Jacques Brel (8 April 1929 – 9 October 1978) was a Belgian singer-songwriter . He was widely said to be a master of the modern chanson . [1] Although he recorded most of his songs in French, he became a major influence on English-speaking songwriters and performers. Some of these were David Bowie , Leonard Cohen , and Rod McKuen . English translations of his songs were recorded by many top performers in the United States . These include Ray Charles , Judy Collins , John Denver , the Kingston Trio , Nina Simone , Frank Sinatra , Scott Walker , and Andy Williams . [2] In French-speaking countries, Brel was also a successful actor, appearing in ten movies. He also directed two movies. Le Far West was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973. [3] Brel died of lung cancer . He has sold over 25 million records worldwide. He is the third best-selling Belgian recording artist of all time.

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