French music and style icon Françoise Hardy (80) has passed away

Françoise Hardy

This article was last updated on June 13, 2024

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French music and style icon Françoise Hardy (80) has passed away

French singer and actress Françoise Hardy has died. Her son, Thomas Dutronc, wrote this in a message on Facebook. Hardy was 80 years old.

Hardy, born and raised in Paris, suddenly became famous in the early 1960s with the dreamy song Tous les garçons et les filles. The song became an instant hit when a performance of the song by the then 18-year-old Hardy was shown during a break in the television broadcast of a referendum in 1962.

Through that referendum, the French could determine whether the president should be directly elected in the future, so television was watched en masse.

Tous les garçons et les filles:

After that entrance, Hardy never disappeared from the public stage in France again. She also became a celebrity outside of that world. For example, in 1963 she participated for Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song L’amour s’en va. Hardy finished fifth.

In the years that followed, Hardy grew into a music and style icon. Partly due to her idiosyncratic, modern clothing style and her melancholic ballads – she often accompanied herself on guitar during performances – Hardy became the best-known figure of yé-yé, the French variant of British beat music of that time, in the early 1960s.

Admired by many

She would later say in interviews that she struggled with her sudden celebrity status; she was known as shy and reserved, and could do anything but enjoy life in the spotlight. She also suffered from stage fright.

In addition to her music career, Hardy was also an actress. She has appeared in numerous films since the 1960s. She also worked extensively with famous fashion designers, such as Yves Saint Laurent and Paco Rabanne, and was admired by many. Her fans included the Spanish artist Salvador Dalí and later music icons such as David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan.

In the 2023 ranking of the 200 best singers of all time by the American magazine Rolling Stone, Hardy took 162nd place. She was the only artist from France on the list.

In recent decades, Hardy has struggled with health problems. She was first diagnosed with cancer about twenty years ago. In recent years she could no longer sing due to the treatments. She eventually died of throat cancer after years of illness.

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