Born in Paris, Clerc grew up listening to classical music in his father Paul Leclerc's home, while his mother Évelyne Merlot introduced him to the music of such singers as Georges Brassens and Edith Piaf. He began to learn the piano at six, and by 13, started to play by ear everything he heard on the radio.
During his secondary school and university days, he met Maurice Vallet and Etienne Roda-Gil, two of his main songwriters, and began to compose his first songs. He changed his name to Julien Clerc upon signing a contract with Pathé Marconi, releasing his first album in May 1968.
The album went on to win the Académie Charles Cros Record Award. In 1969, Clerc went on the Olympia stage for the first time to open for Gilbert Becaud's concert. Despite having been in show business for only one year, his performance was a...