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Françoise Hardy: The Farewell of a Queen

Françoise Hardy, French icon, on a psychedelic background

The singer Françoise Hardy, eternal icon of the yé-yé movement, left us yesterday, a few months after her 80th birthday. Her son Thomas Dutronc, also a musician, announced the news by posting on social media a childhood photo with the star, accompanied by the message: "Mom is gone…".

Thomas Dutronc announces the death of his mother, Françoise Hardy, on Instagram

Since 2004, the artist had been suffering from lymphoma, and since 2019, from pharyngeal cancer. Suffering and weakened in recent years, she no longer left her Paris apartment but communicated daily with Jacques Dutronc, her husband and father of her only son who remained in Corsica.

The death of Françoise Hardy marks the end of an era. No other French singer has so embodied dreamy melancholy. Revealed in the 1960s by the hit Tous les garçons et les filles, she always sang about the torments of love. Françoise Hardy was one of the emblems of French chanson, and her influence extended far beyond France.

Françoise Hardy, a melancholy just beneath the surface
Françoise Hardy, a melancholy just beneath the surface

Stricken with cancer since 2004, she announced last March that she would never be able to sing again. In December, she confided that she was living a "nightmare" because of her illness and expressed her wish to leave quickly.

She was the only French representative in the ranking of the 200 greatest singers of all time by the American magazine Rolling Stone. Tous les garçons et les filles, sold over 2 million copies, launched her career in 1962.

Françoise Hardy was known for her delicate voice, her pop elegance, but also her discretion. She also represented Monaco at the Eurovision in 1963 with L’amour s’en va, finishing fifth.

Françoise Hardy has given us very beautiful songs that are as romantic as they are timeless
Françoise Hardy has given us very beautiful songs that are as romantic as they are timeless

Étienne Daho, Michel Polnareff, Carla Bruni, Julien Doré, Patrick Bruel… Tributes are pouring in after the death of the singer Françoise Hardy, who so well embodied French elegance.

The song Comment lui dire adieu?, written by Serge Gainsbourg in 1968, is often cited. The Minister of Culture Rachida Dati expressed her sadness in these terms: "How to say goodbye to her?". She who mingles with so many artists hailed "the eternal Françoise Hardy, legend of French chanson, who entered the heart of an entire country."

On Instagram, Carla Bruni wrote simply: "Hello sadness. Rest in peace…". Michel Polnareff also expressed his sorrow: "Enormous sadness. She inspired me a lot…". Jean-Louis Aubert simply said: "Goodbye dear Françoise". The surprising Princess Erika added: "Great sadness". Étienne Daho posted a black and white photo of the artist with the word "FRANÇOISE".

Calogero shared a moving memory of his first concert where Hardy was present. Patrick Bruel wrote: "Your songs have never stopped accompanying me. Thank you Françoise". Julien Doré quoted the lyrics of his song Normandia: "Cry my foolish heart".

Françoise Hardy has traversed the decades with style and grace
Françoise Hardy has traversed the decades with style and grace

Tim Burgess, British singer of The Charlatans, paid tribute in French: "Goodbye Françoise Hardy". Philippe Manœuvre, rock critic, declared that the death of the singer also marks the death of pop. Pierre Lescure thanked "the friend in songs of a lifetime".

Didier Varrod, musical director of Radio France, recalled their collaboration for a tribute show. Michel Field, from France Télévisions, expressed his immense sorrow. François Ozon quoted Hardy’s lyrics: "Give me your hand, there at the end when I set sail…". Elijah Wood, famous American actor, wrote: "Goodbye Françoise Hardy". Chuck D of Public Enemy highlighted her influence on "rhythm seekers in the United States".

Political tributes are also numerous. Gabriel Attal, Prime Minister, mentioned "a French icon" who rocked "generations of French people". Marine Le Pen highlighted the impact of her melancholic voice.

Françoise Hardy had confided in Mireille Dumas, a figure of French television

In nearly 60 years of career, Françoise Hardy offered her audience 28 albums. She will remain an icon of French chanson.