Born in Chamalières, Jean-Louis Bergheaud went to live with his grandparents in Murat-le-Quaire near Clermont-Ferrand when his parents divorced. He was a lonely and introvert child. While still young, he showed early musical abilities, practicing various instruments before joining the local Music Academy, where he developed his singing ability. He loved romantic and Sturm und Drang literature and was the first in his family to get a high school diploma. In numerous interviews he has insisted on the role played by one of his English teachers who introduced him to rock music and rhythm’n’blues while he was just a teenager in a part of the country where rock records and rock radios were not found.He joined Clermont-Ferrand University, got married at 17, became a father at 19, then left it all behind to travel across France and Europe, mainly living on menial jobs. His musical career started in the late 1970s when he played in several ephemeral bands. One of these short lived bands named Clara drew the attention of French American singer-songwriter William Sheller who hired the band as an opening act for some of his gigs.At the beginning of the 1980s, after Clara split, his first EP Suicidez-vous, le peuple est mort
(Suicide, The People are Dead
) was not successful. It was rumoured to have provoked a suicide attempt leading to it being removed from some rock radio stations playlists, Europe 1 for example. Murat then recorded his eponymous debut album. His sophomore effort, Passions Privées
, came out in 1984. Both failed to meet any success, so the record company broke his contract.He then embarked on a barren run that lasted several years. In 1989 his new album Cheyenne Autumn
was released by Virgin. Its first single, "Si je devais manquer de toi", finally succeeded in meeting a larger audience. Three more singles ("L’ange déchu", "Amours débutants" and "Te garder près de moi") gained further airplay as well.Two years later, his new album Le manteau de pluie
together with its two singles "Col de la Croix-Morand" and, especially, "Sentiment nouveau", finally hit the charts.The same year, "Regrets", a duet with french-pop star Mylène Farmer gave him wider success and a greater recognition by the mainstream audience. It hit #3 in the French singles charts. Murat was almost 40 and was at last known on the French-pop scene. From then on, his albums entered the album charts on a regular basis.