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Virtually unknown in his Dutch homeland, Dave became one of France's biggest pop stars of the '70s before reinventing himself as a TV personality decades later. Born Wouter Otto Levenbach in Amsterdam in 1944 to a Jewish professor father and classical dancer mother, he grew up listening to the Everly Brothers, Gene Pitney, and Roy Orbison, and inspired by Jack Kerouac's On the Road, moved to France after law school to pursue a music career. After competing at the Dutch pre-selection stage for Eurovision and a three-year stint in a production of Godspell, he scored hits with French-language cover versions of the Rubettes' "Sugar Baby Love" ("Trop Beau") and Del Shannon's "Runaway" ("Vanina"), and continued to remain a regular chart fixture throughout the '70s. The next decade wasn't so fruitful, but a 1993 Greatest Hits collection rejuvenated his career, and he went onto present TF1 show Salut Les Chouchous, publish an autobiography, and fulfill a life-long dream to release a classical album. The 2000s were equally productive and after landing the job as host of La France a un Incroyable Talent, he recorded Blue-Eyed Soul!, a collection of Motown-themed reworkings of his biggest hits, in 2011.
© Jon O'Brien /TiVo


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