Born Jean Tenenbaum in Hauts-de-Seine 26 December 1930, Jean Ferrat (as he became) did not have an easy upbringing. His father, a Russian died at Auschwitz, and the young boy gave up school to help his family.
In his twenties, Ferrat began singing in cabaret in Paris. It was the start of a career in music, albeit a slow start. It was several years later in 1959 that he became better known and started to receive some recognition for his performances.
He was a poet and also admirer of poet Louis Aragorn whose words he set to music and enchanted millions in France. His albums were infrequent compared to some, and eagerly awaited by his fans.
Known for his political opinions, a man who advocated a better world where money and politics would not be so important, his views and outspokenness could cause him problems at times but he remained popular with the public.
When he died on 13 March 2010 a TV tribute programme drew an audience of more than 4 million.