Lio

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This article is about the Portuguese-born pop singer and actress. For other uses, see Lio (disambiguation).
Lio
Lio.jpg
Background information
Birth name Wanda Maria Ribeiro Furtado Tavares de Vasconcelos
Born (1962-06-17) June 17, 1962 (age 52)
Mangualde, Portugal
Genres Pop, rock, new wave, bubblegum pop, punk
Occupation(s) singer
Years active 1980-present
Labels ZE Records

Lio (born 17 June 1962) is a Belgian singer and actress who was a pop icon in France and Belgium during the 1980s.

Life and career[edit]

Wanda Maria Ribeiro Furtado Tavares de Vasconcelos was born in Mangualde, Portugal. When her father was called up to fight in the Portuguese Army, the family moved to Mozambique. Her parents divorced and, in 1968, Wanda moved with her mother and new stepfather to Brussels, Belgium, where her sister, actress Helena Noguerra, was born.[1] In her teens she was determined to become a singer, and she was encouraged by singer-songwriter Jacques Duvall (né Eric Verwilghem), a family friend. She took her stage name, Lio, from a character in the Barbarella comic books by Jean-Claude Forest.[2]

In 1979, together with songwriter Jay Alanski, she and Duvall began working with Marc Moulin and Dan Lacksman from the electro-trio Telex. "Le banana split", which sold over 1 million copies,[1] and "Amoureux solitaires", a song originally by punk rock band Stinky Toys. Both songs rose to the top of many pop charts in France, and Moulin and Lacksman also produced her self-titled first album. In 1982 the American music duo Ron and Russell Mael, of Sparks, worked with her on the album Suite Sixtine, on which some of her previous songs were translated into English. Suite Sixtine was compiled and art directed by Ralph Alfonso for Attic Records Canada, where it was originally released. Her second album, Amour toujours, was produced by Alain Chamfort and released in 1983.[2] The same year, she first appeared on the screen in Chantal Akerman's film Golden Eighties, a lighthearted, humorous French pop musical about the people who work together in a Parisian shopping center. Lio plays a carefree hairdresser in the movie.[citation needed]

In 1985 she met record company executive and producer Michel Esteban, of ZE Records. She continued to have hit singles in Europe, including "Les brunes comptent pas pour des prunes", and travelled to Los Angeles with Esteban to record her next album Pop model. Several of the tracks were co-produced by John Cale, formerly of the Velvet Underground, and the album produced the hits "Fallait pas commencer", "Je casse tout ce que je touche", and "Chauffeur".[2] In 1988, after she had given birth to a daughter with Esteban, she resumed her acting career, starring in Claude Lelouch's film Itinéraire d'un enfant gâté.[1] The Lio-Esteban partnership produced another album, Can Can, recorded in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro.[2] She also designed a fashion collection for the European department store chain Prisunic.[1]

She appeared in three films in 1990 and 1991, Chambre à part, Sans un cri, and Après l'amour.[1] Her 1991 album, Des fleurs pour un caméléon, was produced by Étienne Daho - she had already contributed vocals for one of Daho's earliest and biggest hits, "Week-End À Rome".[3] Daho was given carte blanche in the studio because Lio was busy shooting a film ; however, when his work was over, he showed no interest in promoting the album with her, limiting the success of the album.[4] Her next album, Wandatta, presenting a more mature approach in contrast with her previous image, and with a sleeve designed by Guy Peellaert, was released in 1995. However, it was relatively unsuccessful, and she withdrew for a time to live near Angoulême with her partner and children. In 1998, she recorded with Esteban in Cuba, and in 1999 she appeared in 50 performances of the French adaptation of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, a musical staged at the Folies Bergère. She had two kids that year. She released the single Je suis comme je suis and the album Chante Prévert containing interpretations of the poems of Jacques Prévert, in 2000. After performing the songs on tour throughout France, Europe and North Africa, she released the live album Cœur de rubis in 2004. She also appeared in over 250 performances of the theater play Le bébé, an adaptation of a book by Marie Darrieussecq staged by Marc Goldberg.[1][2]

Since 2008, Lio has been a judge on the French "pop idol" show Nouvelle Star. In 2009, she returned to music with the rock band Phantom. In 2011, she became a judge on The Voice Belgique.

As of 2012, several of Lio's songs (like her 1980 song "Sage Comme Une Image") have been rediscovered and used as samples in numerous songs by artists in the Nu-disco, House and EDM genres.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Album
FRA
1979 Le Banana Split 1 Lio
1980 Amoureux solitaires 1
Amicalement votre 19
Sage comme une image - Suite sixtine
1982 Mona Lisa -
1983 Zip a doo wah - Amour toujours
La reine des pommes -
1985 Tétéou (Lio Featuring Jacky) 48 -
1986 Les brunes comptent pas pour des prunes 10 Pop model
Les filles veulent tout (Canada only)[5] -
1987 Fallait pas commencer 5
Je casse tout ce que je touche 22
Chauffeur suivez cette voiture -
La Bamba (Los Portos Featuring Lio)[6] - -
1988 Seules les filles pleurent - Can Can
1989 Tu es formidable -
1990 The Girl From Ipanema (Lio Featuring Etienne Daho) - Des fleurs pour un Caméléon
1991 L'autre joue -
1995 Le Banana Split 95 - Peste Of!
1996 Tristeza - Wandatta
A la fête des animaux (promo only)[7] - -
1998 Ganja (Lio Featuring Los Van Van) (remix)[8] - -
2000 Je suis comme je suis - Chante Prévert
2005 Les hommes me vont si bien (promo only)[9] - Dites au Prince Charmant
2007 Les matins de Paris (Teki Latex Featuring Lio) 14[10] Party de plaisir (Teki Latex album)
2009 Je ne veux que ton bien (Phantom Featuring Lio) - Phantom Featuring Lio
La veille de ma naissance (Phantom Featuring Lio)[11] -
2014 Poupée pop[12] - TBA

Albums[edit]

Year Album Chart Sales
France
1980 Lio 9 150,000
1983 Amour toujours - -
1986 Pop model - 100,000
1988 Can Can - 30,000
1991 Des fleurs pour un caméléon - -
1996 Wandatta - 10,000
2000 Lio chante Prévert[13] - -
2005 Dites au prince charmant 105 4,000
2009 Phantom Featuring Lio (with the band Phantom) - 500[14]
  • Phantom Featuring Lio was released in the UK under the title Lio et les fantômes.[15]

Live Albums[edit]

  • 2003: Cœur de rubis

Compilations[edit]

  • 1982: Suite sixtine (a mixture of b-sides, English versions of previous songs and unreleased tracks ; originally exclusive to Canada)
  • 1995: Peste Of!
  • 2005: Les Pop Songs (Best Of 1)
  • 2005: Les Ballades (Best Of 2)
  • 2005: Pop Box - 25 Years In Pop (7 remastered CDs with bonus tracks and 1 DVD of clips)
  • 2008: Je Garde Quelques Images... Pour Mes Vies Postérieures (double CD containing a mixture of hits and Lio's personal favorites)

Filmography[edit]

Théâtre[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]