Belgium's Claude Maurane was the antithesis of the stereotypical jazz vocalist, eschewing the hard living and hard times so integral to the jazz mythos to celebrate the joys of motherhood and domestic life. Born Claudine Luypaerts in Ixelles on November 12, 1960, Maurane was the child of professional musicians. Raised on a steady diet of Bach and Debussy, she began studying violin at age eight, moving on to piano and guitar. Film musicals including West Side Story and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort proved her greatest inspiration, and in 1979 Maurane co-starred in the stage production Brel en Mille Temps. Her performance captured the attention of producer Pierre Barouh, and in 1980, she cut her debut single, "J'me Roule en Boule," for his famed Saravah label. Subsequent singles including "Fais Soleil," "T'as Pas la Pêche," and "Moi l'Argent, Toi Jeune" appeared to little notice, and Maurane continued touring clubs and cabarets, guesting on sessions headlined by Jo Lemaire and Philippe Lafontaine. In 1985, Maurane won the esteemed "Prix de la Meilleure Chanson," and later that year collaborated with saxophonist Steve Houben and pianist Charles Loos on the LP HLM. The record was a critical success and resulted in the 1986 release of Maurane's proper solo debut, Danser, which proved a commercial smash as well, thanks in part to the singer's soulful approach and emphasis on narrative, in particular family life, the dominant theme of her oeuvre. The 1989 follow-up, Maurane, sold over 500,000 copies in France alone, and she also built a fervent following in Canada and Switzerland. Ami ou Ennemi followed two years later, and in 1994 Maurane issued her first live LP, Une Fille Très Scène. With 1995's Différente, she hit her stride as a songwriter, penning lyrics for five songs and composing the melodies of three others -- she even co-produced 2000's Toi du Monde. In between Maurane starred in the 1998 feature comedy Le Comptoir, directed by Sophie Tatischeff, daughter of the legendary filmmaker Jacques Tati. Apart from "Tu es Mon Autre," a duet with pop singer Lara Fabian, Maurane did not resurface on record until 2003, issuing Quand l'Humain Danse. Another live effort, L'Heureux Tour, followed a year later, and in 2005 she co-starred in the film Palais Royal. Un Ange Passe, a reunion with Houben and Loos, preceded 2007's Si Aujourd'hui. ~ Jason Ankeny
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