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French popular music is a music of France belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and mostly distributed commercially. It stands in contrast to French classical music, which historically was the music of elites or the upper strata of society, and traditional French folk music which was shared non-commercially. It is sometimes abbreviated to French pop music, although French pop music is more often used for a narrower branch of popular music.
The late 19th century saw the dawn of the music hall when Yvette Guilbert was a major star. The era lasted through to the 1930s and saw the likes of Félix Mayol, Lucienne Boyer, Marie-Louise Damien, Marie Dubas, Fréhel, Georges Guibourg, Tino Rossi, Jean Sablon, Charles Trenet and Maurice Chevalier.
French popular music in the 20th century includedchanson music by the likes of Édith Piaf as well as Georges Brassens and the more art-house musicians like Brigitte Fontaine. The 60's brought the wave of Ye-Ye with such legends as Françoise Hardy, Serge Spanish Zarzuelas and Italian operettas, French songs are nevertheless today still part of a dynamic French social movement which has for centuries – since the French revolution – moved audiences with elegant and often poetic lyrics combined with realism around social themes, spirituality and love.
The most widely recognized songs such as "Non, je ne regrette rien", "Les feuilles mortes" or Jacques Brel's "Ne me quitte pas" have successors in diverse genres such as French electronic music, pop or rap. However the chanson genre remains popular and there are even competitions such as Vive la reprise. Among the modern followers of chanson, we find Pierre Bachelet or Paloma Berganza; as well as some fusion versions like Estrella Morente's version of "Ne me quitte pas".
Édith Piaf was a French singer-songwriter, cabaret performer and film actress noted as France's national chanteuse and one of the country's most widely known international stars.
The music of France reflects a diverse array of styles. In the field of classical music, France has produced several prominent romantic composers, while folk and popular music have seen the rise of the chanson and cabaret style. The earliest known sound recording device in the world, the phonautograph, was patented in France by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in 1857. France is also the 5th largest market by value in the world, and its music industry has produced many internationally renowned artists, especially in the nouvelle chanson and electronic music.
Jacques Dutronc is a French singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer, and actor. He has been married to singer Françoise Hardy since 30 March 1981 and the two have a son. He also has been a longtime songwriting collaborator with Jacques Lanzmann. Some of Dutronc's best-known hits include "Il est cinq heures, Paris s'éveille", "Le Responsable", and "Les Cactus".
Pierre Bachelet was a French singer-songwriter.
Yé-yé was a style of pop music that emerged from Southern Europe in the early 1960s. The term "yé-yé" was derived from the English term "yeah! yeah!", popularized by British beat music bands such as the Beatles. The style expanded worldwide, due to the success of figures such as the French singer-songwriters Serge Gainsbourg and Françoise Hardy. Yé-yé was a particular form of counterculture, deriving most of its inspiration from UK or American rock and roll. Additional stylistic elements of yé-yé song composition include baroque, exotica, pop, jazz, and the French chanson.
Diane Tell is a Canadian musician who was born in Quebec City, Quebec. She entered the Val d’Or conservatory at the age of six. She continued her studies at the Montréal conservatory and then at CEGEP Saint-Laurent and she wrote her first songs at the age of twelve. As one of Québec’s pioneering female singer-songwriters, she proposed her personal repertoire over the course of her first four albums. She won six Félix prizes before the age of 25: breakout artist, best artist, best album, best song and, twice, songwriter of the year. Several of her songs have become SOCAN Classics and Si j’étais un homme was inducted in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017. She earned a MIDEM Award for her album Chimères and a Victoire Award for her album Faire à nouveau connaissance. In 1990, she was chosen by Plamondon, Berger and Savary to play a leading role in the musical La légende de Jimmy. Following that, she played the lead and composed the score for another musical, Marilyn Montreuil, written and stage directed by Jérôme Savary and the Théâtre National du Chaillot, in Paris. Over 300 performances of both shows were presented in France and Europe. Over the past 25 years, Tell has toured relentlessly, written, composed and recorded in Canada, France, the U.K. and Switzerland. In 2018, she produced her 15th studio album of original material in Montréal. As an independent artist, she owns the phonographic rights of her entire catalogue, manages her own publishing company, and produces and finances her albums herself. Also a photographer, she directs the majority of her music videos. Her YouTube channel gets 400,000 views per month on average. In her blog, Diane Cause Musique, she engages up-and-coming artists by explaining the inner workings of the music industry.
French pop music is pop music sung in the French language. It is usually performed by singers from France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, or any of the other francophone areas of the world. The target audience is the francophone market, which is considerably smaller than and largely independent from the mainstream anglophone market.
Iva Frühlingová is Czech female singer and model, famous in the Czech Republic and France. Despite her Czech descent she sings mostly in French.
Fabienne Thibeault is a French Canadian singer. She is particularly known for her role in Starmania. Thibeault has released numerous albums over her career. She has been the recipient of two Félix Awards.
Pierre Delanoë, born Pierre Charles Marcel Napoleon Leroyer in Paris, France, was a French lyricist who wrote thousands of songs for dozens of singers such as Dalida, Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Petula Clark, Johnny Hallyday, Joe Dassin, Michel Sardou or Mireille Mathieu. Delanoë was his grandmothers maiden name.
"Ne me quitte pas" is a 1959 song by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel. It has been covered in the original French by many artists and has also been translated into and performed in many other languages. A well-known adaptation, with English lyrics by Rod McKuen, is "If You Go Away".
Aubin is a commune in the Aveyron department in the Occitanie of southern France.
Boîte à Bonbons is a 16-CD box set compilation of the recorded songs of Jacques Brel. The limited edition box set was released to mark the 25th anniversary of Jacques Brel's death. The box set includes 15 albums remastered from the original records. CD digipacks are presented in their original sleeve with lyrics. The box set also includes an illustrated booklet with various pictures, a biography, and Brel's citations and testimonies. Also included are five never before released songs from the recording sessions of the album Les Marquises. Included with the booklet is a bonus CD containing 28 titles: 26 songs from Radio Hasselt recorded 14 and 21 August 1953, a recording from the Brel family's private collection, and a 1962 recording from the Dutch television show AVRO. The box set is also available in an alternate velvet box format with CDs in crystal cases.
Fernand Fau was a French illustrator and cartoonist whose work was widely published in popular journals around the turn of the 19th century.
Jeanne-Marie Sens is a French singer, songwriter, author and editor.
"Mistral gagnant is the title song from French singer Renaud's 1985 album Mistral gagnant. In the song, Renaud sings to his young daughter Lolita Séchan about his own childhood and realizes that time flies as will fly away the laughs of his daughter as a child.
Mario Cazes, was a 20th-century French composer, conductor and violinist extremely popular during the 1920s and 1930s.
"Sacré Charlemagne" is a song by France Gall. It was released in 1964 as a single, on an EP, and on an album, credited to "France Gall et ses petits amis".