"Serge Gainsbourg" (April 2, 1928 – March 2, 1991) was a French poet, singer-songwriter, actor and director. Gainsbourg's varied style and individuality made him difficult to categorize. Although famous in France for many years, he did not achieve his first No. 1 album until 1979 when he released ''Aux Armes et caetera'' more than twenty years after his music career had begun. But since the 1980s his legacy has been firmly established.
He was born "Lucien Ginsburg" in Paris, France, the son of Jewish Russian parents who fled to France after the 1917 Bolshevik uprising. He had a daughter, Charlotte with Jane Birkin; and a son, Lulu, with his last partner, Bambou (Caroline Von Paulus, who is related to Friedrich Paulus). Before he was 30 years old, Lucien Ginsburg was a disillusioned painter but earned his living as a piano player in bars.
His early songs were influenced by Boris Vian. Gainsbourg wanted to free himself from what he considered "old-fashioned" ''chanson'', and explore other musical grounds, influenced especially by British and American pop.