Patrick Bruel is a French singer, actor, and professional poker player.
Although Bruel aspired to be a football star as a youth, he decided to pursue singing after seeing Michel Sardou in 1975. His first success came as an actor, however, in 1979's Le Coup de sirocco. He continued acting in films, on television and in the theater while pursuing his singing career. His first single, "Vide" ("Empty"), released in 1982, was not a success, but the follow up, "Marre de cette nana-là" ("Fed up with that chick"), was a hit.
In 2003, he had his last name officially changed to Bruel-Benguigui, his stage name with his birthname, before his partner Amanda Maruani gave birth to his first child, Oscar, on August 19. On September 21, 2004, he wed the 24-year-old Maruani; it is his first marriage. His second child, Léon Bruel was born on the 28th September, 2005.
As of 2004 Bruel has acted in more than 40 different television and film productions and made five studio albums and several live albums. His last album to date is Entre Deux (2002), a double CD of classic chanson that features duets with Charles Aznavour, Jean-Louis Aubert, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Alain Souchon and Renaud, among others. It sold two million copies and made Bruel France's best paid singer of the year. At the beginning of 2005, in response to the South Asian tsunami of December 26, 2004, Bruel wrote the song "Et puis la terre" to benefit the Red Cross.
In addition to acting and singing, Bruel is a world class professional poker player. He won a World Series of Poker bracelet in 1998 for the $5,000 Limit Hold'em event. As of 2005 he has earned more than $750,000 in live tournament play.