Jacques Brel


Jacques Brel was a Belgian singer, songwriter, and actor who became one of the most influential and successful musicians in French-speaking countries. He was born on April 8, 1929, in Schaerbeek, a suburb of Brussels, Belgium, to a middle-class family. His father was a successful industrialist, and his mother was a devout Catholic.

Brel's childhood was marked by a strict Catholic upbringing and a sense of rebellion against his parents' expectations. He attended a Jesuit school, where he excelled academically but was often in trouble for his rebellious behavior. Brel's love for music began at an early age, and he taught himself to play the guitar and piano.

After finishing school, Brel worked briefly in his father's factory before enrolling in the Belgian army. He was stationed in Germany for a year and then returned to Belgium, where he began performing in cafes and bars. In 1952, he won a singing contest, which gave him the opportunity to record his first single, "La Foire."

Brel's music was characterized by his powerful lyrics, which explored themes such as love, death, and the human condition. He wrote in French and often used complex metaphors and allegories in his songs. His music was also influenced by his Catholic upbringing, which gave him a sense of the spiritual and the existential.

In 1954, Brel moved to Paris, where he quickly gained a following among the city's intellectual and artistic community. He began performing in small clubs and cafes and soon caught the attention of the French record label Philips. He recorded his first album, "Grand Jacques," in 1958, which included the hits "Quand on n'a que l'amour" and "Le Diable (Ça Va)."

Brel's success in France led to international recognition, and he began performing in other countries, including Canada, the United States, and Japan. He was known for his electrifying live performances, which often included dramatic gestures and intense emotional expressions.

In addition to his music career, Brel also acted in several films, including "Escala en Hi-Fi" and "La Bande à Bonnot." He was also a prolific songwriter, penning over 200 songs during his career.

Brel retired from performing in 1967, at the height of his career. He moved to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia, where he lived a simple life and focused on writing poetry and plays. He made a brief comeback in the 1970s, performing a series of concerts in France, Belgium, and Canada.

Brel was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1973 and underwent treatment in France. He continued to write and record music until his death on October 9, 1978, in Bobigny, France. His music and legacy continue to inspire artists around the world, and he is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

--> Visit Paris Chanson's YouTube channel to watch Brel's most famous songs live: https://youtube.

Top Tracks

Ne me quitte pas 1

Ne me quitte pas

Amsterdam 2


Vesoul 3


La Chanson des Vieux Amants 4

La Chanson des Vieux Amants

Quand On N'a Que L'amour 5

Quand On N'a Que L'amour

La Valse À Mille Temps 6

La Valse À Mille Temps

Le Plat Pays 7

Le Plat Pays

Mathilde 8


Les Bourgeois 9

Les Bourgeois

Le Moribond 10

Le Moribond

Top Albums

Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ne Me Quitte Pas
15 Ans D'Amour
15 Ans D'Amour


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