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Jacques Brel (Composer)

Born: 8th April 1929, Schaerbeek, Belgium

Died: 9th October 1978, Bobigny, France

Nationality: Belgian

Jacques Romain Georges Brel was a Belgian singer, songwriter, actor and director who composed and performed literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that generated a large, devoted following—initially in Belgium and France, later throughout the world. He is considered a master of the modern chanson. Although he recorded most of his songs in French and occasionally in Dutch, he became an influence on English-speaking songwriters and performers, such as Scott Walker, David Bowie, Alex Harvey, Marc Almond and Rod McKuen. English translations of his songs were recorded by many performers, including: Bowie; Walker, Ray Charles; Judy Collins; John Denver; The Kingston Trio; Nina Simone; Shirley Bassey; Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams.

Brel was a successful actor, appearing in 10 films. He directed two films, one of which, Le Far West, was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973.

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