Françoise Hardy French pop singer and fashion muse dies at 80

Françoise Hardy French pop singer and fashion muse dies at 80

Françoise Hardy French pop singer and fashion muse dies at 80

Françoise Hardy, the iconic French pop singer and fashion muse, has passed away at the age of 80. Her son, musician Thomas Dutronc, shared the news on Instagram with a heartfelt message, “Maman est partie” (“mum is gone”), accompanied by a baby photo of himself and Hardy.

Hardy had been battling lymphatic cancer since 2004, enduring years of radiotherapy and other treatments. In 2015, her condition deteriorated, leading to a brief induced coma. She faced ongoing issues with speech, swallowing, and respiration. In 2021, she publicly supported euthanasia, criticizing France for not allowing the procedure.

Born in 1944 during an air raid in Nazi-occupied Paris, Hardy was raised primarily by her mother. At 16, she received her first guitar and began writing songs, performing live, and auditioning for record labels. In 1961, she signed with Disques Vogue.

Hardy’s music was influenced by the French chanson style and the emerging pop and rock’n’roll genres. She became a key figure in the yé-yé movement, a style named after the English “yeah” chant popular in music at the time. Her early song “La Fille Avec Toi” featured the English words “Oh, oh, yeah, yeah.”

Her breakthrough came in 1962 with the self-penned ballad “Tous les garçons et les filles,” which sold over 2.5 million copies and topped the French charts. Other early hits included “Je Suis D’Accord” and “Le Temps de L’Amour.” In 1963, she represented Monaco at the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing fifth.

Hardy’s fame grew across Europe, leading her to re-record her songs in multiple languages, including English. Her 1964 song “All Over the World,” translated from “Dans le Monde Entier,” became her only UK Top 20 hit. In 1968, “Comment te Dire Adieu,” with lyrics by Serge Gainsbourg, became one of her biggest hits.

Hardy’s beauty and style made her a fashion icon. She was a muse to designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Paco Rabanne and was frequently photographed by renowned photographers such as Richard Avedon and David Bailey. Designer Rei Kawakubo even named her label Comme des Garçons after a line in a Hardy song.

Hardy was admired by many male stars of the 60s, including the Rolling Stones and David Bowie. Bob Dylan wrote a poem about her for the liner notes of his 1964 album “Another Side of Bob Dylan.” She also appeared in films by directors like Jean-Luc Godard and Roger Vadim.

In 1970, Hardy left Disques Vogue due to financial disputes and signed a three-year deal with Sonopresse. This period saw her collaborate with Brazilian musician Tuca on the acclaimed 1971 album “La Question.” However, by the end of her contract, her stardom had waned.

During the mid-1970s, Hardy focused on raising her son Thomas with her partner, musician and actor Jacques Dutronc. She returned to music with the 1977 album “Star,” embracing funk, disco, and electronic pop. After a hiatus in the 1980s, she released “Décalages” in 1988, which was initially billed as her final album. However, she returned in 1996 with “Le Danger,” exploring contemporary rock. Her final album, “Personne D’Autre,” was released in 2018.

Hardy and Jacques Dutronc married in 1981 but separated in 1988, though they remained friends. She is survived by Dutronc and their son Thomas.

Françoise Hardy’s legacy as a French pop singer and fashion muse will be remembered for her elegance, unique voice, and significant contributions to music and fashion. Her influence extended beyond France, leaving an indelible mark on the global music and fashion scenes.

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