Philippe Pages, 28 December 1953, Paris, France. This highly popular pianist, specializes in light classical compositions, with a romantic, yet low profile image. His father was a piano teacher, and at the age of 12, Pages enrolled at the Conservatoire in Paris, and won the first prize four years later. He was encouraged to study classical piano, but his ambition was to be in a rock band. The dream was never realized, although in the 70s he did play with French pop stars such as Johnny Halliday and Michel Sardou. After working as a bank clerk, the newly renamed Clayderman (his great-grandmothers last name) was signed to the Delphine label, and had a hit in several European countries with Ballade Pour Adeline, which sold several million copies. He followed up with albums that contained show tunes, film themes and familiar classical pieces, with his relaxed, low-key piano playing cushioned by a large string orchestra. In the early 80s, he was reputed to be the top album seller in France, and in other countries such as South Africa and Japan. In 1982, he broke into the UK market with the number 2 hit album Richard Clayderman and, the following year, with the television-promoted The Music Of Richard Clayderman. In the same year, he played his first sell-out UK concerts and appeared several times on television. Clayderman is widely considered the most successful pianist in the world, having sold in excess of 66 million copies of his albums. At the peak of his popularity Clayderman was dubbed the Prince of Romance by Nancy Reagan.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.