Yvette Guilbert (Paris, January 20, 1867 - February 4, 1944 in Aix-en-Provence) was a music-hall singer and actress.
Born into abject poverty, Guilbert began singing as a child but at age sixteen worked as a model at the Printemps department store in Paris. She took voice and acting lessons on the side that by 1886 led to appearances on stage at smaller venues. She eventually sang at the popular Eldorado club, then at the Jardin de Paris before headlining in Montmartre at the Moulin Rouge in 1890. For her act, she was usually dressed in bright yellow with long black gloves and stood almost perfectly still, gesturing with her long arms as she sang. An innovator, she performed raunchy songs of tragedy and lost love about the Parisian poverty from which she had come. Guilbert broke and rewrote all the rules with her audacious lyrics, and the audiences loved her. She was a favorite subject of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who made many portraits and caricatures of Guilbert and dedicated his second album of sketches to her.
Guilbert made successful tours of England and Germany, and in the United States she performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Even in her fifties, her name still had drawing power and she appeared in several silent films as well as in talkies, including a role with friend, Sacha Guitry. In later years, Guilbert turned to writing about the Belle Epoque and in 1902 two of her novels were published.
Yvette Guilbert died in 1944 at the age of 77 and was interred in the PĂ©re Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.