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Sapho

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Sapho is a French singer of Moroccan-Jewish descent. Born in in Marrakesh as Danielle Ebguy in 1950, Sapho emigrated to France when she was 16. By 18, she was living on her own in Paris, taking acting lessons, playing guitar and singing on the streets. A short time later, a musician friend convinced her to audition for famed music school, Le Petit Conservatoire de Mireille. Sapho soon abandoned her acting studies in favor of music. Her first LP, Le Balayeur du Rex, was released in 1977 by RCA.

After spending a year in New York, where she worked as a French reporter and played in different clubs, she went to London to record her second LP, Janis (1980). Sapho released three albums over the next three years, before taking a brief break to concentrate on a book featuring cartoons from the Brasserie La Coupole in Paris.

Sapho returned to music in 1985 with Passions, passons, which saw her leaving the rock sound of her previous albums to embrace the Middle Eastern sounds she had grown up with, leading to a series of concerts at Le Bataclan (Paris). There she began performing her arrangements of songs made popular by the great Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. The next few years saw Sapho branching out further. Living for a while in Mexico, she released El Sol y la luna, which features a duet with the Argentinian singer, Jairo.

She published two novels, was involved in making a film about the children of the Intifada, and performed in a Threepenny Opera, all the while still performing and recording her own music.

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