French singer and 60s pop icon Francoise Hardy dies at 80

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Jun 12, 2024, 05:45 PM


Jun 12, 2024, 05:45 PM

PARIS – French singer Francoise Hardy, whose crystalline voice and melancholy lyrics shot her to international stardom in the 1960s, has died at the age of 80, according to her son.

Thomas Dutronc, Hardy’s son with another French music star, Jacques Dutronc, announced her death on June 11.

“Mom is gone,” he wrote on Instagram alongside a baby picture of himself with his mother.

Hardy became a pop icon and fashion muse of the 1960s and beyond.

English rock star Mick Jagger described her as his “ideal woman”, while American singer Bob Dylan wrote a poem for her. Women around the world imitated her androgynous style and embraced her melancholic melodies.

But Hardy was a reluctant superstar, who dreamed of domestic bliss even as she chalked up chart hits.

It all began in 1962 with the catchy debut single Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles , in which the shy singer-songwriter lamented her loveless status.

“All the boys and girls my age walk hand in hand in the streets two by two... but not me, I walk alone through the streets, my heart aching,” she sang wistfully.

The single sold a million copies, making Hardy an instant star of the “ye-ye” (after the Beatles “yeah, yeah, yeah”) generation of post-war French pop singers.

Soon a parallel career as a cover girl beckoned, with the singer’s thick fringe, sculpted cheekbones and bohemian style coming to define a sort of effortless French chic.

She was an early adopter of the mini-skirt and became a model for fashion designers, including Yves Saint Laurent and Paco Rabanne.

More hits followed, from the ballad Mon Amie La Rose (1965) to Comment Te Dire Adieu (1969), about the pain of separation from a man with a “heart of pyrex”, with lyrics prov...

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