There are multiple artists with this name: 1) Barbara was a popular French female singer born as Monique Andrée Serf (9th June 1930 - 25th November 1997) best known under her stage name. "Barbara" had been the title of a famous song in the fifties, whose text comes from Prévert. Monique Serf, born in Paris, France, into a Jewish family, was ten years old when she had to go into hiding during the German occupation of France in World War II. After the war ended, a neighbourhood music teacher heard her sing and took an interest in helping her develop her talents.
She was given vocal lessons and taught to play the piano, and eventually she enrolled at the Ecole Supérieure de Musique. However, money was a problem and she gave up her musical studies to sing at "La Fontaine des Quatre Saisons", a popular cabaret at the time in Paris. A sensitive girl, she was deeply scarred by the war and her family's plight. Her inner feelings of emptiness showed in her appearance and in her songs.Serf wrote in her autobiography, Il etait un piano noir, that her father sexually abused her when she was ten.
He later left the family, never to return; Serf went to his funeral in Nantes, which gave rise to one of her most popular songs, "Nantes". A tall person, she dressed in black, accentuating her raven hair, as she sang melancholic songs of lost love. From 1950 to 1952, after running away following her father's desertion of her family, she lived in Brussels, Belgium, where she became part of an active artistic community. Her painter and writer friends took over an old house, converting it into workshops and a concert hall with a piano where Monique performed the songs of Édith Piaf, Juliette Gréco and Germaine Montéro.Make Barbara Playlist