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Active Streams30
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Corneille on Wikipedia
Corneille artiste.JPGCorneille photo session, by Victor Diaz Lamich
Background information
Birth nameCornelius Nyungura
Born(1977-03-24) 24 March 1977 (age 40)
Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
GenresSoul, Rhythm and Blues
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1993-present

Cornelius Nyungura (born 24 March 1977)[1] is a singer who performs under the name Corneille. He was born in Germany to Rwandan parents, spent most of his childhood in Rwanda, and eventually emigrated to Quebec, Canada in 1997.[2] He sings in French and English. His work is greatly influenced by American funk and soul music; among those he admires are Prince, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.


  • 1 Biography
    • 1.1 Early life
    • 1.2 Career
    • 1.3 Eurovision
    • 1.4 Personal life
  • 2 Discography
    • 2.1 Albums
    • 2.2 Singles
    • 2.3 DVDs
  • 3 Awards
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Early life

Corneille was born in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, although he spent much of his childhood in Rwanda. He discovered his passion for music in 1993, and so joined an R&B group, who won the Découverte 1993 competition.[2] This also introduced him to songwriting and musical composition. However, his life changed after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. His father, Émile Nyungura, was a Tutsi leader of the political party PSD and therefore a target; Corneille witnessed the assassination of his parents and his three brothers and sisters when he was 16 years old.[3] He fled to Germany, where some of his parents' friends took him in.[4]


In July 1997, Corneille decided to leave Germany in order to pursue studies in communication, and moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada to attend Concordia University. During this time, he founded O.N.E., an R&B band, with Pierre Gage and Gardy Martin, whom he had met shortly after arriving in Quebec.[2] Zoukin, one of the group's songs written by Corneille, rose to first place in Canadian airplay. Then, at the beginning of 2001, Corneille left the group, wishing to pursue a solo career. He began to centre his songs on his past.[2]

During 2002, Corneille worked on various projects. He wrote and composed the songs "Ce soir" for the Cocktail R&B 2 compilation (Ghetto R&B, Sony Music) and "Si seulement on s'aimait" for Hip Hop Folies (Sony Music). Invited by Dave Stewart, he performed at his first showcase at the Réservoir in Paris, and had the chance to sing with Jimmy Cliff. In January 2003, he was invited to perform as an opening act for Cunnie Williams at the Olympia.[5]

Corneille's first album, the Canadian version of Parce qu'on vient de loin, was released on 10 September 2002. The French version, which included numerous bonuses on the second disc, was released on 20 October 2003, and quickly became successful.[5] In April 2003, Corneille sang with Craig David, repeating a verse in French in the song Rise and Fall. He undertook his first tour during May 2003, playing to full houses in Paris, Marseilles, Lyon and Bordeaux. In March 2005, the singer participated in the concert Africa Live, which was organised to fight against (malaria) paludism.[5] This was the first time that he had returned to his home continent since the genocide. Les marchands de rêves, Corneille's second album, was released in November 2005.[5]

Corneille has worked with the Canadian Red Cross to raise awareness of children who are victims of war.[5] He released his first English-language album, The Birth Of Cornelius, in July 2007.[2] In late 2014 he became a contestant on the fifth season of the French television channel TF1's Danse avec les Stars.[6]


Corneille wrote the song "Il était temps" for Virginie Pouchain after he qualified to represent France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. The song finished 22nd out of 24 finalists.[7]

Personal life

Corneille married Canadian model and actress Sofia de Medeiros in 2006; they have one child.[8]


Studio albums
Special editions
  • 2003: Parce qu'on vient de loin (édition deluxe) (two discs)
  • 2006: Parce qu'on vient de loin / Les marchands de rêves (double album rerelease)
Live albums & DVDs


Featured in


  • 2005: Live (coinciding with Live album)


  • 2005 NRJ Music Awards Video of the Year for Parce qu'on vient de loin
  • 2005 EBBA Award.


  1. ^ "Official North American Corneille Website". Retrieved 5 March 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Djenaidi, Oumelkheir. "Corneille à la conquête du marché américain". France-Amerique. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Corneille a très envie de renouer avec le Rwanda". Radio France. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: Corneille". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Corneille". Radio France Internationale. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Danse avec les Stars 5 : Corneille est éliminé, revoir sa dernière danse". TF1. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Eurofans 2012 : Virginie Pouchain au meeting de printemps". Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Corneille et sa femme Sofia de Medeiros attendent leur premier enfant ! Cette fois, c'est officiel !". Pure People/Webedia. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Corneille discography
  10. ^ a b c d Corneille discography
  11. ^ a b c Corneille discography

External links

  • Official website
  • Discography

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