Groomed by the immortal Edith Piaf for a life on the stage, Yves Montand transcended his Italian roots to become the post-war incarnation of French glamour. Equally at home on music hall stages and American movie sets, Montand's lucrative acting career never detracted from his love for pop. Lingering lovingly over French phrases, his vocal register was velvety, yet down to earth. Indeed, contemporary chanson would soon take cues from his salty way with a tune. And Montand's unflagging generosity and wit meant he was still drawing crowds late in his touring career.