Jacques Higelin

Jacques Higelin
Jacques Higelin performing at Zarbs Festival, July 2007
Jacques Higelin performing at Zarbs Festival, July 2007
Background information
Birth name Jacques Joseph Victor Higelin
Born (1940-10-18)18 October 1940
Brou-sur-Chantereine, Île-de-France France
Died 6 April 2018(2018-04-06) (aged 77)
Paris, France
Genres French pop
Occupation(s) French singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar, piano, banjo, accordion, harmonica, melodica, harspichord
Years active 1969–2018
Website www.jacqueshigelin.fr

Jacques Joseph Victor Higelin (French pronunciation: ​[ʒak ʒozɛf viktɔʁ iʒlɛ̃]; 18 October 1940 – 6 April 2018) was a French pop singer who rose to prominence in the early 1970s.

Early life

Higelin was born on 18 October 1940. His father, Paul, a railway worker and musician of Alsatian descent, introduced his two sons to various forms of music, while his mother, Renée, of Belgian descent, raised them both.[1][2]


Higelin's entertainment career began at age 14, when he left school to work as a stunt double. While playing a number of minor roles in motion pictures, Higelin was taught to play the guitar by Henri Crolla, a French-Italian jazz guitarist and a composer of film scores. By the early 1960s, Higelin was attending the René Simon drama school, where he won the François Perier award.

For two years beginning in 1961, Higelin served in the French military in various countries. Upon returning to France, he resumed his film career but increasingly began to focus on music. By the end of the decade, he had become very active in the artistic underground in Paris and began to channel his music towards radical activism.

Higelin began attracting popular attention through his live concerts, typically held in smaller venues, and released his first solo album in 1971. By the middle of the 1970s, Higelin had become one of France's most successful pop musicians, and he remains influential to this day.

In the 70's Higelin was in a relationship with a French-Vietnamese woman called Kuelan Nguyen. She accompanied him during the recording of an album at Château d'Hérouville Studio, where Iggy Pop was also recording his debut solo album "The Idiot". Iggy Pop became infatuated with Nguyen, who rejected him, but the incident inspired the song China Girl, which later became a hit when re-recorded by David Bowie.

Personal life and death

Higelin had three children, all of whom became artists:

  • Arthur H, singer, born to Nicole Courtois in 1966
  • Kên Higelin, actor, born to Kuelan Nguyen in 1972
  • Izïa, singer, born to dancer Aziza Zakine in 1990. Higelin married Zakine in 2011.[3]

Higelin died on 6 April 2018 in Paris.[4]



Studio albums (non-charting)
Studio albums (charting)
Year Album Credited to Peak positions

1974 BBH 75 Benarroch, Boissezon, Higelin (BBH) 117  –  –
1998 Paradis païen Higelin 7  –  –
2006 Amor doloroso Jacques Higelin 7 83 97
2010 Coup de foudre Higelin 2 20 51
2013 Beau repaire Higelin 5 49  –
2016 Higelin 75 Higelin 6
36 74
Live albums (non-charting)
  • 1981: Higelin à Mogador (triple album, 2 CDs)
  • 1983: Casino de Paris (1 album, 1 CD)
  • 1986: Higelin à Bercy (triple album, 2 CD)
  • 1990: Follow the Live (double album, 1 CD)
  • 1992: Higelin Le Rex (double album, 1 CD)
Live albums (charting)
Year Album Credited to Peak positions

2000 Higelin Live 2000 Jacques Higelin 60  –  –
2005 Higelin enchante Trenet Jacques Higelin 36 83  –
2007 En plein Bataclan Jacques Higelin 151  –  –
2010 Paris/Zénith 18 October 2010 Higelin 200  –  –
Albums with Brigitte Fontaine
Album with Areski Belkacem
  • 1973 – Jacques Canetti présente Jacques Higelin
  • 1980 – Inédits 1970
  • 2005 – Entre deux gares



  1. ^ Higelin, Jacques; Lehoux, Valérie (2015). Je vis pas ma vie, je la rêve. Fayard. p. 7.
  2. ^ Chanter pour la paix. Paris: Mango jeunesse. 2003. p. pink. ISBN 2-7404-1630-X.
  3. ^ Catroux, Sebastien. "Jacques Higelin: Qui est Aziza, la mère d'Izia ?". Gala. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  4. ^ Le chanteur Jacques Higelin est décédé (in French)
  5. ^ a b "Jacques Higelin discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes – SNEP (Week 41, 2016)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  7. ^ Includes 6 songs written by Boris Vian and sung by Higelin

External links