Patrick Fiori was born in Marseilles on 29 September 1970. However, shortly after his birth, Patrick's Corsican mother and Armenian father moved to Corsica, where the young boy and his four brothers and sisters grew up in Cargèse. It soon became obvious that Patrick had an exceptional voice and he wasted no time in building up valuable live experience, performing at family parties and other local events. The talented young singer went on to make his stage debut at the Marseilles Opera at the age of 13, performing in the French musical "Au jardin de l'enfance".
Patrick rapidly established an excellent reputation for himself on the regional music scene and in 1986 he was invited 'up' to Paris to perform on "Les habits du dimanche" (a TV talent show which turns the spotlight on rising stars in the music, fashion and entertainment world). Young Patrick proved a huge hit with the judges as well as with television audiences at home, who voted him back onto the show seven weeks running. "Les habits du dimanche" proved to be a very effective launchpad for Patrick Fiori's career. Indeed, thanks to his impressive performance on the show, the young singer was invited to support Gilbert Montagné on tour the following year.
In 1992 Patrick Fiori was back in the media spotlight again, inching his way up the career ladder when he carried off the top award at the 'Chanson Francophone' contest in Perpignan. Word of Fiori's exceptional voice soon spread and in 1993 finally reached the ears of Marie-France Brière, at that time director of France's second national TV channel France 2. Impressed by Fiori's vocal prowess, Madame Brière asked the up-and-coming star to represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest. She commissioned French singer François Valéry to write a song about Corsica and on 15 May 1993, Patrick Fiori found himself in Ireland, performing "Mama Corsica" in front of several million television viewers. The young singer did France proud, coming in at a very respectable fourth place. However, Fiori's success at Eurovision failed to make any immediate impact on his career.
With no offers of prospective record deals on the horizon, the young singer decided to go ahead and record his debut album anyway, financing studio production costs through donations from family and friends. Fiori's debut album was released in Corsica and the Provence-Alpes/Côte-d'Azur region in 1994, but it was some time before the album became available in the rest of France.
Meanwhile, Fiori continued to work away at his career, building up precious live experience. The young singer finally got his first major break in 1997, when he auditioned with the famous French songwriter Eddy Marnay. Impressed by the young singer's exceptional voice, Marnay put Fiori in touch with his songwriting colleagues Luc Plamondon and Richard Cocciante, who were at that time auditioning singers for their forthcoming musical "Notre-Dame de Paris". Fiori went along and auditioned for Plamondon and Cocciante, instantly landing the role of Phoebus (one of the show's male leads). Plamondon and Cocciante's musical would turn out to be a massive springboard for the young singer's career, catapulting him to stardom overnight.
In January '98 Plamondon and Cocciante organised an avant-première of their musical at MIDEM, the international record industry fair held in Cannes. The show scored an instant hit with professional audiences at Cannes and critics were soon predicting that "Notre-Dame de Paris" would prove to be an enormous commercial success. However, even expert music critics underestimated the enormous impact the show was to make on the French public.
Plamondon and Cocciante's musical, based on Victor Hugo's legendary novel, was to surpass all expectations. When "Notre-Dame de Paris" premièred in Paris at the Palais des Congrès in September '98, every seat in the venue was taken (in fact, tickets for the show were sold out months in advance!) What's more, both the live and studio version of the "Notre-Dame de Paris" album went on to sell like hotcakes. Needless to say, given the phenomenal success of the show, members of the French/Quebecois cast were rarely out of the media between the autumn of '98 and the spring of '99. And predictably enough, the singers who play the lead roles in "Notre-Dame de Paris" have all gone on to become major stars on the French music scene.
Teaming up with his Canadian co-stars Daniel Lavoie and Garou, Patrick Fiori went on to score a phenomenal hit in Europe and Quebec with the single "Belle" (one of the most popular songs from "Notre-Dame de Paris").
Given the enormous success of the musical, offers of record deals soon began flooding in for the show's leading stars and Fiori wasted no time in signing a contract with Tristar (Sony). Shortly afterwards he went into the studio to record a CD single "Elle est", which was swiftly followed by a new solo album.
Fiori's album, recorded in a studio in Montreal, was partly written and composed by Rick Allison (renowned for his production work with the new Belgian-Canadian star Lara Fabian). Much to the delight of the French and Canadian media, Patrick Fiori and Lara Fabian began a relationship at the start of '98. And photos of the happy couple have been splashed across the cover of French tabloids ever since!
1998 certainly proved to be a major year in Patrick Fiori's career. Following the phenomenal success of "Notre-Dame de Paris", the French singer was obviously much in demand. Disney invited Fiori to record the soundtrack for the French version of their animated film "Mulan" and Steven Spielberg's production company Dreamworks also asked the singer to provide vocals for the soundtrack of the French version of "The Prince of Egypt".
Meanwhile, Patrick Fiori continued his mega-successful run with "Notre-Dame de Paris". In the spring of '99 Fiori and the rest of the cast took "Notre-Dame de Paris" to Quebec where they drew in impressive audiences right through until the summer. However, when a new French version and an English adaptation of "Notre-Dame de Paris" were developed at the start of 2000, Fiori abandoned the role of Phoebus and chose not to follow the rest of the original cast in the new ventures. Fiori preferred to focus his attention on developing his own solo career instead.
After taking part in the "Enfoirés" tour (a fund-raising tour from which all proceeds were donated to the French charity Restaurants du Cœur), Fiori went on to release a new album entitled "Chrysalide" on 26 April 2000. A lot more pared-down and sober in tone than his previous albums, "Chrysalide" featured a number of melodies which were highly reminiscent of Michel Polnareff. From May through to July Patrick Fiori embarked upon a major promotional campign for his new album and in the autumn of 2000 set off on an extensive national tour.
The artist continued touring the following year, with dates in Switzerland, Belgium, and Canada. At the beginning of 2002 he took part in the Enfoirés Concert organized by the Restos du Coeur (a Charity founded by the late Coluche). In September, he released a new album dedicated to his hometown Marseilles. This eponymous album featured 12 tracks, seven of which were composed by the artist himself in collaboration with other musicians such as Jean-Jacques Goldman, Jacques Vénéruso, and Julie Zenatti.
The album went on to sell around 300,000 copies. In 2003 and 2004, Patrick Fiori devoted much of his time and energy to touring. He ended up travelling all over France, playing more than 130 concerts.
More of a rock feel
After this extensive national tour, the singer returned to the studio to begin work on a new album. All fourteen songs on his new album, "Si on chantait plus fort", were recorded in Corsica. Released in September 2005, the album featured a host of talented songwriters and composers including many of Fiori's closest friends such as Jean-Jacques Goldman (who penned "Toutes les peines", the first single release from the album), Goldman’s brother Jean Kapler, Patrice Guirao, Julie Zénatti, Patrice Carmona and Bernard Di Domenico. As the title (which translates as "If We Sang Louder") suggests, Fiori's new album revolved around pumping up the decibels to get more of a rock feel. The wild guitar riffs on many tracks stand as an indirect homage to the singer's favourite rock acts such as U2, Bruce Springsteen and AC/DC.
From April 2005, Patrick Fiori performed throughout France during a major tour. He was at Paris’s Olympia on 13 and 14 January 2007.
He released “Les choses de la vie” in November 2008, a polyglot production on which he used French, Italian, Spanish and English to sing film music (like “The Godfather”, “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “Borsalino”). He also invented lyrics for tracks without words, like the fantastic guitar tune from René Clément’s film “Forbidden Games”. The first single released from the album was called “Liberta”. It also included a duet with Tina Arena to the theme tune of “Fame” and a title written by his friend Jean-Jacques Goldman (“Merci”). The “Les choses de la vie” tour started in March 2009. Each concert comprised two parts – the first was given over to cover versions of original film scores and the second to his other songs.
In July 2009, Patrick Fiori’s partner, Ariane, whom he had married the previous year, gave birth to their son.