Briolette Kah Bic Runga MNZM (born 13 January, 1976) is a New Zealand singer-songwriter whose first solo album, Drive, debuted at number one in the New Zealand charts, and has since become one of the highest-selling New Zealand artists of all time. Runga has also found success internationally in Australia, the Republic of Ireland and to some extent in the UK.
Regarding the pronunciation of "Bic": "'You say it Bec, rather than Bic,' explains New Zealand singer-songwriter Bic Runga. 'It's Chinese, it's a strange vowel sound which doesn't seem to translate in Australia. It means the colour of jade, which I suppose is just green.'
In January 2006, The Queen made Runga a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Zealand New Years Honours List.
Runga grew up in Hornby, Christchurch surrounded by a musically-inclined family, and started recording songs with her sisters, Boh and Pearl, when she was only four years old. Runga's older sister Boh is now a vocalist in the New Zealand rock group Stellar*, while Pearl is a session singer.
She learned how to play drums at the age of eleven, and guitar at about fourteen. Runga also learned to play the keyboard around this time. She attended Cashmere High School, joining high school bands and performing with local jazz groups by her mid-teens.
In 1995, she sent a new demo of "Drive" to Sony Music, who signed Runga in September of that year and bought her Wellington recordings from Pagan Records. Sony had her re-record the song with more instruments, but it was eventually her demo that was used on the upcoming album. It entered the Top 10 in New Zealand and won her the Silver Scroll Songwriting Award in 1996. She next released "Bursting Through", her first single from her upcoming album, also entitled Drive.
Runga has recorded not one, but two songs called "Drive". The first was her own, which appeared on her debut album of the same name. The second was a 1999 collaboration with fellow New Zealanders Strawpeople, providing guest vocals for their cover of The Cars' classic 1984 hit.
In January 2007, Runga announced on her MySpace blog that she was pregnant. On Friday 20th July Bic gave birth to a baby boy, the first child for her and her partner, photographer Darryl Ward. Bic's son has been named Joseph, after her late father.
|Year||Information||Chart positions||Sales and certifications|
|1997||Drive ||RIANZ: 7x Platinum|
|2002||Beautiful Collision||RIANZ: 11x Platinum|