André Manoukian is a French jazz musician, composer, and producer who made his full-length solo album debut in 2008 and is best known as one of the judges of the television reality show Nouvelle Star. Born of Armenian heritage in Lyon on April 9, 1957, he began learning the piano at age seven and later studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. His professional career as a composer and producer took flight in the 1980s in tandem with French singer Liane Foly. Credited with composition, production, arrangement, and instrumentation, Manoukain collaborated with Foly not only on her full-length album debut, The Man I Love (1988), and its breakout hit, "Ça Va, Ça Vient"; he also collaborated with her on the successive albums Rêve Orange (1990), Les Petites Notes (1993), Sweet Mystery (1994), Lumières (1994), and La Chanteuse de Bal (2004). In addition to his long association with Foly, Manoukain collaborated with African-British singer Malia on a few of her albums (Yellow Daffodils, 2002; Echos of Dreams, 2004; Young Bones, 2007), plus albums by Charles Aznavour (Jazznavour, 1998), Gilbert Bécaud (Faut Faire Avec, 1999), Myriam Abel (La Vie Devant Toi, 2006), Gaetane Abrial (Cheyenne Song, 2008), and others. Despite his many achievements as a behind-the-scenes musician, composer, and producer, Manoukain is best known as one of the judges of the television reality show Nouvelle Star, the French version of Pop Idol. He was one of the four judges during the show's first season in 2002 and proved so popular, he returned to judge successive seasons and developed a reputation as something of a philosopher. He also performed on the show from time to time. Well established as a French media celebrity, he made his full-length solo album debut in 2008 with Inkala on Virgin Music France.
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