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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, Neil Hannon, 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, James Dean Bradfield, 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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