Canadian Producer and Record Label Owner André Di Cesare Dies at 70



André Di Cesare, a Canadian music producer and owner of Montreal indie label Star Records, whose biggest success was Roch Voisine’s diamond-selling Hélène, died Christmas Eve, his sister, Johanne Di Cesare, confirmed to The Canadian Press. He was 70.

"André lived for music," she told the national news agency. "During the past year, he was sick, but he worked despite it. He looked after his artists."

Regarded as one of Quebec’s most important music industry figures, he formed Les Disques Star (Star Records) in 1982, a label initially designed to produce albums by André Gagnon, but that went on to become home to Martine St-Clair, Richard Huet, Nicole Martin, Martine Chevrier, Édith Butler, Patrick Norman, Renée Martel, Voisine and others.  

From 1987, Di Cesare also served as president of the Québec Association for the Recording, Concert and Video Industries (ADISQ) for two years.

Most significantly, Di Cesare helped break Voisine out of the Quebec market and overseas in the late 1980s.

Di Cesare provided artistic direction to Voisine’s English-language breakthrough, Hélène, which reached the top 10 on the Euro chart and stayed there for 40 weeks in 1989, spending 113 weeks in the top 50 total. The title track rested at No. 1 on the French singles chart for nine weeks. The album was certified diamond by SNEP (Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique) and three times platinum by CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association, now Music Canada).

He later served as executive producer on Voisine's 1993 album I'll Always Be There.

Most recently, Di Cesare managed Quebec singer-songwriter William Deslauriers, 27, a top contestant on 2009’s Star Académie TV talent search. Di Cesare still worked at Star Records until his death.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters, aged 17 and 22.


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