|Birth name||Nolwenn Le Magueresse|
28 September 1982 |
|Genres||Pop, world, Celtic|
Nolwenn Leroy (born Nolwenn Le Magueresse; 28 September 1982 in Saint-Renan, Brittany, France), is a French singer-songwriter, musician and voice actress. Originally classically trained, she rose to fame after winning the second season of the French television music competition Star Academy, in 2002. She has since recorded five studio albums and scored two number one singles, "Cassé" and "Nolwenn Ohwo!", on the French charts. In 2012, her album Bretonne was certified two times diamond for sales exceeding one million copies.
Leroy has received numerous awards and nominations. In January 2015, she was ranked 17th on Le Journal du Dimanche's 50 Most Loved Celebrities in France, making her the top female singer on the list since December 2012.
Leroy is fluent in English, having spent a year in Ohio as an exchange student. She sings in many languages, including French, Breton, English and Irish Gaelic. She has also performed in Italian and Spanish.
- 1 Early life and career beginnings
- 2 Career
- 3 Medical research
- 4 Endorsements
- 5 Philanthropy
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Discography
- 8 Voice acting
- 9 Horse riding
- 10 Awards and nominations
- 11 Honours
- 12 Bibliography
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Early life and career beginnings
Leroy's parents left Saint-Renan (Finistère) when she was four years old. After living in Paris, Lille, and Guingamp, her mother, Muriel Leroy, and her younger sister, Kay, settled with Leroy's grandparents in Saint-Yorre. Her mother divorced from her father, professional footballer Jean-Luc Le Magueresse, in 1993.
Nolwenn studied at the "Collège des Célestins" in Vichy. When Leroy was eleven, her music teacher noticed her musical talents and encouraged her to learn the violin. At the age of thirteen she won "Les écoles du désert", a contest sponsored by the Cora supermarket chain, which allowed her to travel with a humanitarian mission from Gao to Timbuktu, Mali; she later claimed this had a profound influence on her.
In July 1998, Leroy was awarded a scholarship by the Vichy Rotary Club to travel to Hamilton, Ohio, as an exchange student. While attending Hamilton High School, she took music lessons at the Performing Arts School and became fluent in English during her stay there. When she returned to France, she began classical singing classes at the Vichy music conservatory. In 2001, she enrolled in the University of Clermont-Ferrand to study law for a potential alternative career to music.
2002: Star Academy
After watching the first series of Star Academy broadcast on TF1 in 2001, Leroy was impressed by Armande Altaï, a singing teacher and one of the show's judges, and decided to join Altaï's singing classes in Paris for over six months. In 2002, Nolwenn was selected for the second season of the show, but she was also given the part of Scarlett O'Hara in the French stage musical Autant en emporte le vent (Gone with the Wind) by Gérard Presgurvic. Leroy finally chose the television singing competition over the musical and joined the Dammarie-lès-Lys castle in late August 2002, where she followed acting, dancing and singing classes for four months. She was declared the overall winner, ahead of her fellow finalist, Houcine Camara, on 21 December 2002.
2003–04: Eponymous debut album
Leroy's first album, Nolwenn, was released in March 2003 and was certified platinum by November for sales exceeding 300,000 copies. In 2006, the album was certified two times platinum by the Syndicat national de l'édition phonographique (SNEP) for more than 600,000 copies sold. Four songs from the album, "Cassé", "Une Femme cachée", "Suivre une étoile" and "Inévitablement" were released as singles. Leroy went on tour in France, Belgium and Switzerland in late 2003 to promote songs from the album.
2005–08: Histoires Naturelles
Leroy's second album, Histoires Naturelles, was produced by Laurent Voulzy and Frank Eulry. Five singles were released from the album. "Nolwenn Ohwo!", co-written by Alain Souchon, Voulzy and Leroy herself, topped the French music charts. The second single was the title track, "Histoire Naturelle". Music videos were made for both songs; the video for "Histoire Naturelle" expressed the main theme of the album with Leroy being portrayed as natural history museum exhibits. Of the other single releases, "Mon Ange" was distributed digitally while "J'aimais tant l'aimer" and "Reste Encore" were promotional-only. The album reached platinum status with 400,000 copies sold. Songs from Histoires Naturelles and Nolwenn were performed on Leroy's second tour entitled "Histoires Naturelles Tour", which started in September 2006. Leroy's first live album was subsequently released in late October 2007.
2009–10: Le Cheshire Cat et Moi
Le Cheshire Cat & Moi was a project that began in 2007, co-written by Leroy and Teitur Lassen, with contributions from Jonatha Brooke, Michelle Featherstone, Mike Errico and Rupert Hine. It was arranged and produced by Lassen, and recorded in Sweden and the Faroe Islands. The album's lead single, "Faut-il, faut-il pas ?", was released in November 2009 along with a music video directed by Yoann Lemoine. Leroy was observed to feature "a lighter sound than on previous releases" and the album gave the opportunity for her to write all the lyrics. The album was released on 7 December 2009 and was later certified gold. A tour entitled "Le Cheshire Cat & Vous" to promote the record was held in 2010.
Leroy released a fourth studio album, Bretonne, on 6 December 2010. Cover versions of traditional Celtic songs such as "Mná na h-Éireann", "Tri Martolod", "La Jument de Michao", and contemporary songs such as Christophe Miossec's "Brest" were included on the album. Most of the songs related to Brittany, the singer's birthplace, four sung in Breton ("Tri Martolod", "Suite Sudarmoricaine", "Bro Gozh ma Zadoù", "Karantez Vro"), one in Irish ("Mná na h-Éireann"), and the others in French and English. Leroy collaborated with Jon Kelly for the musical arrangements. The album topped the French album charts for 7 weeks and the Belgian album charts for 5 weeks. It was certified double diamond by the SNEP for sales exceeding one million copies.
The album was re-released in November 2011 as a Deluxe Edition which added 7 English language tracks, including "Amazing Grace", "Scarborough Fair" and two Mike Oldfield tracks, "Moonlight Shadow" and "To France". The American version of the album, retitled Nolwenn, was released on 8 January 2013 with a different track listing. The album peaked at number 10 on the Billboard's World Album chart. Leroy made her New York City debut at Drom. As part of the Bretonne Tour, Leroy played over 100 dates in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany.
2012–present: Ô Filles de l'Eau
Nolwenn Leroy released her fifth album on 26 November 2012, along with her leading single "Juste Pour Me Souvenir". The title reads 'O Daughters of the Water' but is phonetically identical to 'au fil de l'eau' ('with the current/flow'). Like Bretonne, it contains Celtic inspired music but with more ocean themed lyrics. The album includes two English-language tracks ("Homeland" and "Limitless"). The song "Homeland" contains the James Horner composed theme of the film Braveheart. "Ahès" is the only Breton-language song of the album. Leroy wrote and co-composed 9 songs, including the singles "Juste pour me souvenir", "Sixième continent", "J'ai volé le lit de la mer" and "Ophélia". The album cover was created by Australian artist Vee Speers, inspired by her portrait series, Immortal.
Reviews of the album were strong, with some praising Leroy's vocal ability and Celtic music and lyrics, noting that her singing in English and Breton was brave and proved her to be an evolving artist, with strong sales to match. Two months after its release, the album was certified three times platinum by the SNEP.
In early 2014, she was nominated at the World Music Awards for the first time, in four categories: World's Best Album (Bretonne), World's Best Entertainer, World's Best Female Artist, and World's Best Live Act.
On 3 May 2014, Leroy performed the Breton anthem "Bro Gozh ma Zadoù" at the Stade de France before 80,000 spectators, for the 2014 Coupe de France Final (aired on France 2) opposing two Breton clubs, the Stade Rennais to EA Guingamp.
On 11 June 2015, she was invited to talk about her career at Oxford University. In November 2015, Leroy announced that she would perform at Celtic Connections in Glasgow's City Halls on 30 January 2016, along with Karen Matheson.
Leroy's music was studied for its neurological impact in geriatric populations. Researchers found that Leroy's recordings might have a more beneficial effect than other music, noting that: "the music of Nolwenn Leroy was found to be significantly superior to other music tested". To describe the phenomenon they coined the term the Nolwenn Effect, saying: "the music of Nolwenn Leroy appears to have a different effect on brain-based modulation of gait and stance than other music tested to date".
Mozart and Dutch and French singers were tested; only Mozart and Leroy's music were specified. The U.S. study was completed in February 2008, but no substantial results appear to be published.
|2009||Le Cheshire Cat et moi||26||32||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|2012||Ô Filles de l'Eau||5||5||35||60||–||–||–||–|
|2007||Histoires Naturelles Tour||25||21||–||–|
|2014||Ô Tour de l'Eau||26||36||–||–|
|"Une Femme Cachée"||40||23||78|
|"Suivre Une Étoile"||12||24||44|
|2005||"Nolwenn Ohwo !"||1||3||29||Histoires Naturelles|
|2007||"J'aimais Tant L'Aimer"||–||–||–|
|2009||"Faut-il, Faut-il Pas ?"||–||6*
|–||Le Cheshire Cat et moi|
|"Mná na h-Éireann"||–||25*
|"La Jument de Michao"||36||13||–|
|"Moonlight Shadow"||48||32||–||Bretonne (Deluxe Edition)|
|2012||"Juste pour me souvenir"||43||13||–||Ô Filles de l'Eau|
|"J'ai volé le lit de la mer"||–||4*
* Belgium Ultratip
– denotes releases that did not chart.
As featured artist
Other charted songs
|2007||"Aimer à perdre la raison"
(with Les Enfoirés)
|–||22||–||La Caravane des Enfoirés|
(with Les Enfoirés)
|–||7||–||Les secrets des Enfoirés|
(with Les Enfoirés)
|91||49||–||Le bal des Enfoirés|
|"Attention au départ"
(with Les Enfoirés)
|5||3||49||La boîte à musique des Enfoirés|
(with Les Enfoirés)
(with Les Enfoirés)
|196||–||–||Bon anniversaire les Enfoirés|
|"Dès que le vent soufflera"
|–||La Bande à Renaud|
|"La ballade nord-irlandaise"||142||–||–|
- 2012: Die Wanderhure – Best Of (German TV movies)
- 2014: Song of the Sea (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) and its French version Le Chant de la Mer
- 2012: Rise of the Guardians by Peter Ramsey, French voice of Tooth Fairy
- 2013: Lady Ô (evening show at the Futuroscope), the storyteller
- 2014: Song of the Sea by Tomm Moore, French voice of Bronagh
Leroy owns a horse named El Aberkan. She showed her horse riding and jumping skills on unfamiliar horses a couple of times for French TV shows broadcast on France 2, including the 2011 Gala de l'Union des Artistes charity, alongside Alexis Grüss.
Awards and nominations
|2004||NRJ Music Awards||Francophone Breakthrough of the Year||Won|
|2006||Étoiles Chérie FM||Étoile de la Sensibilité||Won|
|Étoile Chérie FM||Won|
|Song of the Year
for Mon Ange
|2007||Female Artist of the Year||Won|
|France Bleu Talents||Audience Choice Prize||Won|
|2010||Le Télégramme||Grand Prix du Disque
|2011||Breton of the Year||Won|
|Planète Musique Mag (France 2)||Planète Musique Mag d'or||Won|
|RTL – Metronews||RTL Album of the Year
|RTL – Le Parisien||Person of the Year||Won|
|2012||NRJ Music Awards||Francophone Female Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Francophone Song of the Year
for Tri martolod
|Best-selling Francophone Album of the Year
|Victoires de la Musique||Female Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Globes de Cristal||Best Female Act||Nominated|
|Bro Gozh ma Zadoù||Prix Bro Gozh ma Zadoù||Won|
|2013||NRJ Music Awards||Francophone Female Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Grands Prix de l'UNAC
(National union of songwriters and composers)
|Grand Prix de l'UNAC
for the song Juste pour me souvenir
|RTL – Metronews||RTL Album of the Year
for Ô filles de l'eau
|2014||World Music Awards||World's Best Album
|World's Best Entertainer||Nominated|
|World's Best Female Artist||Nominated|
|World's Best Live Act||Nominated|
- Patrick Castells, Christophe Abramowitz (2005). Nolwenn Leroy. Télémaque, coll. Patrick Robin, 169 p. ISBN 2753300240.
- "Nolwenn Leroy's Singles French Chart positions". lescharts.com. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
- "Nolwenn reçoit son double disque de diamant pour Bretonne !". nolwenn.org (in French). Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- (French) "Jean-Jacques Goldman, Omar Sy et Jean Dujardin, personnalités préférées des Français". Ozap. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- (French) "Le Top 50 des personnalités – Décembre 2012". Ifop. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- "Nolwenn Leroy". Radio France International. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Certifications Albums Platine – année 2003 [Platinum album certifications – year 2003]". Disque en France (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "France Lowers Gold Standard". Billboard. 26 July 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Certifications Albums Double Platine – année 2006 [Double-Platinum album certifications – year 2006]". Disque en France (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Nolwenn Ohwo! – Chart performance"
- (French) "Nolwenn Leroy – Biographie". TV5 Monde. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- (French) "Joyeux Nolwenn". Le Soir. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- (French) "Rencontre avec Nolwenn et son Cheshire Cat". ELLE. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- Monger, James Christopher. "Le Cheshire Cat et Moi". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- (French) "Nolwenn Leroy". Le Journal des Femmes. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- "Fourth Studio Album Release Information"
- "World Albums Chart – January 26, 2013". Billboard. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- "Nolwenn Leroy NYC Debut". Drom. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- (French) "Un live de Nolwenn Leroy tourné vendredi à Saint-Brieuc !". Ouest-France. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- (French) "Nolwenn Leroy. Chanson par chanson, elle commente son nouvel album". Le Télégramme. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- (French) "Nolwenn Leroy se jette à l'eau sur son nouvel album". Culturebox. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- (French) "Nolwenn Leroy avec son chignon haut façon bun à Paris". Plurielles. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Vote – Cast your vote". World Music Awards. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- (French) "Coupe de France. Nolwenn Leroy chante le Bro gozh ma zadou". Ouest-France. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- (French) "Nolwenn Leroy dévoile un nouvel extrait de son best-of live". RTL. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Nolwenn Leroy à Oxford". The European School Culham. 14 May 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- "Karen Matheson and Nolwenn Leroy". Celtic Connections. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- "Fall Prevention in a Geriatric Nursing Home Setting Using the Music of Nolwenn Leroy" at ClinicalTrials.gov
- "Study of the Effect of the Music of Nolwenn Leroy in Fall Prevention Strategies in Texas Nursing Homes" at ClinicalTrials.gov
- "Fall Prevention Strategies Including Music and Posturography" at ClinicalTrials.gov
- Falling over. The Guardian, online.
- "Nolwenn Leroy : nouvelle égérie Pantene". Elle (in French). Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Nolwenn Leroy, chanteuse et ambassadrice Pantène". Gael (in French). Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Le Comité d'Amis et Parrains" (in French). Abbé Pierre Foundation's official website. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- (French) Nolwenn file le parfait amour avec Arnaud Clément
- "Nolwenn Leroy – Charts". Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Nolwenn Leroy – Longplay-Chartverfolgung". Musicline.de (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Palmarès des ventes de CD du 30 mai au 5 juin 2011 – Palmarès francophone [Top 10 Francophone Albums Chart in Quebec from May 30 to June 5, 2011]" (in French). La Presse. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- "2013년 27주차 Album Chart – (2013.06.23~2013.06.29) [South Korea Physical Albums Chart]" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- "2013년 27주차 Album Chart – (2013.06.23~2013.06.29) – 국의 [South Korea International Albums Chart]" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- "Nolwenn Leroy's Singles Swiss Chart positions". lescharts.com. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
- "Belgian Singles Charts"
- (German) "Der Soundtrack: Die Wanderhure – Best Of". Sat.1. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- "Nolwenn Leroy, une adorable et merveilleuse fée qui entre dans la légende". PurePeople (in French). Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "Nolwenn Leroy, la nouvelle fée du Futuroscope". France Bleu (in French). Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "Nolwenn Leroy donne de la voix pour le cinéma". Première (in French). Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- (French) "VIDEO. "Le Chant de la Mer", un conte celtique chanté par Nolwenn Leroy". Francetv info. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
- (French) "50ème Gala de l'Union des Artistes – 22 décembre". Nolwenn.org. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- "353232 Nolwenn (2010 CB12) – JPL Small-Body Database Browser". Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nolwenn Leroy.|
- Official Nolwenn Leroy website
- Unofficial Nolwenn Leroy website
- Official Nolwenn Leroy fan forum
- Nolwenn Leroy fan forum
- Nolwenn Leroy: online radio via Radionomy
Star Academy France