Gilbert Bécaud

Singer + Actor + Composer
Born Oct 24, 1927
Hometown Toulon
Died Dec 18, 2001

Gilbert Bécaud was a French singer, composer and actor, known as "Monsieur 100,000 Volts" for his energetic performances. His best-known hits are "Nathalie" and "Et Maintenant", a 1961 release that became an English language hit as "What Now My Love". He remained a popular artist for nearly fifty years, identifiable in his dark blue suits, with a white shirt and "lucky tie"; blue with white polka dots.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Gilbert Bécaud.


1927 Birth Born on October 24, 1927.


1942 14 Years Old Born François Silly in Toulon, Bécaud learned to play the piano at a young age, and then went to the Conservatoire de Nice. In 1942, he left school to join the French Resistance during World War II.


1948 20 Years Old He began songwriting in 1948, after meeting Maurice Vidalin, who inspired him to write his early compositions.
1950 22 Years Old He began writing for Marie Bizet; Bizet, Bécaud and Vidalin became a successful trio, and their partnership lasted until 1950.
1953 25 Years Old While touring with Jacques Pills as a pianist, Bécaud met Édith Piaf, the wife of Jacques Pills at the time. He began singing at her suggestion in 1953, with "Mes Mains" and "Les Croix". … Read More
1954 26 Years Old …  He debuted there in 1954 and headlined in 1955, attracting 6,000 on his first night, three times the capacity. … Read More
1956 28 Years Old He began acting in the same period, starting with 1956's Le Pays D'où Je Viens.


1960 32 Years Old In 1960, he won a Grand Prix du Disque and composed L'enfant à L'étoile, a Christmas cantata. … Read More
1961 33 Years Old In 1961, Bécaud wrote and recorded Et Maintenant, one of the biggest selling singles in French history. … Read More
1967 39 Years Old His song "Seul sur son Etoile" became "It Must Be Him" (with English lyrics by Mack David), a hit in 1967 for the US singer, Vikki Carr, and the following year another Bécaud song, L'Important c'est la Rose was given an English lyric (by Norman Newell) and became a hit for the UK singer, Vince Hill under the title "Importance of Your Love".


1968 40 Years Old On 19 June 1968 the American Broadcasting Company aired a half-hour color special starring Bécaud that had been taped in Saarbrücken. … Read More
1971 43 Years Old An example was his live performance at the festival The Golden Orpheus on June 1971 in socialistic Bulgaria.
1973 45 Years Old He followed this with some acting work and at last finally took time off in 1973, citing exhaustion.
1974 46 Years Old In 1974, he was named Chevalier in the Légion d'honneur. … Read More


1982 54 Years Old In 1982, he recorded the duet "L'amour est Mort" with Québécoise singer Martine St. Clair at the start of her career. … Read More


2001 74 Years Old In December 2001 he died from cancer, aged 74, on his houseboat on the Seine and was interred in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted onécaud.
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