Artist bigraphy: Francis Cabrel
The French folk/blues singer-songwriter Francis Cabrel was born in Agen, France on 23 November 1953. He has released 11 studio albums to date. Cabrel's songs are mainly sung in French, although some have also been translated into Spanish. Cabrel's lyrics are renowned for their social and political commentary, dealing with issues such as immigration and gender stereotyping. He also pens songs for other artists, including French singer Rose Laurens.
Cabrel was first inspired to learn the guitar and write his own songs after listening to the folk-infused music of Bob Dylan. Other artists that have impacted on Cabrel's style include Canadian legends Leonard Cohen and Neil Young. Then in 1974, Cabrel won the Sud Radio music contest with his song Petite Marie, and was swiftly signed to CBS. His debut album Ma Ville was released in 1977, and a month-long opening slot for the Francophone singer Dave (a.k.a Wouter Otto Levenbach) at the Paris Olympia followed.
In 1978 he won the Prix du Public at the Festival de Spa in Belgium, and in 1979 Cabrel released his second album Les chernins de traverse. By far his most famous record, it sold over 500,000 copies worldwide, and the first single, Je l'aime à mourir sold over two million copies. Other notable albums throughout his career include Sarbacane in 1989, selling just under two million copies; the photo album Hors Saison in 1997 and Les Beaux Dégâts in 2004.
Cabrel released his latest album, Des roses et des orties in March 2008, centered around blues-rock arrangements. Songs such as African Tour, Les Cardinaux en costume and Le Cygne blanc dealt with issues of immigration, religion and poverty, exhibiting Cabrel's penchant for politics. It also included a French version of Bob Dylan's She Belongs to Me, Creedance Clearwater's Born on The Bayou and JJ Cale's Mama Don't.