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Manu Chao

"Manu Chao" (born June 21, 1961 in Paris; real name "Jose-Manuel Thomas Arthur Chao"; also occasionally credited as "Oscar Tramor") is a French Latin folk singer of Spanish origin.

Chao's mother was Basque and his father, writer and journalist Ramón Chao, Galician from Vilalba. They moved to Paris to escape Francisco Franco's dictatorship, which lasted until the dictator's death in 1975. Shortly after Manu's birth, the Chao family moved to the outlying suburbs of Paris, and Manu spent most of his childhood in Boulogne-Billancourt and Sèvres.


Having been heavily influenced by the UK punk scene, particularly the Clash, Chao and other musicians formed the Spanish/English rockabilly group Hot Pants in the mid-80s. The group released a demo entitled "Mala Vida" in 1984, garnering plenty of local critical praise but otherwise gaining them little attention. By the time the group released their first album in 1986 the Parisian alternative music scene had taken flight, and Manu, his brother Antoine Chao, and friends such as Alain from Les Wampas formed Los Carayos to incorporate this sound with the rockb...

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