Henri Salvador, the French musician and singer credited with helping inspire both the bossa nova and the music video, has died in Paris aged 90.
Henri Salvador is survived by his fourth wife, Catherine Costa
Renowned for his booming laugh, elegant crooning and durability, he had planned to record a new album in 2008 and last performed on stage in December.
At the time, he said he was "the only one who can bow out while still alive".
In a statement, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Salvador's death was a cause of "infinite sadness".
"For more than a half-century, with humour and elegance, Henri was the incarnation of the art of song 'a la Francaise,'" he added.
A legend in his native France, Salvador was also a star in Latin America - particularly in Brazil.
His 1957 song Dans Mon Ile was thought to have inspired Brazilian jazz musician Antonio Carlos Jobim to conceive bossa nova's distinctive rhythm.
"When I recorded that little tune, holed up in my apartment in Paris, I could never have imagined it would change musical history," said Salvador said.
And he was among the first performers to set his songs to televised images, prompting some in France to call him the father of the music video.