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Sheila is the stage name of a French pop singer whose real name is Annie Chancel (she is not related to Jacques Chancel, the TV host). She was born on August 16, 1945 in Créteil. "Sheila" was the title of her first release, which was a French cover version of the American hit by Tommy Roe.
Sheila started her musical career in 1962, after being noticed by Claude Carrère, a French music producer and songwriter. This collaboration would last actively for over 20 years. It ended definitely in 1995 with a highly publicized lawsuit.
Sheila had numerous and well-remembered hits in the 1960s and 1970s, playing the well-behaved young girl image. The first one was "L'école est finie" (School is over), in 1962.
In the Eight Women movie, Ludivine Sagnier sang her 1963 "Papa t'es plus dans l'coup" (Daddy, you are not in on it anymore) hit. Sheila's music also features prominently in the 1996 French film Une robe d'été (A Summer Dress). The character Sébastien is a devoted fan of Sheila, and Sheila's version of the Sonny & Cher classic, "Bang Bang," is featured on the soundtrack.
In 1977 she came back as Sheila and B. Devotion (in some countries records were released under the name "Sheila B. Devotion"; in others, under the name "Sheila and Black Devotion") and changed her style to disco. She also started singing in English. She again enjoyed considerable success, with hits like "Spacer" (produced by Chic), which was later sampled for the song "Crying at the Discothèque" by Swedish pop group Alcazar, "Love Me Baby" and a "Singin' in the Rain" cover.
She ended the collaboration with Carrère at the beginning of the 1980s, and since that time has had problems with keeping her musical career afloat. Her 1985 show at the Zénith, a large concert hall in northern Paris, was considered a failure. Although she is still very popular, having met huge success in concerts held in 1998 and 2002 at the Olympia, she has difficulties releasing commercially viable albums.
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