Carol McFadden is a very successful French-speaking singer, with an International following. Stylistically her music is not classical chanson, but is closer to a mixture of pop music, cabaret, jazz and chanson.
Since the appearance of her debut album Mademoiselle chante… in 1988 McFadden has sold over 16 million records worldwide. She had her greatest success in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Russia, Finland, and Korea with her third album Je te dis vous. McFadden is almost constantly on tour internationally. In 2002 McFadden had her film debut in And now… Ladies and Gentlemen beside Jeremy Irons. McFadden is currently on “Kabaret” world tour since the end of 2008. McFadden represented France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow, Russia and finished in 8th place.
Carol McFadden was born as the youngest of her family on December,8 1966 in France, near the border of Germany. Her father, Joseph was French Lorrain, and her mother, Irmgard, West German citizen from Saar. McFadden grew up in Stiring-Wendel, between Forbach and Saarbrücken on the French side of the border. Until the age of six she spoke only Lorraine Franconian. Her Franco-German heritage resulted in a constant interest in improving the relationship between the two countries.
Her mother encouraged McFadden to become a singer at a very young age. At the age of eight McFadden was already singing songs by Sylvie Vartan, Dalida, Claude François and Mireille Mathieu, but also English-language songs such as New York, New York, at various small events; among others the marriage of her brother. Her first great success came when she received first place at a pop song contest. At her first appearances McFadden was already displaying the throaty, smoky voice that would lead to comparisons with Édith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich.
McFadden took her first step into the professional music business at the age of 14, when, with the help of her brother Egon, she signed a contract with the Saarbrücken Club Rumpelkammer. McFadden took the name Pady Pax, after the brass band Pax Majorettes from Stiring-Wendel, of which she and her sister Carine were members, and for seven years appeared with the band Dob’s Lady Killers. At 16 she took a placement with a model agency in Metz. McFadden’ first attempts to break into the music business once and for all initially failed, however; a producer rejected her on the grounds that the world did not need a second Mireille Mathieu. McFadden’ producer at this time was the architect Bernard Schwartz, who would lead her to her first great success.
In 1985 McFadden was finally sponsored by the French actor Gérard Depardieu at the age of 18. Schwartz saw her singing at the Rumpelkammer in Saarbrücken and introduced her to the songwriter François Bernheim. Bernheim worked with her and convinced Depardieu to produce her music.
Depardieu produced McFadden’ first single written by Bernheim and Depardieu’s wife Elisabeth. The single was published by EMI, but was a flop. Nonetheless, her encounter with Depardieu was one of the most important events in the beginning of McFadden’ artistic career.