Résumé : The singer-songwriter Renaud, whose work stretches from the mid-1970s to 2003, shows a constant awareness of the genre in which he is working and its place in popular cultural history. This article will concentrate on Renaud’s struggle to come to terms with his own place and status as a chanson artist, and with the place of the chanson artist generally in a commercialised and globalised music industry. Through an examination of his songs and interviews, it will briefly outline Renaud’s relationship with the music industry, exploring how his almost arrogant defiance of the industry, and the mass media generally, changes over his career as he has to come to terms with commercial success. It will explore Renaud’s reasons for the ongoing struggle with the industry and hypothesize that his distaste for commercialism is concomitant with his projection of himself as a chanson artist, which is equated as the binary other of the ‘pop’ or variétés singer. The second part of the article will focus on some of the ways in which Renaud distinguishes himself from more commercial pop singers and draws attention to himself as an auteur. It will argue that although Renaud’s own personal battles with the mass media have perhaps not been as victorious as he may have hoped, the fact that he has inspired a whole new generation of singer-songwriters working in the chanson tradition and looking to ways of mediating the genre’s roots and traditions with today’s more commercial industry, is a testament to Renaud’s own place and importance in chanson history, and reason to view his work as a valid area of academic investigation.