francois was born in egypt in 1939 to a french father and italian father. claude chose not to attend school and instead spent his formative years playing with arab boys in the street.
in 1956 his family had to leave egypt due to it being nationalised. they relocated to the french riviera but times were hard and with francois father ill, claude began work as a drummer with bands in the big hotels, where he would steal leftovers from the kitchens for his family.
francois eventually became a singer with a band which earned a little more money, before eventually releasing his own records, most notably 'belles belles belles' in 1962 which sold 1.7 million records.
he eventually designed his own lavish shows, for theatres and television, featuring his own backing singers, the claudettes.
in the 1970s claude became very popular in the uk on television and starred in his own show at the royal albert hall. martin explains the the connection:
"i was watching television one night in paris, and saw an old concert by a singer called claude francois. his backing singers were called the claudettes which i thought was funny.
"at the end of the concert, as everyone was going mental, the words 'adieu clo clo' came up on the screen (clo clo was his nickname). i just thought it was a good title for a song."