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Françoise Hardy, French song legend and pop icon, has died at 80

Françoise Hardy, French song legend and pop icon, has died at 80
Françoise Hardy, French song legend and pop icon, has died at 80

 


PARIS (AP) Françoise Hardy, legend of French song and pop icon since the 1960s, has died. She was 80 years old. His son, musician Thomas Dutronc, announced his death on social networks, sharing a poignant photo of him as a child with his mother. Hardy, who had been battling lymphatic cancer since 2004, faced his illness with remarkable candor. She died on Tuesday.

Born on January 17, 1944 in Paris, Hardy's career began in 1962 when she recorded her first single, Tous les garons et les filles, at the age of 18. The song, which she wrote and composed, quickly became a hit, marking her rise as a key figure in the YY movement, a French answer to rock n roll.

His lyrics often capture the angst and longing of adolescence, resonating deeply with young audiences. Its melancholy, introspective tone sets it apart from the more exuberant pop music of its peers.

Hardy's influence extends well beyond France. In 2023, she is the only French artist named in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 200 greatest singers of all time. His ethereal voice and distinctive beauty have captivated audiences around the world, earning him praise from music legends such as Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and David Bowie.

I was passionately in love with her. So were all the men in the world, and quite a few women, too, Bowie once said.

Hardy had a unique approach to songwriting, emphasizing the importance of melody in his creative process. Speaking to the Associated Press in 1996 about songwriting, she explained: “I always put the words to the music. It's always like that. I don't write before, and then I look for music. First I receive the music and (then) I try to put words to it. This method contributed to the distinctive quality of his music, blending poetic lyrics with evocative melodies.

Hardy was also celebrated as a fashion muse. Her androgynous look and understated elegance have made her a favorite of the fashion world, with a tall, slender figure, angular features and long, straight hair. This aesthetic aligns with modern fashion of the 1960s, emphasizing simplicity and a certain boyish charm. She often wore designs by André Courrges, Paco Rabanne and Yves Saint Laurent, in styles that defined the era. His influence in fashion has spanned decades.

Hardy's relationship with fellow musician Jacques Dutronc played an important role in his life and work. They met in the mid-1960s and had a son, Thomas, in 1973. Although their relationship faced challenges, including Dutronc's infidelities and their eventual separation, it deeply influenced his music. Their lives residing on different floors of the same Parisian building reflected their bittersweet partnership, which was reflected in Hardy's songs.

She also had a great interest in astrology, authoring several books on the subject and hosting radio shows. His lyrics and public persona often reflected his introspective nature and fascination with the celestial.

Hardy's battle with cancer was long. She underwent numerous treatments, including radiotherapy, which left her deaf in one ear. Despite her health issues, she continues to produce music, with her latest album, Nobody Else, released in 2018. This album, marked by its contemplative themes and collaboration with Finnish indie band Poets of the Fall, confronts mortality issues.

Tributes poured in from around the world. French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak hailed her as an eternal legend of French song, while other musicians like Carla Bruni, Michel Polnareff and Étienne Daho expressed their deep sadness and admiration. International artists including Blurs Graham Coxon and Public Enemys Chuck D also paid tribute.

Reflecting on his lifelong love of melodies, Hardy once said, “All my life I have been in search of beautiful melodies. Listening to them puts me in seventh heaven.

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