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About Kent

The frontman of the pioneering French new wave band Starshooter prior to embarking on a solo career in the early '80s, Kent, often credited as Kent Cokenstock, is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter whose career spans several decades, from the '70s into the next century. Born Hervé Despesse on March 31, 1957, in Lyon, France, he founded Starshooter in 1975. Comprised of Jello (guitar), Mickey Snack (bass), and Phil Pressing (drums), in addition to himself (known then as Kent Hutchinson) on vocals and guitar, the band made its commercial recording debut at the height of the punk movement in 1977 with the 7" single "Pin-Up Blonde" on EMI. They made their full-length debut the following year with the eponymous album Starshooter and scored a hit single with "Betsy Party." Before breaking up in 1982, the band released three additional albums, Mode (1979), Chez Les Autres... (1980), and Pas Fatigué (1981). In association with Starshooter's former label (CBS Disques) and producer (Michel Zacha), Kent made his solo album debut in 1982 with Amours Propres and released a couple non-album singles, "Tiny Tinto" and "Tout Petit Doute," in 1983 and 1984 (all of this output later compiled on the 2004 remastered edition of Amours Propres). Kent resurfaced in 1985 on the label Barclay with the mini-album Emballao, followed by the full-length album Cosimo Liparti in 1987. His recording output accelerated in the '90s as he released a new full-length album release every year or two: À Nos Amours (1990), Tous les Hommes (1991), D'un Autre Occident (1993), Kent en Scène (1995), Nouba (1996), Métropolitain (1998), and Enfin Seuls! (1999). Kent's popularity peaked mid-decade, after French pop singer Enzo Enzo's hit recording of his song "Juste Quelqu'un de Bien" won the 1994 Victoires de la Musique award for Best Song of the Year. After the turn of the century, Kent remained active and continued to garner critical acclaim with the albums Cyclone (2000), Je Ne Suis Qu'une Chanson (2002), Bienvenue au Club (2005), L'Homme de Mars (2008), and Panorama (2009).