From Academic Kids

Guy Béart (born July 16, 1930) is a French singer and songwriter.

Born Guy Béhar in Cairo, Egypt, his father's job required the family to move frequently and he grew up in various European places as well as in Mexico. From the age of 10 until 17 he lived in Lebanon during which time his interest in music developed to the point where he left for Paris to study at the "Ecole Nationale de Musique." However, beyond music he also obtained an engineering degree.

When his father passed away in 1952, the young Guy Béhar chose to pursue a career in engineering in order to help look after the family. In his spare time, he wrote songs and worked the Paris cabaret circuit playing guitar and singing under the stage name Guy Béart. When a popular performer of the day covered one of his songs and it became a huge sales success, demand for his writing talents increased and he created successful compositions for Juliette Gréco and others. Taken under the wing of renowned music producer Jacques Cannetti and fellow musician, Boris Vian, he released his own album that in 1958 won the prestigious Grand Prix de l'Académie du Disque Français.

A shy person, Béart initially suffered from stage fright and had a very difficult time with his concert debut made at the famous Paris Olympia. His biggest hit came when he wrote the soundtrack of the 1960 motion picture, "L'Eau vive." A song from the soundtrack with the same name as the film, is considered a classic of what is known as French chanson. Despite his leap to fame, Beart's singing career was soon swamped by the rising tide of American Rock and Roll. However, reinventing himself as a host of a television show featuring musical stars from a variety of genres, he remained in the public eye and eventually made a recording comeback.

In 1965 he and his wife had a daughter, Emmanuelle, who would grow up to be one of France's most well-known actresses with an international following. After Béart's TV show ceased production in 1970, his popularity waned but he continued to record new music that was readily purchased by a loyal following. By the early 1980s he was almost completely out of the spotlight and although only in his early fifties, he suffered from a number of serious health problems. In 1987, he published a book about his illness entitled "L'Espérance folle" (Crazy Hope) that, combined with his daughter’s success in the blockbuster film Manon des Sources, brought a resurgence of popularity. More than twenty-five years after his first appearance at the Paris Olympia, he returned for a series of highly successful engagements.

In 1994 Guy Béart was awarded the Grand Prix de l'Académie Française in recognition of his achievements over his long career. He continued to perform at a variety of venues around the country and in 1999 did a five-week run at Bobino in Montparnasse that was so popular it allowed for a successful re-release of his double live album recorded at the Olympia.

Now, well into his seventies, he only makes a rare appearance on stage but many of his songs, of which Guy Béart wrote more than 300 himself, are still being purchased by his fans.


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