Frédéric François – Une Rose dans le Désert
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Born on 3 June 1950 in Lercara Friddi, Sicily, Italy, Frédéric François (real name: Francesco Barracato), is a French-speaking singer-composer living in Belgium.
Born on 3 June 1950 in Lercara Friddi in Sicily, in a very modest Italian family, he is the second child of Antonina (Nina) Salemi and Giuseppe (Peppino) Barracato. His mother was a seamstress in Lercara and his father was initially a miner in a sulphur mine in Lercara.
He emigrated to Belgium in the coal basin of Liège, where he signed a three-year contract as a miner. In 1951, Nina and her two sons joined Giuseppe in Tilleur in a Red Cross Convoy. Francesco Barracato grew up in a family of eight children.
Peppino used to sing Neapolitan songs and opera arias for pleasure and accompanied himself on the guitar. Young Francesco was only 10 when he sang O Sole Mio for the first time in public in a café frequented mostly by Sicilians in Tilleur, “Le Passage à Niveau” [The Level Crossing].
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