With a city as vast and beautiful as Montreal (a population of nearly two million), there will surely be many negative people to pop out of it. Luckily for us, this list doesn’t contain any of them. So, without further ado, I introduce to you the celebrities and artists you had NO idea are actually from Montreal.
1. Céline Dion
Alright, fine. This one might not come as much of a surprise. Born Céline Marie Claudette Dion (quite a mouthful), Dion commenced her career as a teen star here in Québec/Montreal and subsequently garnered international fame once winning the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest (most of us didn’t even know that). Oh, and she also sang that popular Titanic song that everyone seems to adore.
2. William Shatner
For all you Star Trek geeks out there, this man needs no introduction. Not only is he world-renowned as Captain James T. Kirk, but Montreal’s Shatner is also an author, producer, director, singer, and overall weirdo. As well, I’ve heard that he is quite fun to be around during a party.
3. Simple Plan
Sadly (or not so sadly), some of you may not even remember who these lads actually are. Simple Plan have thus far released five studio albums (first one being No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls) and currently have their sixth planned for this year (2019, in case you happen to be reading this 14 years later).
4. Jay Baruchel
Currently seen in those silly banking commercials, Baruchel is both an actor and screenwriter (and a funny one at that) whose performed in some rather notable comedies such as Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder, and This Is The End. Also, he’s a rabid fan of the Montreal Canadiens.
5. Arcade Fire
I may or may not be a wee bit bias, but this band is one of the most original groups out there in quite some time. Founded in 2000 (at Montreal’s McGill University no less) by classmates and friends Win Butler and Josh Deu, the band rose to fame in 2004 with the release of their debut album Funeral. Since then, Arcade Fire has released another four albums ( Neon Bible, The Suburbs, Reflektor, Everything Now) and display no signs of slowing down.
6. Corey Hart
Wait, who? Please, bear with me for a moment. The reason being, there is no doubt in my mind that you, or at the very least your mother, have heard his 1980s hit single “Sunglasses at Night”. When you stop to think about it, it’s a rather stupid title for a song, so don’t stop, just dance.
7. Half Moon Run
Although not quite as famous as Montreal’s Arcade Fire, Half Moon Run have, throughout the indie scene, definitely made a name for themselves. Namely, the group is best known for their extensive use of percussion, as well as for playing numerous instruments during their live performances.
8. Leonard Cohen
Montreal’s very own Leonard Norman Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016) was a world-class singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. Typically, his work explored and discussed politics, religion, isolation, sexuality and romantic relationships. Moreover, Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (lots of fame, clearly).
9. Sami Zayn
Born Rami Sebei, Zayn is a Montreal wrestler currently signed to the WWE performing on the RAW brand. Unfortunately, as of this article being written (again, 2019), Zayn is on hiatus recovering from a gnarly shoulder injury. Despite this, Zayn has had quite an interest set of feuds with fellow (Québec) WWE wrestler Kevin Owens.
Albeit not actually born in Montreal (but instead Vancouver), Grimes (born Claire Elise Boucher) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer, and visual artist who moved to Montreal in order to attend McGill University.
However, she left school in early 2011 so as to turn all her attention towards her music career. Putting it lightly, the decision has certainly paid off. That is, she rose to fame with her third studio album Visions (2012), demonstrating hit singles such as “Genesis” and “Oblivion”.
Following the unexpected success, Grimes released critically acclaimed Art Angels in the winter of 2015 and currently has new music on the way Kill V. Maim, anyone?
As you can clearly see, the city of Montreal has far more to offer than merely NHL hockey players (not that there’s anything wrong with that). That said, do you have any favorite Montreal celebs that I seemed to have (intentionally) neglected? Care to share?
Featured Image Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi-Zk8khPxC/
Helllllloooo ladies and gents, I am from Montreal, Canada and a recent Concordia University psychology grad. My topics of interest are, of course, psychology, music, gaming, health and nutrition, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, among others. My end goal is to become an editor and/or find the world's best beer. Luckily for me, Montreal already has the latter covered. Cheers!