Wow, two of the biggest stars in Cajun music celebrate their birthday today. Wayne Toups and Jo-El Sonnier are celebrating their birthdays!

Here is a little history on both of these legendary artists!


Wayne Toups
Wayne Toups with his Grammy Award (Youtube)

Wayne Toups was born in Crowley, Louisiana on October 2, 1958 which means Wayne turns 55 today.  This past February, Wayne was honored with a Grammy Award along with Steve Riley and Wilson Savoy for the 'Band Courtbouillon'.

Wayne is known for his iconic hits like "Take My Hand, Please Explain, That's what I love about my Baby, Tupelo Honey, Two Step Mamou, and Free Me." The song "Free Me" actually hit the national country top 100 chart in 1999.

Toups calls his band Zydecajun, which is an attempt to describe his distinctive fusion. He draws on French-language traditional material of his Cajun ancestors, but adds the unmistakable r&b textures of Zydeco music. Add to that his undeniable charisma as a rocker and you begin to understand why he's been dubbed "The Cajun Springsteen" or "Le Boss."

To find out more about Wayne and where he will be performing soon, go to


Joel Sonnier
Joel Sonnier (

Jo-El Sonnier was born in Rayne, Louisiana on October 2, 1946 which means Jo-El is celebrating his 67th birthday today!

Jo-El Sonnier made his radio debut at the age of 6 and his first recording session at the age of 11. As a favorite in local clubs, Sonnier remained a Louisiana sensation during his early life, but decided to try his luck at recording Country music and in 1974 he signed a recording contract with Mercury Records.

1987 brought about a new recording deal with RCA records and the result was Come On Joe. Containing several Top 10 hits including “Tear-Stained Letter” and “No More One More Time”. In 1988, Jo-EL was nominated by the Academy of Country Music For the “New Male Vocalist of the Year Award”.

To find out more about Jo-EL and where he will be performing soon, go to


Happy Birthday to Wayne Toups and Jo-EL Sonnier!

Thank you for all you have done for our music, heritage and culture!

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