From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alice Robitaille (February 3, 1923 – May 28, 2011), from Quebec City, was a
translator (to French) and singer of Latin American songs, who performed under Alys Robi
the stage name Alys Robi.
3 Mental health
4 Later years
Born in 1923 in the Quebec City neighbourhood of Saint-Sauveur, Robitaille
displayed talent for singing and acting at a very young age. She first performed
on-stage at the Capitol Theater at 7. At the time, she had already sung on-air Background information
with the CHRC radio station and was a real phenomenon in the whole city.  Birth name Alice Robitaille
Born February 3, 1923
Career Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Died May 28, 2011 (aged 88)
At 13 she moved to the Théâtre National, on Montreal's Saint Catherine Street.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Under the direction of Rose Ouellette, she learned acting and singing during a
Genres Latin American music
75-week engagement. She continued her career in the Montreal cabarets, making
radio appearances. For a time during the war, she also hosted a French radio Instruments Vocals
show named Tambour battant ("Rumbling drum"). Touring Canadian military Years active 1930–2011
bases propelled her career across Canada. 
During the 1940s, she started producing 78s and she became renowned far beyond Canada. She captured popular
imagination with Latin titles like Besame Mucho and Tico tico, after translating herself the Spanish or Brazilian songs into
French.  She sang in chic New York cabarets by the mid forties and in 1947, she travelled to England where she made an
appearance on the first regular BBC television programme.
In 1948, while traveling by car to Hollywood, she was injured in an accident, and entered a period of depression.  After a
series of unfortunate diagnoses, and a failed romance, she suffered a mental breakdown and was interned for several years
in a Quebec City asylum. She was at some point subjected to a lobotomy against her will. She credited the operation
with her recovery:
"Je me réveillai guérie et j'ai compris plus tard que j'avais été un des rares cas réussis de lobotomie" (I woke up better and
later understood that I was one of the rare lobotomy success stories).  In 1952, she was released. The same year, she
came back on stage at the Casa Loma and the Montmartre, but her efforts were impeded by taboos about mental problems
and she never regained the same level of popularity.
In the early 1990s, Alys returned into the public eye after the massive success she had with a song written for her by Alain
Morisod ("Laissez-moi encore chanter"). Books, theses, plays and television series were written about her. A movie was
released in December 2004: Alys Robi: Ma vie en cinémascope ("Alys Robi: My Life in Cinemascope"), titled Bittersweet
Memories in English.
Robitaille has published two autobiographies: Ma carrière, ma vie ("My Career, My Life", 1980) and «Un long cri dans la nuit:
Cinq Années à l'Asile» ("A Long Cry in the Night: Five Years in the Asylum", 1990). The last autobiography title comes from
the song Un long cri dans la nuit, written and composed for Lady Alys by the songwriter Christine Charbonneau in 1989. It
can still be heard on YouTube.
Several of Robi's songs have been used for commercial ads. Sico, notably, played on the similarity between its brand name
and the title of "Tico Tico" to produce a very catchy campaign based on a spoof of the song.
Robitaille died in the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Montreal, at the age of 88, on May 28, 2011.
Diva (2005) (recorded in 1946 at the CBC)
Laissez-moi encore chanter (1989)
Alys Robi, Collection QIM (2005)
Alys Robi, l'anthologie (2004)
La Collection – volume 1 & 2 (1995)
La Collection – volume 1 (1995)
Les Succès d'Alys Robi (1962, 1995)
1. ^ a b c d "Alice Robitaille: la grande Alys" (in French). City of Montreal. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
2. ^ "Mort d'Alys Robi : Le destin hollywoodien de la première star mondiale du Québec" (in French). Pure People. Retrieved 31
3. ^ "Robi, Alys" . The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
4. ^ Hayter, Sparkle. "Bittersweet memories" . SEE magazine. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 14 April
5. ^ Long Cri dans la nuit: Cinq Années à l'Asile, cited in Alys Robi , lamiredegisele.com
Official website: www.ladyalysrobi.com
via Alys Robi