Charlebois was born in Montreal, Quebec. Among his best known songs are Lindberg and Je reviendrai à Montréal. His lyrics, often written in joual, are funny, relying upon plays on words. He won the Sopot International Song Festival in 1970.
In 1970 he sang with Italian singer Patty Pravo the Italian song La solitudine. In the same year, he performed at the Festival Express train tour in Canada, but did not appear on the documentary film.
He co-starred with Terence Hill, Miou-Miou and Patrick McGoohan in the western Un genio, due compari, un pollo (A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe, 1975) as Steamengine Bill. Thirty-eight years later, Charlebois had a cameo as Jean-Seb Bigstone, the French-Canadian Broadway producer, in the 2012 Gad Elmaleh/Sophie Marceau film Happiness Never Comes Alone.
- In 1994, Charlebois received a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement for his contribution to music in Canada. 
- In 1999, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2008, he was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec.
- Charlebois was one of the four musicians who were pictured on the second series of the Canadian Recording Artist Series issued by Canada Post stamps on July 2, 2009.
- On June 21, 2010, Charlebois received an honorary doctorate  from Concordia University in Montreal. In his acceptance speech he made the remark that this was the first post-secondary diploma he had received in his life.
Music in films
- Entre la mer et l'eau douce (1967) by Michel Brault with Geneviève Bujold, Claude Gauthier
- Deux Femmes en or (1970) by Claude Fournier with Monique Mercure, Louise Turcot
- Un génie, deux associés, une cloche (1975) by Damiano Damiani, Sergio Leone with Terence Hill, Miou-Miou
- L'Agression (1975) by Gérard Pirès with Jean-Louis Trintignant, Catherine Deneuve
- La Fiancée qui venait du froid (1983) by Charles Nemes with Thierry Lhermitte, Barbara Nielsen
- Sauve-toi, Lola (1986) by Michel Drach with Carole Laure, Jeanne Moreau
- C.R.A.Z.Y. (2004) by Jean-Marc Vallée with Michel Côté and Marc-André Grondin
- Gabrielle (2013) by Louise Archambault with Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin and Alexandre Landry
Brief album discography
- Doux Sauvage - 2001 La Tribu
- Le Chanteur Masqué - 1997 WEA
- La Maudite Tournée Live - 1995 WEA
- Cartier L'Opéra - 1993 Scorpio
- Immensément - 1992 Scalen'disc
- Dense - 1988 Scalen'disc
- Super Position - 1985 Scalen'disc
- Solide - 1979 Scalen'disc
- Swing Charlebois Swing - 1977 Scalen'disc
- Longue Distance - 1976 Scalen'disc
- Lindberg - 1974 Arcade
- Solidaritude - 1973 Scalen'disc
- Fu Man Chu - 1972 Scalen'disc
- Un Gars Ben Ordinaire - 1971 Scalen'disc
- Québec Love - 1969 Scalen'disc
- Robert Charlebois Vol.2 - 1966 Scalen'disc
- Robert Charlebois Vol.1 - 1965 Scalen'disc
- "Robert Charlebois - biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- Canada Post Stamp Details, July to September 2009, Volume XVIII, No. 3, p. 6
- http://archives.concordia.ca/charlebois Concordia University Records Management and Archives
- (French) http://www.robertcharlebois.com