was born in Poissy, near Paris, the daughter of a doctor (and amateur violinist). Her mother brought up Catherine, her sister and two brothers in a musical household. Catherine started playing the violin at age 11 and entered the conservatoire at Versailles, leaving two years later with a first prize in 1966.
She played and composed for famous singers before starting to sing herself. Her first album, Ad libitum was released in 1972. Since her 1979 album Coup d'feel, her songs are more influenced by rock music. The 1983 album La Rockeuse de diamant provided a major success with the single "La Rockeuse de diamant", and a daring song with "Autonome", in which she says : "[I'm] free to love a woman or a man". In 1986, she made a breakthrough with the single "Nuit magique" written by Luc Plamondon, her biggest hit that brought her fame and made her win a Victoires de la Musique (French Grammy Awards) for best female singer of the year. She published her autobiography in 1987, L'Aventurière de l'archet perdu. She was named Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 1990.
Still with Plamondon, she worked on a rock opera where she embodied female writer George Sand, titled Sand et les Romantiques in 1991. As a part of the show, she released a duet with her friend Véronique Sanson, entitled "Entre elle et moi".
She takes part in charity tours for Les Restos du coeur, alongside French rock stars Johnny Hallyday, Eddy Mitchell and Jean-Jacques Goldman, as well as Sidaction and Sol En Si. In 2002, she composed a song for the France national football team, to be sung by Johnny Hallyday. The same year Lara was named Officer of the Ordre de la Légion d'honneur.