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Ginette Reno (#14)

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We’re at the last post in the series “The Poll that Shocked”, and there couldn’t be a grander person with whom to end this series.

Ginette Reno could be said to be the superstar / Queen / Diva of Québec music – even Céline Dion says she’s humbled in Reno’s presence.   I’m racking my brains trying to think of who might be the closest comparison in Anglophone Canada – but I’m having a difficult time thinking of someone .

The best way I can explain her aura is through comparisons.  Picture this:  Imagine someone who began singing at the age of 18 in the 1960’s, with the career endurance of Cher, star-power of Whitney Houston (without the drugs or other problems), but with more of an Anne Murray down-to-earth type of personality.  Now picture this with a voice as strong and powerful as any Leona Lewis or Celine Dion – releasing almost one album every year, from the early 1960s until now – many many of which have earned her the highest awards in music over the entire length of a 45 year career…  and whose popularity, voice, and career is as strong now as ever.  Mix in various screen roles in movies, a humble character (the next-door-neighbour / mother / grandmother type you can picture inviting for supper), honours of state (Order of Canada, Knight of the Order of Québec), and the pride of a nation – and there you have someone who might start to resemble Ginette Reno.

Despite the poll results mentioned in my earlier post, Ginette Reno is actually well known to many Anglophone Canadians across Canada – but perhaps not as well known to newer Canadians.  Reno has won Juno awards and nominations over 30 years.

I suppose I could go down the long chronological list of her albums, awards, appearances – but words wouldn’t give her justice.  Reno has grabbed the hearts of a people, and is an iconic chapter in the history books.

If there was one recent performance that might in some way come close to summarizing the emotion and grandeur of her stature, it might be her 2008 performance on the Plains of Abraham in Québec City with Celine Dion and Jean-Pierre Ferland.  The Ginette/Céine performance became so famous that it was even parodied by Véronique Cloutier on the annual televised Le Bye Bye celebration in 2008 (Le Bye Bye was mentioned in an earlier post on Véronique Cloutier).   You should be able to find info about it online.

Her career has spanned both languages, and earned her some of Canada’s awards for her music, sung in both in English and French.   I would definitely categorize Ginette Reno as a “Barrier Breaker”.   Merci Ginette !!!

You won’t find a shortage of materials from online searches.   Her albums and songs are available for sale on various platforms and venues.  Please stick to officially approved footage, photos and videos, and please do not pirate – our artists form part of our cultural fabric.


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