461. Serge Gainsbourg
With all due respect to Edith Piaf, there are many who have proclaimed the enigmatic Serge Gainsbourg as the most important musician to come from France. Gainsbourg was always looking ahead, as regardless of what style of music he tackled (and there was many), there was a progressive slant to it all. His use of World influences is certainly legendary and should there ever be a “World Music Hall of Fame”, Gainsbourg would be on the first ballot. As legendary as he was in France, his music only occasionally flirted with traditional Rock styles and he literally didn’t translate into North America.