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JACQUES BREL

Biographie

Jacques Brel, Jacques Romain Georges Brel was born on April 8, 1929 in Etterbeek, Belgium. He studied in a Catholic school. At 16, he founded a theatre band & wrote plays. Jacques left school in 1947 & worked in his family’s shop. On June 1, 1950, he married Thérèse Michielsen. In 1951, his daughter Chantal was born. Jacques Brel started writing his own songs & sang them in Brussels’ cabarets. Noticed by Jacques Canetti, he signed to Philips & went to Paris.

In 1955, he went to Montreuil, near Paris & met Georges Pasquier “Jojo”, his closest friend. He also recorded his first album. In 1956, he met a pianist, François Rauber & released his second album in 1957. After his fourth album La Valse À Mille Temps, Jacques went on tour from the United States to USSR & also in Europe. He also recorded his most beautiful songs, “Le Plat Pays” & “Amsterdam”.

In November 1966, Jacques Brel made his goodbye concert at Paris’ Olympia, more interested by cinema & travelling. In 1967, he played in André Cayatte’s film “Les Risques Du Métier” & in 1968, he played in the French version of the musical “Man From La Mancha”, with a successful tour which ended in May 1969.

In 1971, he directed his first film “Franz” & in 1973, he directed “Far West”. Both films were unsuccessful & Jacques played in “Mon Oncle Benjamin”, Edouard Molinaro’s “L’Emmerdeur” & Claude Lelouch’s “L’Aventure C’Est L’Aventure”, 3 successful films.

In 1974, Jacques Breltravelled the seas on his boat L’Askoy with a young actress, Madly Bamy. Very ill, he had lung cancer. In 1975, Jacques & Madly went to Marquise Islands, then back to Brussels.

In September & October 1977, he recorded a 12-track album in Paris with his friends François Rauber & Gérard Jouannest. The album sold 1 million copies. In July 1978, Jacques’ health became worse & he went to Neuilly’s hospital. He moved to Bobigny & died on October 9, 1978. He was 49. Jacques Brel’s music was filled with power, poetry & actuality.

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