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Serge Gainsbourg, born Lucien Ginsburg (2 April 1928 – 2 March 1991) was a French singer, songwriter, actor and director. Gainsbourg's extremely varied musical style and individuality make him difficult to categorize. His legacy has been firmly established, and he is often regarded as one of the world's most influential popular musicians.
He was born Lucien Ginsburg in Paris, France, the son of Russian Jewish emigrants, Joseph Ginsburg (28 December 1898, Kharkov (Ukraine) – 22 April 1971) and Olga Bessman (1894 – 16 March 1985), who fled to France after the 1917 Russian Revolution. He had a twin sister, Liliane. His childhood was profoundly affected by the occupation of France by Nazi Germany, during which he and his family, as Jews, were forced to wear the yellow star and eventually flee Paris. Before he was 30 years old, Gainsbourg was a disillusioned painter, but earned his living as a piano player in bars.