Famous French Singers

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.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf
18
Famous As: Singer
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.

 2 Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard
6
Famous As: Actress
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.

 3 Vanessa Paradis

Vanessa Paradis
15
Famous As: Singer
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.

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 4 Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot
6
Famous As: Actress, Activist
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 Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin
8
Famous As: Singer, songwriter and actress
Birthdate: December 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England

 6 Charles Aznavour

Charles Aznavour
7
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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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 7 Charlotte Gainsbourg

Charlotte Gainsbourg
20
Famous As: Actress & Singer Daughter of Actress Jane Birkin & Musician Serge Gainsbourg
Birthdate: July 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom

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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 8 Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

French actress Catherine Deneuve is considered one of the greatest European actresses. Beginning her career at the age of 12, she gained international prominence with her role in the movie The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. She is a 14-time César Award nominee and the recipient of a David di Donatello award. She is multilingual and speaks fluent French, Italian, and English.

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 9 Serge Gainsbourg

Serge Gainsbourg
4
Famous As: Musician
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.

 10 Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo
3
Famous As: Known as one half of the former French house music duo Daft Punk, along with Thomas Bangalter
Birthdate: February 8, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

French musician, singer-songwriter, record-producer, DJ, and film director Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo is one former half of the French electronic music duo Daft Punk that he formed with Thomas Bangalter. The duo achieved both critical and commercial success with albums like Discovery and RandomAccess Memories. Homem-Christo has also spawned works through the record label Crydamoure which he co-owns with Eric Chedeville.

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 11 Alizee

Alizee
7
Famous As: Singer
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.

 12 Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni
15
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Spouse of the President of France (2008-2012)
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.

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 13 Christine and the Queens

Christine and the Queens
15
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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.

 14 Dalida

Dalida
8
Famous As: Singer
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.
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 15 Emmanuelle Seigner

Emmanuelle Seigner
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
French actor Emmanuelle Seigner was initially a model. She gained recognition with her roles in films such as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. She also earned César Award nominations for her roles in Venus in Fur and in Place Vendôme. She is married to legendary film director Roman Polanski.

 16 Johnny Hallyday

Johnny Hallyday
8
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: 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.  

 17 Jacques Brel

Jacques Brel
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 8, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Schaerbeek, Belgium
Died: October 9, 1978

Jacques Brel was a Belgian singer, actor, director, and songwriter. He is remembered for composing and performing thoughtful, literate, and theatrical songs. Apart from inspiring French musicians, Brel's works have also had a major influence on English-speaking performers like David Bowie, Scott Walker, Rod McKuen, Marc Almond, and Alex Harvey. Brel is the third-best-selling Belgian music artist of all time.

 18 Claudine Longet

Claudine Longet
18
Famous As: Singer
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.

 19 Soko

Soko
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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. 

 20 Barbara Pravi

Barbara Pravi
10
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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.

 21 Yves Montand

Yves Montand
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 13, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Monsummano Terme, Italy
Died: November 9, 1991

 22 Nora Arnezeder

Nora Arnezeder
4
Famous As: Actress
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.

 23 Lambert Wilson

Lambert Wilson
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 3, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

 24 M. Pokora

M. Pokora
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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.

 25 Anna Karina

Anna Karina
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 22, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Solbjerg, Denmark
Died: December 14, 2019

Anna Karina was a Danish-French film actress, singer, and director. She often collaborated with French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard and appeared in many of his films, including My Life to Live and Bande à part. She set up her own production company in 1972 and made her directorial debut with Vivre ensemble. She was also a published author. 

 26 Aya Nakamura

Aya Nakamura
6
Famous As: Singer
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.

 27 France Gall

France Gall
5
Famous As: Singer
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).

 28 Françoise Hardy

Françoise Hardy
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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.

 29 Maurice Chevalier

Maurice Chevalier
7
Famous As: Actor, Singer
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. 

 30 Joe Dassin

Joe Dassin
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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.

 31 Manu Chao

Manu Chao
4
Famous As: French-Spanish singer.
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.

 32 Mylène Farmer

Mylène Farmer
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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.

 33 Thomas Mars

Thomas Mars
5
Famous As: Musician
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.

 34 Zaz

Zaz
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 1, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chambray-lès-Tours, France

 35 Anggun

Anggun
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 29, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jakarta, Indonesia

 36 Amanda Lear

Amanda Lear
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

 37 Jain

Jain
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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.

 38 Bilal Hassani

Bilal Hassani
8
Famous As: Singer
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.

 39 Mireille Mathieu

Mireille Mathieu
4
Famous As: Singer
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.

 40 Sébastien Loeb

Sébastien Loeb
7
Famous As: Rally driver
Birthdate: February 26, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Haguenau, France

 41 Lily Pons

Lily Pons
4
Famous As: American-French operatic soprano
Birthdate: April 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Draguignan, France
Died: February 13, 1976

 42 Joséphine de La Baume

Joséphine de La Baume
3
Famous As: Actress
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

 43 Fab Morvan

Fab Morvan
7
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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.

 44 Willy William

Willy William
4
Famous As: DJ
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.

 45 Lili Damita

Lili Damita
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 10, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Blaye, France
Died: March 21, 1994

 46 Kendji Girac

Kendji Girac
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 3, 1996
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Périgueux, Aquitaine, France

 47 Sandra

Sandra
6
Famous As: Singer
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.

 48 Sylvie Vartan

Sylvie Vartan
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 15, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Iskrets, Bulgaria

 49 Sonia Ben Ammar

Sonia Ben Ammar
2
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: February 19, 1999
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

 50 Natalie Dessay

Natalie Dessay
4
Famous As: Singer
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.