Guy Beart, 'France's last troubadour', dies at 85

Paris (AFP) - Guy Beart, one of France's best-known troubadours who was considered one of the finest exponents of the "chanson francaise" genre, died on Wednesday at the age of 85.

With a career spanning more than six decades, Beart ranks alongside French-language singers such as Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens.

His press spokesman Fabien Lecoeuvre announced his death, saying: "His daughters just called me. He died this morning on the way to the hair salon. He fell on the pavement and he could not be resuscitated."

One of his daughters is Emmanuelle Beart, one of France's most prominent actresses, having risen to international fame in the 1986 film "Manon des Sources".

Just nine months ago, Guy Beart had given his final performance at Olympia, the Paris concert hall where he first performed in 1957.

In his final concert, as throughout his career, the biggest ovation was for his signature song "L'eau vive" (Whitewater), which generations of French children have learned.

Alain Souchon, another veteran French singer, said Beart "made music that sounded as if it had always existed".

President Francois Hollande said Beart had been an "incomparable talent".

"His words are on the lips of French people of all generations," the president added.