Discover the iconic voices that have made French music famous worldwide. Our list of famous French singers features timeless classics and modern hits.
French singers that you must know
When it comes to music, France has been a melting pot of different styles and influences ranging from chanson and pop to electronic and hip-hop.
The country has produced some of the most talented and influential singers and songwriters in the world, who have made a significant impact on the music industry both locally and globally. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the most famous French singers you must know.
Édith Piaf also known as “The Little Sparrow,” is perhaps one of the most iconic French singers of all time. Born in 1915, she had a tough childhood and spent her early years singing in the streets of Paris.
Despite her humble beginnings, she rose to fame in the 1930s and became one of the most beloved singers in France. Some of her most famous songs include “La Vie en Rose,” “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” and “Hymne à l’amour.”
Piaf’s unique voice and emotional performances captivated audiences worldwide and her legacy continues to inspire many artists today.
She was also known for her tumultuous personal life and struggles with addiction, which only added to her mystique and made her an even more iconic figure in French culture.
Jacques Brel was a Belgian-born singer and songwriter who gained fame in France in the 1950s and 1960s. He was known for his powerful and emotional performances, often tackling heavy themes such as love, death, and politics.
Some of his most famous songs include “Ne me quitte pas,” “Amsterdam,” and “Quand on n’a que l’amour.”
Brel’s influence on French music and culture is undeniable, and he is often cited as one of the greatest French songwriters of all time.
His music has been covered by countless artists, both in France and internationally, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of musicians.
Serge Gainsbourg, a French musical superstar, was a multidimensional musician who left an indelible mark on the music industry.
He began his career as a jazz pianist before moving on to composition and performing. Gainsbourg, in addition to being a great musician, was also an adept actor, which added another layer to his artistic range.
What actually distinguished Gainsbourg was his determination to push boundaries and question societal standards through his music. His songs frequently dealt with taboo topics like sex, drugs, and politics, making him a divisive figure in the French music scene.
Despite the controversy, his work received critical acclaim, and he rose to prominence as one of the most influential artists of his day.
Gainsbourg has had a lasting influence on French society and music thanks to his works “Je t’aime… moi non plus,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” and “Lemon Incest,” as well as his relationships with Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin. His audacious and provocative aesthetic has influenced artists throughout.
Charles Aznavour was a French-Armenian singer and songwriter who became one of the most beloved and respected artists in French music history. He started his career in the 1940s and gained fame in the 1950s and 1960s with his emotional and heartfelt performances.
Some of Aznavour’s most famous songs include “La Bohème,” “She,” and “Emmenez-moi.” He was also known for his successful acting career, appearing in numerous films and TV shows throughout his life.
Aznavour’s legacy continues to inspire new generations of French musicians, and his contributions to the world of music and culture will never be forgotten.
Oh my, have you heard of Johnny Hallyday? Additionally known as “The French Elvis,” this man was a superstar in every sense of the word. Despite having been born in 1943, his career did not start until the 1950s.
He certainly made up for lost time, though! All of the audience members were grooving to his rock and roll aesthetic during his very energizing performances.
Despite facing criticism from some circles for his perceived “Americanization” of French music, Hallyday remained an icon in French culture and a trailblazer for future generations of French rock and pop artists.
Zaz whose real name is Isabelle Geffroy is a contemporary French singer and songwriter who has gained international acclaim for her unique and soulful voice. Born in 1980, she started her career as a street musician in Paris before gaining fame with her debut album, “Zaz,” in 2010.
Zaz’s music is a blend of jazz, chanson, and world music influences, and she has become known for her socially conscious lyrics and her commitment to environmental causes. Some of her most famous songs include “Je veux,” “On ira,” and “La Lune.”
Zaz’s success both in France and abroad has made her one of the most prominent French singers of the modern era, and her music continues to inspire new generations of artists.
Paul Van Haver, better known as Stromae, is a talented performer, songwriter, and producer. This gifted artist, born in Belgium in 1985, has utterly overtaken the French music landscape!
His spectacular career began with the release of his hit single “Alors on danse” in 2009.
Stromae’s unique combination of techno, hip-hop, and African elements will keep you dancing all night! His songs are intelligent, and they approach complex social topics expertly.
Prepare to be enchanted by his well-known songs like as “Formidable,” “Papaoutai,” and “Tous les mêmes.”
Learning French culture
From Édith Piaf to Stromae, French music has produced some of the most talented and influential singers and songwriters in the world. Whether it’s the emotional performances of Piaf, the provocative lyrics of Gainsbourg, or the innovative style of Stromae, French music has something for everyone.
These artists have not only made an impact on French culture but have also influenced the global music industry, and their legacies continue to inspire new generations of artists both in France and beyond. If you haven’t already, take a moment to discover the rich and diverse world of French music and the amazing artists who have contributed to it.