René Simard, singer, performer and TV host (b at Chicoutimi 28 Feb 1961). Born into a large family, he was taken on by impresario Guy Cloutier at the tender age of ten. His first recording, L'oiseau, had phenomenal success that propelled him on stage at the PLACE DES ARTS and led to tours in Québec. He shot a feature film in 1973, and the next year represented Canada in Japan where he sold over a million records. After performances in France, Simard was a guest on several prestigious American variety shows (Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin), and shared the stage with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby at the Montréal Forum in 1976. The next year, the young singer made a pan-American tour with pianist Liberace. On his return, he hosted The René Simard Show (CBC, 1977-1979), a weekly variety program broadcast from Vancouver. During the 1980s, he appeared frequently with his sister Nathalie, and remained on the hit charts while continuing to moderate variety shows. René Simard then turned to musical comedy, with principal roles in Jeanne-la-Pucelle (1996) in Québec, and The Phantom of The Opera, in Toronto in 1999.