Sacha Distel

French singer

French singer Sacha Distel died July 22 in Rayol-Canadel, France, after a long illness. He was 71.

Distel, best known for a string of hits in the 1960s and 1970s, started out in music as a professional jazz guitarist at the age of 16.

He went on to become a household name across the world during a career which peaked with his cover version of “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.”

Distel scored his first hit with “Scoubidou” in 1958 and went on to record more than 200 songs.

He worked alongside some of the music greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones.

His song “La belle vie” was reworked by Tony Bennett as “The Good Life,” and more than 250 versions have been recorded around the world.

Considered a heartthrob around the world, he also appeared in a number of French films, such as “Zazie in the Metro” and “Aimez-vous Brahams?” as well as television programs.

He even had his own TV show in the U.S. and Britain, where he was also hugely popular.

Distel made his British theater debut as smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn in the London West End production of “Chicago” for three months starting in December 2000.

He had a high-profile relationship with Brigitte Bardot, but in 1963 wed championship skier Francine Breaud, who survives him.

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