10 Best French Singers

If you need music for a wedding, party or other special occasion, check out these 10 best French singers. French singers are known for their dirty ballads, silly pop songs and overall je ne sais quoi. You'll feel a little bit more special when you listen to one or all of these 10 best French singers.

  1. Serge Gainsbourg. Considered by some to be French music's dirty old man, Gainsbourg is known for his salacious songs and bad boy reputation. More popular in Europe than in America, his only single in the United States charted to number 69.
  2. Charlotte Gainsbourg. Americans have been a bit more accepting of Serge's daughter Charlotte, who is both a singer and an actress. Charlotte's first album was recorded when she was only 13-years-old and featured songs written by her father. Her 2006 album, "5:55," went platinum in France and her 2009 album, "IRM," landed on the "Billboard 200."
  3. Francoise Hardy. Known for her catchy, up-beat pop songs, Francoise Hardy's song often rivaled those produced by Phil Spector in terms of big production values. Although her career began in the early 1960's, Hardy continued to be popular in France into the 21st century.
  4. Edith Piaf. Piaf is often considered to be the best French singer. Her voice, full of passion and strength, is what set her apart from other vocalists and causes her to remain popular, even decades after her death.
  5. Jacques Brel. Brel's songs, particularly "Amsterdam," have been recorded by a number of famous pop singers, from Scott Walker to David Bowie. While Brel may have lacked the sex appeal of those singers, he made up for it by recording highly theatrical and literary songs that still appeal to a certain type of person today.
  6. Georges Brassens. A much loved French singer, Georges Brassens was known both for his poetic, beautiful lyrics and for his ability to sneak social issues into his pop songs. He's renowned as one of the most popular French singers to perform in cabarets in the 1950s and 60's.
  7. Chantal Goya. One of the stars of ye-ye, a pop style popular in France in the 1960's, Goya constantly topped the charts in the 1960's. She was cast in a film by Jean Luc Godard, essentially playing herself: a famous pop singer. Though ye-ye quickly waned in popular, Goya's career continued as she reinvented herself as a children's singer in the 1970's and continues to pen and perform songs for children into the 21st century.
  8. Carla Bruni. Though she got her start as a model and a frequent fixture on the gossip pages, Bruni went on to prove her worth as a French singer after releasing 2003's "Quelqu'un M'a Dit,"  a albums full of covers of pop songs. The album went platinum in France. Bruni shocked the world in 2008 when she married Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France and released a new album, "Comme Si de Rien N'Etait."
  9. Claudine Longet. French singer Longet released several sophisticated pop albums in the 1960's. Though her career petered out in the 1970's after she shot and killed her then-boyfriend, Longet is remembered for her haunting songs. A complitation of previously unreleased tracks was issued in 1993.
  10. Sylvie Vartan. Born in 1944, Vartan's career started in 1961, when her family moved to France from Bulgaria and continued into the 21st century. She recorded duets with famous singers such as Chet Atkins and opened for the Beatles in 1964 at the Olympia. Her single, "2'35 de Bonheur," charted in America in 1967.
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