Born in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Julien was the companion of the poet and Québec provincial MLAGérald Godin, another Trifluvian and sovereigntist. She also worked with Gilles Vigneault and recorded with him. Julien performed pro-independence songs in Montréal clubs as early as 1964 and later made a career as one of Québec's most successful female popular singers. Julien's best-loved songs include "La Manic", the haunting ballad about love and separation in isolated Manicouagan, a river region of northern Québec near Labrador.
In 1970, Julien and Godin were arrested during the October Crisis and were released eight days later without charge.