14.6 C
United Kingdom
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Iconic 1960s French singer Francoise Hardy dies aged 80 after a long battle with cancer


Legendary French singer Francoise Hardy has died at the age of 80, her son said on Tuesday.

Thomas DuTronc said in a simple post to Instagram tonight: ‘Mum is gone.’

Hardy, known the world over for her crystalline voice and melancholy lyrics, suffered with different types of cancer, including lymphoma and laryngeal, since 2004. 

She broke through at just 18 with her first hit ‘Tous les Garcons et les Filles’ (‘All the Boys and Girls’) in 1962, and helped found the ye-ye movement, a pop-inspired cultural movement that embraced British and American rock in the 1960s.

Hardy was the only French artist to appear in a 2023 ranking of the greatest ever singers published by Rolling Stone magazine. 

Legendary French singer Francoise Hardy (pictured) has died at the age of 80, her son said on Tuesday

Since her diagnosis, her life was marred by illness, at one point being put in an induced coma

Since her diagnosis, her life was marred by illness, at one point being put in an induced coma

Hardy, known the world over for her crystalline voice and melancholy lyrics, suffered with different types of cancer , including lymphoma and laryngeal, since 2004

Hardy, known the world over for her crystalline voice and melancholy lyrics, suffered with different types of cancer , including lymphoma and laryngeal, since 2004

As one of the leading cultural icons of the 1960s, she rubbed shoulders with the likes of Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and Salvador Dali. 

On top of this, she worked with songwriters including Serge Gainsbourg, Patrick Modiano, Michel Berger and Catherine Lara. 

She would regularly visit London at the height of the Swinging Sixties, and admitted that she felt far better in the UK than she ever did in France. 

Hardy told the Daily Mail in 2011: ‘From the moment I went to England, I had more confidence. In France, the image I had was of a shy girl – a poor lonely girl and not too good-looking. 

‘When I went to England I had another image. I felt the journalists were much more interested in my looks than in my songs.’

Beyond her songwriting, she was sought after as a model, with Yves Saint Laurent and Paco Rabanne both personally making outfits for her. 

she worked with songwriters including Serge Gainsbourg, Patrick Modiano, Michel Berger and Catherine Lara

she worked with songwriters including Serge Gainsbourg, Patrick Modiano, Michel Berger and Catherine Lara

Beyond her songwriting, she was sought after as a model

Beyond her songwriting, she was sought after as a model

Hardy starred in the 1966 film Grand Prix alongside Antonio Sabato (pictured)

Hardy starred in the 1966 film Grand Prix alongside Antonio Sabato (pictured) 

She also graced the silver screen, starring in a string of films in quick succession, including Castle in Sweden (1963), A Bullet in the Heart (1965)  and Grand Prix (1966). 

Her final film was Claude Lelouch’s If it had to be done again (1976), in which she played herself. 

Castle in Sweden (1963). Then A Bullet in the Heart (1965) by Jean-Daniel Pollet and Grand Prix (1966) by John Frankenheimer. She appears briefly in What’s New, Pussycat? (Cliver Donner, 1965), 

Paris Match magazine quoted her as saying last year that she wanted to ‘go soon and quickly, without much suffering’.

She was a leading advocate for assisted suicide near the end of her life

She was a leading advocate for assisted suicide near the end of her life

Hardy grew up in postwar Paris an anxious child with a complex family situation, she told the Daily Mail in 2011

Hardy grew up in postwar Paris an anxious child with a complex family situation, she told the Daily Mail in 2011 

She revealed her grandmother constantly undermined the way she looked as she grew up

She revealed her grandmother constantly undermined the way she looked as she grew up

As one of the leading cultural icons of the 1960s, she rubbed shoulders with the likes of Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and Salvador Dali

As one of the leading cultural icons of the 1960s, she rubbed shoulders with the likes of Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and Salvador Dali

Since her diagnosis, her life was marred by illness, at one point being put in an induced coma. Her life was saved at the time by a novel form of radiation.  

She was a leading advocate for assisted suicide near the end of her life, telling the magazine that it was ‘inhumane’ for France not to legalise the controversial procedure. 

‘It is not for the doctors to accede to each request, but to shorten the unnecessary suffering of an incurable disease from the moment it becomes unbearable.’

She joked at the time that while she would’ve loved to have chosen to end her own life, ‘given my small notoriety, no one will want to run the risk of being removed from the medical order even more.’

Hardy grew up in postwar Paris an anxious child with a complex family situation, she told the Daily Mail in 2011

Hardy rubbing shoulders with Mick Jagger in 1967 (pictured)

Hardy rubbing shoulders with Mick Jagger in 1967 (pictured)

Jane Birkin and Francoise Hardy in 1974 on a fashion shoot

Jane Birkin and Francoise Hardy in 1974 on a fashion shoot

Her parents were separated – Her mother worked long hours to put food on the table, while her father rarely visited, although he insisted that her mother pay for Françoise to attend convent school. 

She revealed her grandmother constantly undermined the way she looked as she grew up. 

‘She had told me throughout my childhood that I was ugly and that I was the worst creature on earth. I was concerned I would never meet anybody and that I would become a nun,’ she recalled at the time. 

Tributes to the iconic singer have already begun pouring in.

France’s culture minister, Rachida Dati, said in a post to X: ‘How to say goodbye to her? Eternal Françoise Hardy, legend of French song, who entered, through her sensitivity and her melodies, into the heart of an entire country. 

‘I send my warmest thoughts to Thomas Dutronc, her son, her family and her loved ones.’

More to follow.  

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles