Famous French Singers

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What comes to your mind when you first think of French music? A 1950s setting in a café with an accordion playing in the background! Well, not that you are entirely wrong for French music does have its roots well laid in classical music, but today, it has evolved radically from its traditional folk music days! Anyone who has an ear for global music would agree that French music today has taken the top spots in the world music charts, and made a place for itself in all styles be it classical, ballads, romantic or contemporary electronic. And much of the credit for the accomplishment goes to the talented pool of singers and musicians who have steered French music safely to the world’s top charts. While you may be humming and dancing to the tunes of contemporary French singers such as Benjamin Biolay, Camille, Christophe Mae, Zaz or even BB Brunes today, note that they are mere successors. The heart of French music still vibrates the tunes and songs of classical French singers of all times, some of whom include Serge Gainsbourg, Editth Paif, Mylene Farmer, George Brassens, Charles Aznavour, Yves Montand and Maurice Chevalier. Read this segment and get droned in the life and works of famous French singers.
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 1 
Vanessa Paradis
(Singer, Model and Actress)
Vanessa Paradis
16
Birthdate: December 22, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France

French singer and actress, Vanessa Paradis, became a celebrity at the age of 14 with the French song Joe le taxi in 1987. She tasted further success with English songs like Be My Baby and many other French songs. She has also acted in several French films and has modelled regularly for high-end fashion products by Chanel like perfume and handbags.

 2 
Edith Piaf
(French Singer and One of Country's Most Widely Known International Stars)
Edith Piaf
18
Birthdate: December 19, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 11, 1963
France’s legendary singer and actor Édith Piaf, or the “Little Sparrow,” is best remembered for her iconic Grammy Hall of Fame-inducted song La Vie en Rose and the classic Non, je ne regrette rien. Raised by the prostitutes of her grandmother’s brothel, she began her life as a street singer.
 3 
Marion Cotillard
(French Actress Best Known for Her Films: 'La Vie en Rose' and 'Two Days, One Night')
Marion Cotillard
7
Birthdate: September 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Marion Cotillard delivered an Academy Award-winning performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, becoming the first to win the award for a French-language film. She was appreciated for her iconic role of Joan of Arc on stage. She has promoted Lady Dior bags and Chanel No. 5 fragrance.
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 4 
Brigitte Bardot
(French Actress and Singer Known for Her Films: ‘And God Created Woman’ and ‘Viva Maria!’)
Brigitte Bardot
8
Birthdate: September 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

Brigitte Bardot is a French former singer and actress. One of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, Bardot remains a major pop culture icon despite quitting the entertainment industry in 1973. Bardot is credited with popularizing the bikini. She also popularized the town of Armação dos Búzios and the city of St. Tropez in Brazil.

 5 
Josephine Baker
(First Black Woman to Star in a Major Motion Picture, the 1927 Silent Film 'Siren of the Tropics')
Josephine Baker
5
Birthdate: June 3, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: April 12, 1975
Nicknamed Black Pearl and Creole Goddess, Josephine Baker was the first Black woman to appear in a motion picture. She was a revue dancer, famous for her signature banana costume. A civil rights activist, she helped the French military during World War II. She adopted 12 children of different ethnicities.
 6 
Jane Birkin
(Singer, songwriter and actress)
Jane Birkin
11
Birthdate: December 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England
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 7 
Serge Gainsbourg
(One of the World's Most Influential Pop Musicians)
Serge Gainsbourg
4
Birthdate: February 2, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 2, 1991
French musician, singer, and actor Serge Gainsbourg had experimented with a variety of music forms, such as jazz, pop, and reggae. Renowned for songs such as Bonnie and Clyde, he also included sexual overtones in his lyrics. He had also acted in and directed films and written a short novel.
 8 
Charlotte Gainsbourg
(Known for Her Work in Films Like 'Antichrist,' 'Melancholia,' 'The Tree' & 'Persecution')
Charlotte Gainsbourg
21
Birthdate: July 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England

Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of French singer Serge Gainsbourg and English actor Jane Birkin, made her singing debut at age 12. She is best known for her César Award-winning roles in La Bûche and An Impudent Girl. Her performance in Antichrist won her an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

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 9 
Alizee
(Singer)
Alizee
8
Birthdate: August 21, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ajaccio, France

Starting out as a dancer at an early age, Alizee later mastered singing and even stepped into acting. The French singer first gained attention with the talent show Graines de Star and the track Moi...Lolita and later created hits such as L'Alizé. In 2001, she was the highest-selling French female singer.

 10 
Christine and the Queens
(Pop Singer Known for Her Unique Fusion of Music, Art, and Performance)
Christine and the Queens
15
Birthdate: June 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nantes, Loire-Atlantique, France

Hélöise Letissier, also known as Christine and the Queens and Chris, often challenges gender stereotypes through her music. The queer electropop and indie artist was inspired by drag queens in London, after she quit theater school following a break-up. Known for her chart-busting debut album, Chaleur humaine, she identifies as pansexual.

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 11 
Dalida
(French-Italian Singer and Actress)
Dalida
9
Birthdate: January 17, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shubra, Cairo, Egypt
Died: May 3, 1987
French singer and actress Dalida, whose aching voice ruled over hearts for three decades, sold millions of records worldwide. Dalida sang in 10 languages and holds a world record for most weeks at the top of the music chart. She was also the first singer to receive platinum and diamond discs while she also owns more than 70 gold records.
 12 
Charles Aznavour
(One of the Greatest Songwriters in the History of Music and an Icon of 20th-Century Pop Culture.)
Charles Aznavour
6
Birthdate: May 22, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 1, 2018

Charles Aznavour was a French-Armenian actor, singer, diplomat, and lyricist. One of France's most famous singers, Aznavour was called the Frank Sinatra of France. One of the best-selling musicians of his generation, Aznavour sold 200 million records. In 1998, CNN named him the Entertainer of the Century. In 2017, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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 13 
Johnny Hallyday
(One of the Best-Selling Artists in the World Credited for Bringing 'Rock and Roll' to France)
Johnny Hallyday
8
Birthdate: June 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cité Malesherbes, Paris, France
Died: December 5, 2017

Regarded as France’s first rock star, Jean-Philippe Léo Smet, better known as Johnny Hallyday, had a phenomenal career, with 5 diamond, 40 golden, and 22 platinum albums. He was also always in the news for his flamboyant lifestyle, his many romances, his five marriages, and his love for cocaine and racing.  

 14 
Claudine Longet
(Franco-American Singer and Actress)
Claudine Longet
19
Birthdate: January 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
French singer Claudine Georgette Longet gained fame with Billboard-charting singles such as Here, There and Everywhere. She was charged with the murder of her boyfriend, Olympic skier Vladimir 'Spider' Sabich, in 1976 and later convicted of negligent homicide. She has remained away from the media ever since.
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 15 
Soko
(Actress and Singer Known for Her Remarkably Emotional Performances )
Soko
5
Birthdate: October 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France

Soko is a French musician and singer-songwriter. The song We Might Be Dead by Tomorrow, which is part of her debut album I Thought I Was an Alien, reached the ninth position on the Billboard Hot 100. Soko is also a critically acclaimed actress, earning César Award nominations for her performance in films like In the Beginning and The Dancer. 

 16 
Yves Montand
5
Birthdate: October 13, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Monsummano Terme, Italy
Died: November 9, 1991
 17 
Nora Arnezeder
(Actress and Singer Known for Her Role as ‘Anna Maria’ in the TV Series ‘Mozart in the Jungle’)
Nora Arnezeder
4
Birthdate: May 8, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France

Nora Arnezeder is a French singer and actress best known for her portrayal of the title role in the internationally praised 2013 French costume drama film, Angélique. A trained singer and dancer, Arnezeder has also played main roles in web TV series, such as the American science fiction drama series, Origin.

 18 
Manu Chao
(French-Spanish singer.)
Manu Chao
4
Birthdate: June 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

Born to Spanish parents in Paris, Latin Grammy-winning artist Manu Chao is one of the pioneers of Latin alternative rock. His French rock band Mano Negra has delivered hits in English, Spanish, and Arabic. His solo career has seen him release international hits such as Clandestino and Me Gustas Tu.

 19 
Lambert Wilson
4
Birthdate: August 3, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
 20 
M. Pokora
(French R&B Singer)
M. Pokora
4
Birthdate: September 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France

French singer Matthieu Tota, better known as M. Pokora, is often compared to singers such as Justin Timberlake for his singing style. Though initially aspiring to be a footballer, he later found success in music after winning the show Popstars. He has also starred as Robin Hood in a French musical.

 21 
Barbara Pravi
(Singer-songwriter)
Barbara Pravi
11
Birthdate: April 10, 1993
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

Barbara Pravi is a French actress, singer, and songwriter. As a songwriter, she has contributed immensely to the success of popular artists like Jaden Smith, Julie Zenatti, Yannick Noah, and Chimène Badi. She also contributed to the success of Valentina Tronel, composing J'imagine which helped Valentina win the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020.

 22 
France Gall
(French Yé-yé and Pop Singer)
France Gall
5
Birthdate: October 9, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 7, 2018
France Gall was a French yé-yé singer who debuted with Don't Be So Stupid and rose to pop fame in the 1960s with controversial hits. During her prolific music career, Gall released 11 studio albums and was a major hit among European teenagers. Her greatest hits include Fist Fight (2017), Same Old Song (1997), and Heartbeats (2010).
 23 
Aya Nakamura
(Singer)
Aya Nakamura
6
Birthdate: May 10, 1995
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bamako, Mali

Born in Mali, Aya Nakamura grew up in France, later becoming a multi-platinum French singer. Born Aya Coco Danioko, she took up the stage name Nakamura, after the Heroes character Hiro Nakamura. Known for her smash hit Djadja, she often mixes pop with Afrobeat & RnB sounds.

 24 
Maurice Chevalier
(French Singer Best Known for His Signature Songs: "Livin' In The Sunlight", "Valentine", "Louise" and "Mimi")
Maurice Chevalier
7
Birthdate: September 12, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 1, 1972
Best remembered for the song Valentine and the musical Gigi, French musician Maurice Chevalier not only fought in World War I, but was also injured and later imprisoned. During World War II, he reluctantly agreed to perform in exchange of the release of a few French prisoners. 
 25 
Carla Bruni
(Singer, Supermodel & Spouse of the ex-French President 'Nicolas Sarkozy')
Carla Bruni
13
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Turin, Italy

Carla Bruni is an Italian-French fashion model and singer-songwriter. She gained international recognition after marrying the then president of France Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008. Also known for her political activities, philanthropy, and charity work, Bruni established the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation in 2009; the foundation helps promote access to knowledge for all. She also supports organizations, such as PETA.

 26 
Françoise Hardy
(French Singer-Songwriter Known for Singing Melancholic Sentimental Ballads)
Françoise Hardy
4
Birthdate: January 17, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France

A major figure of the 1960s’ yé-yé movement, French singer-songwriter Françoise Hardy is known for tracks such as Tous les garçons et les filles. She also appeared in supporting roles in a few films. Following her diagnosis of lymphatic cancer and the subsequent radiation therapy, she pleaded for assisted suicide.

 27 
Joe Dassin
(American-French Pop Singer Known for His Ability to Sing in Multiple Languages)
Joe Dassin
4
Birthdate: November 5, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: August 20, 1980

The son of American filmmaker Jules Dassin, French pop idol Joe Dassin was educated in Switzerland and the U.S., and earned degrees in anthropology before moving to France. After playing supporting roles in his father’s movies, he soared to fame with songs such as Les Champs-Élysées and L'Été indien.

 28 
Joséphine de La Baume
(Actress and Singer of French Indie Band 'Singtank')
Joséphine de La Baume
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

Joséphine de La Baume is a French actress, model, film director, and singer. She is credited with founding a rock and garage group called Film Noir in 2018. The group's debut EP Vertiges, which released in 2019, was met with critical success. She is also an important member of an indie band named Singtank

 29 
Mireille Mathieu
4
Birthdate: July 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Avignon, France
French singer Mireille Mathieu began her career by participating in an annual singing contest in Avignon. She has recorded over 1200 songs in eleven languages in her career spanning over four decades. With more than 150 million albums sold worldwide, the chanteuse is classically known for her illustrious crooning. In 1974, she won the German "Bambi" Music Award.
 30 
Jain
(Singer-songwriter)
Jain
5
Birthdate: February 7, 1992
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Toulouse, France
French singer-songwriter Jeanne Louise Galice is better known as Jain. She began her career posting videos on Myspace. The fact that she sings in English has made her quite a sensation across Europe and Canada. Her hit video Makeba earned her a Grammy nomination. She has also delivered hits such as Souldier.
 31 
Mylène Farmer
(French Pop Singer and Songwriter)
Mylène Farmer
5
Birthdate: September 12, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pierrefonds, Montreal, Canada

French-Canadian singer Mylène Farmer is best known for her hits such as Libertine and Les Mots, and for her collaborative acts with Laurent Boutonnat. Born Mylene Jeanne Gautier, she later changed her name to Mylene Farmer in honor of Hollywood star Frances Farmer, who was her idol.

 32 
Anggun
(Singer-songwriter)
Anggun
5
Birthdate: April 29, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jakarta, Indonesia
 33 
Zaz
(Singer-songwriter)
Zaz
5
Birthdate: May 1, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chambray-lès-Tours, France
 34 
Thomas Mars
(Musical Artist and Lead Vocalist of the Indie Pop Band ‘Phoenix’)
Thomas Mars
5
Birthdate: November 21, 1976
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Versailles, France

Phoenix lead vocalist Thomas Mars once spoke about how he had cut off everything that could distract him from making a potential career in music during college. He met Sofia Coppola while composing for one of her films, and the duo got married, leading to more collaborations.

 35 
Bilal Hassani
(French Singer-Songwriter, YouTuber Who Represented France in Eurovision Song Contest 2019)
Bilal Hassani
8
Birthdate: September 9, 1999
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France

Bilal Hassani is a French YouTuber, singer, and songwriter. He achieved international recognition in 2019 when he represented France at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel. He managed to score 105 points in the Eurovision final, finishing 16th. In 2019, he was also honored at the NRJ Music Awards with the Francophone Breakthrough of the Year award.

 36 
Lily Pons
(American-French operatic soprano)
Lily Pons
4
Birthdate: April 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Draguignan, France
Died: February 13, 1976
 37 
Amanda Lear
(Singer)
Amanda Lear
5
Birthdate: June 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
 38 
Fab Morvan
(French Rapper and Half of the Pop Duo 'Milli Vanilli')
Fab Morvan
7
Birthdate: May 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France

Fab Morvan is a French singer, rapper, songwriter, model, and dancer. He is best known for his involvement in one of the biggest scandals in the history of pop music; the scandal surfaced when it was found that neither Fab Morvan nor Rob Pilatus, the other half of pop duo Milli Vanilli, had sung on any of the duo's recordings.

 39 
Sébastien Loeb
(Rally driver)
Sébastien Loeb
7
Birthdate: February 26, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Haguenau, France
 40 
Sandra
(Franco-German Pop Singer)
Sandra
6
Birthdate: May 18, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saarbrücken, Germany
Often known as the German equivalent of Madonna, singer Sandra had previously been part of the all-female trio Arabesque and the project Enigma, becoming a music sensation in the 1990s. Best known for the track (I'll Never Be) Maria Magdalena, she is now an established solo vocalist.
 41 
Lili Damita
(Actress)
Lili Damita
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Blaye, France
Died: March 21, 1994
 42 
Willy William
(French DJ, Record Producer and Singer Famous for His French Hit 'Ego' and His Latin Hit 'MI Gente')
Willy William
5
Birthdate: April 14, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fréjus, France
French-Mauritian artist Willy William has made a name for himself in dance music both as a solo artist and as part of the group Collectif Métissé. His chart-topping collaborations include DJ Assad’s Li Tourner and J Balvin’s Mi Gente. He has also rocked the European charts with his solo Ego.
 43 
Sonia Ben Ammar
2
Birthdate: February 19, 1999
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
 44 
Kendji Girac
(Singer)
Kendji Girac
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1996
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Périgueux, Aquitaine, France
 45 
Benjamin Biolay
(Singer-songwriter and producer who wrote music for several French films including Clara et Moi and Pourquoi tu Pleures)
Benjamin Biolay
3
Birthdate: January 20, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Villefranche-sur-Saône, France
 46 
Lou Doillon
(Singer-songwriter)
Lou Doillon
3
Birthdate: September 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
 47 
Natalie Dessay
(Opera Singer Known for Her Portrayal of 'Olympia' in 'The Tales of Hoffmann')
Natalie Dessay
4
Birthdate: April 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lyon, France

Natalie Dessay is a French actress, singer, and former operatic soprano. In 1992, Dessay portrayed Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann for which she gained wide recognition. Her performance also gained her access to leading opera houses around the world. Over the years Natalie Dessay has won several prestigious awards, such as the Laurence Olivier Award.

 48 
Florent Pagny
(Singer-songwriter who greatest hits include "N'importe quoi", "Savoir aimer" and "Ma Liberté de penser"—all three were number one in France)
Florent Pagny
2
Birthdate: November 6, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chalon-sur-Saône, France
 49 
Claude François
2
Birthdate: February 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ismailia, Egypt
Died: March 11, 1978
 50 
Jean Gabin
(Actor)
Jean Gabin
2
Birthdate: May 17, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 15, 1976