French singer Maxime Le Forestier was born on February 10, 1949. He came to prominence at the height of the youth protest movement where his folksy style hit all the right notes. Le Forestier moved to a hippie commune in San Francisco in 1971, which inspired his biggest hit “San Francisco.” The song talks about a blue house perched on a hill inspired by the singer’s home at the time. The first line is C’est une maison bleue (setoon mayzohn bluh), which means “It’s a blue house.” Le Forestier was named Male Artist of the Year in 1996 at the Victoires de la Musique. He has released 14 albums that have sold millions of copies.
In 2010, Le Nouvel Observateur published an article in which the writer decried the fact that the blue house had been painted green. Sacre bleu! Fortunately, the new owners agreed to paint the house blue again. The inspiration for a song that made an entire generation hum along has been saved.