This genre of music is very typically French and differs from most in that emphasis is placed on appreciation of the lyrics and that it is linked to a specific culture of modern “guinche” (slang for “guinguette”) appreciated a lot by Bobos among others. He began his career in the cinema, working as an assistant on Le Brasier (1991) and directed three short subjects Nada Lezard (1991), Sursum corda (1994) et José Jeannette (1992). He then turned to music, working for some time with his friend Patchol who gave him his nickname (Bénabar being the “verlan” of Barnabé, the name he was using on stage). With “Les associés” he sang for several years in small places in France, Belgium, Switzerland before becoming more and more popular after the release of Bénabar (2001) that enabled him to be the opening act for Henri Salvador. He was nominated as a Revelation for the “Victoires de la musique 2003” but did not win it.
In 2004, after the successful release of Les risques du métier, he won the award for “album “chanson/variété” of the year”. His next album Reprise des négociations sold better than the previous ones: according to Le Figaro, Bénabar reached number 4 for CD sales in France, with 2.18 million euros sales in 2006. In 2007 he won the awards for “Male group or artist of the year” and “original song of the year” (for Le dîner). Read more on Last.fm.
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