|Birth name||Jean Tenenbaum|
|Born||26 December 1930
|Died||13 March 2010 (aged 79)
|Occupations||singer, songwriter, composer|
|Years active||1958 – 2009|
Ferrat was born in Vaucresson, Hauts-de-Seine. He was the youngest of four children from a modest Jewish family which moved to Versailles in 1935, Ferrat studied at the Jules Ferry College. His Russian father was deported to Auschwitz during the war, where he died. Ferrat dropped out of school to help the family survive.
In the early 1950s he started in Parisian cabaret. After that he has avoided any particular musical style, but remained faithful to himself, his friends and his public.
In 1956, he set "Les yeux d'Elsa" ("Elsa's eyes"), a Louis Aragon poem which Ferrat loved, to music. Its rendition by popular artist André Claveau brought Ferrat some initial recognition as a songwriter.
His first 45 RPM single was released in 1958, without success. It was not until 1959, with publisher Gérard Meys, who also became his close friend and associate, that his career started to flourish. He signed with Decca and released his second single, "Ma Môme", in 1960 under the musical direction of Meys.
In 1961 Ferrat married Christine Sèvres, a singer who performed some of his songs. He also met Alain Goraguer, who became an arranger of his songs. His debut album, Deux Enfants du Soleil, was released that year. Ferrat also wrote songs for Zizi Jeanmaire and went on the road, sharing billing with her at the Alhambra for six months.
In 1990, he received an award from the Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique, (SACEM) the French association of songwriters, composers and music publishers.
In 2010, Ferrat died of a long illness at the age of 79.
Didier Caesar (alias Dieter Kaiser), a Belgian-German singer has translated some of Ferrat's songs into German.