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CULTURE

A show-biz divas journey to fame, and fortune 23/07/2002

As we briefly retrace her journey to fame and fortune, Josée returns to the stage on August 4, 2002 at the Sports colosseum and celebrates her 20th year in show business in 2003.

Josée, whose full name is Josée Helihanta Ramahavalisoa, came from a family with a passion for music, her father being a musician. She started to hone her singing voice, as a backup singer for her aunt Voahirana, another Malagasy pop star.

She permanently joined Njila when she turned 17. The songstresss delicate and velvety-soft voice contributed a great deal to the groups success, one hit song after another. She fascinated, and charmed the public who could not get enough of her records. You could hear everyone whistle Ilay rivotra - That wind, and Raha Nofy - If it was a dream during the 80s, the decade when Njila was discovered. But after 7 years of fame, the group would fall apart with its leaders departure to France in 1990. The fans were in shock as they watched the bridges slowly, but surely burn between the songstress and her ex-group. Josée would remain in the country, and decided to launch a solo career.

Success did not take long. The melancholy-stricken fans had a hard time without the starlets now mature voice. Thanks to writer-composer, Solofo Ranarivelo, she introduced her first album, Andao Handihy - Lets dance, in 1991, right before her first hit song Gina Gina made the charts. Josée has now reached the big leagues.

A musician, Naivo, would be the corner stone of Josées life (both professionally and personally, because they married in 1998). He was one of the wizards behind her second album Fandresena - Victory, which came out in 1993. You could not miss his distinctive touch on all the lyrics anymore than you could miss Josées signature words and voice. Two years later, in 1995, she burst onto the international scene with Malagasy Rainbow, recorded in South Africa under the BMG Africa label. This marked the year when she definitely entered the professional arena.

She left her singing career briefly in 1997 to give birth to her son Tahina Ismael. The following years were particularly impressive, to the delight of her fans. Three albums came out, one after the other, in the space of four years. This translated into approximately some thirty songs..., and yet again more hits. Not surprisingly, when she ventured into the dance arena, the move was well received.

Josées success can also be attributed to the many duet recordings she made with well known artists, such as Johary in 1992; the sensational Ricky in 1996; and in 2000, with Eric Tahina, the little boy whose castrato voice blended so marvelously well with hers that even the most critical music lovers could not tell one from the other, as they sang Tena Namana - True Friends; and last but not least, the great Eric Manana in Tsy afa-bela.

However, the show-biz star did not stop there to sleep on her on her laurels. Since last year, after the birth of her daughter (in 2000), she has actively joined UNICEF in their breast feeding promotion campaign, where she appears on TV spots (with her daughter), accompanied by one of her compositions covering the same issue.

Josée is not new to the stage, starting with the backup singing years with her aunt Vohangy, to the many concerts she performed with Njila. Her appearances at Antsahamanitra, or at the Palais des Sports et de la Culture have always been a huge hit, either as a guest-star in the various editions of Tana In Love, or on the French DJ Cut Killers show, or as the marquee featured entertainer of a concert.

This year, on August 4, at the Palais des Sports, her fans will have an opportunity to enjoy her newest compositions, of which Tahakizay - Like that, which already figures prominently on the national stations charts.

Translated by J. F. Razanamiadana


 

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