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Year: 2017

Runtime: 01:59:10

Actor and singer Patrick Bruel was one of France's biggest stars during the '90s, first making his name as a teen idol and leading a return to traditional French chanson in the new millennium. Bruel was born Patrick Benguigui in Tlemcen, Algeria, on May 14, 1959. His father abandoned the family when Patrick was only a year old, and in 1962, after Algeria won its independence, his mother moved to France, settling in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil. A fine soccer player in his youth, Patrick first settled on the idea of being a singer after seeing Michel Sardou perform in 1975. As luck would have it, acting would bring him his first success; first-time director Alexandre Arcady ran an ad seeking a young man with a French-Algerian (or "pied-noir" in French slang) accent for his film Le Coup de Sirocco. Benguigui (as he was still called) responded and won the part. The following year, he spent some time in New York City, where he met Gérard Presgurvic, later to become his primary songwriter.

Returning to Paris, Bruel appeared in several films, television shows, and plays, and cut his first single, "Vide," in 1982. It failed to attract much attention, but his next effort, "Marre Cette Nana-là" ("Enough of That Chick"), was a substantial hit in 1984. A follow-up, "Comment Ça Va Pour Vous" ("How's It Going for You"), also found success in 1985. Bruel released his debut album, De Face, in 1986, but it failed to live up to expectations and didn't sell particularly well. After several more film appearances and a live recording made at the Olympia, Bruel recorded a second studio album, Alors Regarde, in 1989. Paced by the smash hit "Casser la Voix" ("To Break the Voice"), the album made Bruel a superstar in Europe and Canada, and would eventually go on to sell over three million copies. Bruel embarked on a sold-out tour; throngs of screaming teenage girls packed his concerts, leading the French media to dub the phenomenon "Bruelmania" (though some critics harbored reservations about his musical talent). A second live album, Si Ce Soir, was culled from the tour.

Patrick Bruel Available In:

Classical, Pop, Vocal, Foreign

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