Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

French singer Jean Ferrat dies aged 79

Jean Ferrat
Ferrat wrote and performed about 200 songs

French singer and songwriter Jean Ferrat, whose communist views saw some of his songs banned from French TV in the 1960s, has died aged 79.

The musician died in hospital in Aubenas in the south of France, where he had been admitted a few days earlier, an official told AFP.

Ferrat wrote about 200 songs which reflected his political views.

Among his best-known tunes were La Montagne (The Mountain), Potemkine and Ma France.

Born in a Parisian suburb as Jean Tenenbaum, the singer began his career in the cabarets of the postwar Left Bank before making his name in the 1960s and 1970s with a succession of lyrical love songs.

He was also known for his adaptations of works by the communist poet Louis Aragon.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a statement praising the singer's "unyielding conception of French song"

Michel Drucker, one of France's most popular television presenters and a friend of the singer, told France Info radio: "A whole part of France, a whole generation is mourning today."

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CBC French singer-songwriter Ferrat dies - 19 hrs ago
AFP via Yahoo! French singer Jean Ferrat dead at 79 (AFP) - 60 hrs ago French singer Jean Ferrat dead at 79 - 60 hrs ago
Reuters French singer songwriter Jean Ferrat dies - 61 hrs ago Singer Jean Ferrat dead at 79 - 64 hrs ago

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