Actually, her name was Monique Andrée Serf; she got “Barbara” from her grandmother in old Odessa. She was born 9 June 1930 in Paris, and went into hiding when the Germans came to town. Eventually she built a reputation as an interpreter of songs by Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens, but stardom eluded her until she began writing her own material.
I am at a loss to explain that last picture, the cover art from Barbara’s 1990 album Gauguin.
One of her early originals was “Dis, quand reviendras-tu?” (“Tell me, when are you coming back?”) from 1962:
Perhaps Barbara’s biggest hit was “L’aigle noir” (“The black eagle”) from 1970. I tend to think of it as a sequel to that earlier song:
She died in 1997 from a respiratory ailment.