French popular music is a music of France belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and mostly distributed commercially. It stands in contrast to French classical music, which historically was the music of elites or the upper strata of society, and traditional French folk music which was shared non-commercially. It is sometimes abbreviated to French pop music, although French pop music is more often used for a narrower branch of popular music.
The late 19th century saw the dawn of the music hall when Yvette Guilbert was a major star. The era lasted through to the 1930s and saw the likes of Félix Mayol, Lucienne Boyer, Marie-Louise Damien, Marie Dubas, Fréhel, Georges Guibourg, Tino Rossi, Jean Sablon, Charles Trenet and Maurice Chevalier.
French popular music in the 20th century included singers like superstar Édith Piaf as well as Monique Serf (Barbara) and Georges Brassens plus the more art-house musicians like Brigitte Fontaine. The 60's brought the wave of Ye-Ye with such legends as Françoise Hardy, Serge Spanish Zarzuelas and Italian operettas, French songs are nevertheless today still part of a dynamic French social movement which has for centuries – since the French revolution – moved audiences with elegant and often poetic lyrics combined with realism around social themes, spirituality and love. The most widely recognized songs such as "Non, je ne regrette rien", "Ne me quitte pas" or "Les feuilles mortes" have dignified successors in diverse genres such as rap, electronic music or pop. There are even competitions of chanson française, such as Vive la reprise. Among the modern followers of chanson française, we find Pierre Bachelet or Paloma Berganza; as well as some fusion versions like Estrella Morente's version of "Ne me quitte pas." (Wikipedia)