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The 12 Best French Singers of All Time

the best french singers
The 12 Best French Singers of All Time. Image by Anthony Delanoix on Unsplash.

Last updated on March 19th, 2023 at 10:00 pm

There are many famous French singers that have made themselves known in a variety of genres. But which are the best French singers of all time?

From Edith Piaf to ZAZ, we will cover all the best French singers in this article. Read on to learn more about the best male and female French singers.

The Best Male French Singers


6. Eddy de Pretto

Eddy de Pretto is a unique addition to the list of the best French singers of all time, mainly because he doesn’t sing in a specific genre.

Not only that, but he never really intended to become a singer, he just did because his mom put him in Theater classes to get him out of the house.

Despite this odd start, he has sung with many famous singers, including R. Kelly and Julien Dore.

His song “Normal” even surpassed one of Julien’s in terms of sales.  

Related: R.Kelly Charged with Underage Prostitution in Minnesota


5. Eddy Mitchell

Eddy Mitchel was born Claude Moine in Paris but rose to fame under his stage name.

Popular in the 1950s, he was part of the band Les Chassettes Noires, and their first album was an instant success with over 2 million copies sold.

He later set out on a solo career in 1963.


4. Julien Dore

Julien Dore got his start as a singer in the French band Dig Up Elvis.

He quickly rose to fame in the early 2000s as a solo artist as a contestant on the show Nouvelle Star. He now coaches contestants on the French version of The Voice as well as works as a male model.

Related: The Voice 2022 Results: Winners, Judges, and More


3. Jean-Jacques Goldman

Jean-Jacques Goldman is widely regarded as one of the best French singers of all time but is also known for his talents on the guitar, piano, and violin.

He has written music for many other artists, including Celine Dion, and even won a Grammy for her song “Falling Into You” in 1997.


2. Cali

Cali is a unique French singer in that his music doesn’t usually fit the traditional style of French songs.

He attributes this to his influences, which include Irish punk music.

Cali also likes to experiment with other instruments and jazz influences, making him one of the most versatile artists on this list.


1. Johnny Hallyday

Born in Paris during World War 2, Johnny Hallyday is often referred to as the French Elvis, with a career that spanned for 57 years.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame with five Diamond albums and over 40 gold records.

With a unique voice and sexy style, he earned the title of one of the best French singers of all time before his death in 2017.

Related: The Life and Music of Elvis Presley

The Best Female French Singers


6. Barbara

Monique Andree Serf, better known under her stage name, was a French cabaret singer who began her career in 1958 and sung until her death in 1997.

She was so famous she had a Paris metro station named after her following her death, earning her a spot on the list of the best French singers of all time.


5. Dalida

Dalida was born Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti and is most well known for her French pop songs “Bambino,” “Les Enfants du Piree,” and “Le Temps Des Fleurs,” among others.

Known for her multilingual abilities, she sang songs in French as well as 11 other languages.


4. Vanessa Paradis

Vanessa Paradis is one of the best French singers of all time who got her career off to an early start.

When she was just 14 years old in 1987, she released her song “Joe Le Taxi,” which catapulted her into instant fame.

She is most well known in the US for the period of her life during which she dated actor Johnny Depp.


3. Indila

Indila is a modern marvel, receiving worldwide acclaim for her song “Derniere Danse,” which reached #2 on French charts within weeks of its release.

While she was born in France, Indila has parents who are mixed, making her background Indian, Algerian, Egyptian, and Cambodian, just to name a few.


2. ZAZ

ZAZ, born under the name Isabelle Geffroy is one of the most famous French singers known for her single “Je Veux,” which quickly topped charts around the world in 2010 and earned her a double platinum record.

She has since continued to release albums, both with a band and in her solo career.


1. Edith Piaf

It’s hard to meet someone who hasn’t heard of Edith Piaf, or at least her song “La Vie in Rose,” which is considered one of the best French songs of all time, earning her the title of one of the best French singers of all time. She won a Grammy for this song in 1998.

Edith Piaf started out as a street singer until she found residency in a local club. She died too soon, however, in 1963 at only 47 years old.

Doctors attribute her death to years of alcohol abuse coupled with other chronic conditions.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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