Charles Trenet

One of France's best loved singer-songwriters, Charles Trenet's heyday was the immediate pre-war and post-war period. Somewhat controversially he maintained his performing career during France's occupation by providing entertainment for German troops at the Folies Bergère and the Gaîté Parisienne, two of Paris' premier nightspots. A subsequent post-war enquiry following the liberation of France reprimanded Trent but fell short of punishing him for collaboration. After the war Trenet moved to America where his career blossomed and he even had a brief flirtation with Hollywood. Trenet returned to France in the late 1950s and in 1963 attracted unwelcome publicity after he was jailed for a month whilst the authorities investigated him for homosexual offences. The charges were subsequently dropped but in those less-liberated times the revelations came as a shock to Trenet's fans. In 1973 Trenet celebrated his 60th birthday with a new album but following the death of his mother in 1979 he became a temporary recluse re-emerging into public life in 1981 with a comeback album. His shows remained a popular attraction with French audiences right up until he suffered a stroke in 2000, an event from which he didn't recover eventually passing away in February 2001.

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