week stint in Paris at the "Théâtre l'Européen."

Nominated for several leading awards - such as the "Félix" (in Quebec) and the "Junos" (in Canada) - Lynda finally won recognition at the "Félix" later that year, carrying off the award for Best Female Vocalist of 1998.

During the summer of 2008, Lynda Lemay recorded her eleventh album, Allo, c’est moi, in Montreal. It was released in  November 2008 in France and a week later in Canada.

Against a predominant guitar background, her eighteen songs are little stories (“la Partouze”), recounting childhood legends (“Rumeur sur le Père Noël”) and of course life in Quebec (“Bleu," the album’s first track). Lynda Lemay wrote all of the lyrics and music. She invited several Quebecois artists to join her, like Daniel Boucher, Gilles Valiquette, Marie-Mai and Jérôme Charlebois.

Her latest album, Blessée, was released in September 2010. It features eighteen songs recorded live during her last tour, thirteen of which were new. Moving into an acoustic musical vein, Lynda Lemay sang some touching, somber and humorous tracks.