Jacques Brel

Belgian singer (1929–1978)

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.

Jacques Brel
Jacques Brel on 1963.
Jacques Brel, 1963
Jacques Romain Georges Brel

(1929-04-08)8 April 1929
Died9 October 1978(1978-10-09) (aged 49)
Bobigny, France
Other namesLe Grand Jacques (French for "The Great Jacques")
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
  • director
Years active 1953 (1953-df-yes)–1978 (1978)
Spouse(s)Thérèse "Miche" Michielsen
Musical career
Jacques Brel's signature circa 1961


Studio albumsEdit

Live albumsEdit

Boxed sets, compilations, and raritiesEdit


As actorEdit

As directorEdit

As writerEdit

As selfEdit

  • Petit jour (short) (1960)
  • Zeg hé, spaar je mee? (TV series) (1961)
  • Tienerklanken (TV series) (1963)
  • La grande farandole (TV series) (1964)
  • Age tendre et tête de bois (TV series) (1964)
  • Entrez dans la ronde (TV movie) (1965)
  • Discorama (TV series) (1962-1966)
  • Tid til at leve (TV series documentary) (1974)
  • Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (dir Denis Heroux) (1974)
  • Stellet Licht/Silent Light (dir Carlos Reygadas) (2007)[3]


  1. "Jacques Brel". Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  2. Ruhlmann, William. "Jacques Brel". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Jacques Brel". Retrieved 30 August 2011.