Widely regarded as the singer who fused the traditions of the French chanson with the energy and verve of American jazz, Claude Nougaro was born in Toulouse on September 9, 1929. The son of an opera singer and a piano teacher, he was raised largely by his grandparents, devouring not only classical music but also the homegrown pop of Charles Trénet and Edith Piaf, and the American swing of Louis Armstrong and Glenn Miller. Nougaro made his first recordings in 1958 and continued making music well into the 1970s. After years of failing health, Nougaro died March 4, 2004 at the age of 74. ~ Jason Ankeny
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