Famous French vocalist Françoise Hardy dies at 80

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By Creative Media News

  • Françoise Hardy, iconic French singer-songwriter, died at 80
  • Hardy inspired Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan
  • Released nearly 30 albums; ranked 162 by Rolling Stone

France’s most beloved singer-songwriter, Françoise Hardy, has passed away at the age of 80.

Thomas Dutronc, her son and fellow musician, posted on social media, “Mom is deceased.”

In 1962, Hardy emerged as a cultural icon who served as an inspiration to the likes of Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan on the music scene. She was a symbol of France’s Yé-yé (yeah yeah) pop movement, which was named after its homage to English music and was characterized by its melancholy melodies.

Her most popular compositions were “All the Girls and Boys” (Tous les garçons et les filles), “It Hurts to Say Goodbye” (Comment vous dire adieu), and “My Friend the Rose” (Mon amie la rose).

In June 1965, her most significant UK success was All Over The World, an English-language rendition of her song Dans le monde entier. The song peaked at number 16 on the charts.

In 1944, Hardy was born in Nazi-occupied Paris and was reared by her mother.

She was like many other young women of her era; she grew up listening to Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, and other American and British stars on Radio Luxembourg. At the age of 17, she signed her first record contract.

In 1962, she achieved her breakthrough as a musician with the simple, plaintive song, Tous les garçons et les filles. In the song, she sang of all the boys and girls walking hand in hand, while “I walk alone through the streets, my heart aching.” It achieved immediate success in France and even made it to the top of the UK rankings.

She captivated fashion designers with her style, serving as a model for the likes of Paco Rabanne and Yves Saint Laurent, who created a minidress for her from gilded plates.

She was once referred to as the “ideal woman” by Mick Jagger, the vocalist of the Rolling Stones, and she was the subject of numerous love letters written by her fellow singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan.

He addressed her in a poem that appeared on the back of his 1964 album, Another Side of Bob Dylan.

In 1968, she delivered one of her most memorable performances with the French adaptation of a song originally in English, Comment te dire adieu, by Serge Gainsbourg. However, the Gainsbourg song has been covered numerous times since its release, with its poignant farewell to a man with a “heart of pyrex.”

Blur and Iggy Pop were among the artists with whom she collaborated.
Hardy was also a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and he appeared in films directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Roger Vadim, and John Frankenheimer.

During the 1970s, she developed a passion for astrology, which was one of the topics she wrote about.

She was previously married to the vocalist Jacques Dutronc, with whom she had a son named Thomas. Despite their separation in the late 1980s, she frequently referred to her ex-husband as the passion of her life.

Hardy had been afflicted for an extended period before her passing, and she disclosed in 2004 that she had been diagnosed with lymphoma.

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In 2015, she was placed in an induced coma for several weeks as a result of an accident. In 2021, she expressed that she had cancer in one of her ears and felt “close to the end” of her life.

Throughout her career, which spanned over five decades, she released nearly 30 albums. Personne D’Autre (Nobody Else) was the most recent album released by Hardy in 2018.

In 2023, Rolling Stone ranked her at number 162 on its list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Rachida Dati, France’s Culture Minister, was among those who paid tribute to Hardy in the wake of her passing. She wrote on social media, “How to say farewell to her? Eternal Françoise Hardy, the French song legend who, through her melodies and sensitivity, captured the heart of an entire nation.

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