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Eric Serra is an award-winning French film music composer best known for his work with director Luc Besson on international blockbusters such as The Fifth Element (1997). Born on September 9, 1959, in Saint-Mandé, Île-de-France, he began his musical career during the mid- to late '70s as a guitarist and bassist in collaboration with a range of French pop/rock acts. During the early '80s he was the bassist of French singer/songwriter Jacques Higelin, one of the country's biggest pop/rock stars of the era. Around this same time, he began collaborating with film director Luc Besson, starting with the score of the short film L'Avant Dernier (1981). Serra subsequently composed the music for Besson's first feature-length effort, Le Dernier Combat (1983), as well as successive films either directed or written by the filmmaker: Subway (1985), Kamikaze (1986), Le Grand Bleu (1988), Nikita (1990), Atlantis (1991), Léon (1994), The Fifth Element (1997), The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999), Wasabi (2001), and Arthur et les Minimoys (2006). In addition to his work with Besson, Serra composed music for other films, most notably GoldenEye (1995), which features one of the more inventive scores in the James Bond series. The recipient of numerous accolades, Serra won the most prestigious of French film awards, a César, in 1989 for his work on Le Grand Bleu. He was nominated for several other César awards over the years, including nominations for his scores for the Besson films Subway, Nikita, Léon, The Fifth Element, and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. Highlights of his film scores were compiled for release on the best-of collection La Musique des Films (1996). As a solo recording artist, Serra made his full-length album debut in 1998 with the pop/rock effort R.X.R.A.