She had been, in the early 1960s, like Sylvie Vartan or Sheila, one of the singers of the current yé-yé with her blond square, her pretty dimple smile, a childish voice on titles still famous as Do not be so stupid, Do not listen to idols, Drop the girls, Crowned Charlemagne. And especially, Doll of wax, doll of her, composed and written by Serge Gainsbourg, which earned him the representative of Luxembourg, the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965.
Became, from the 1970s, one of the most popular performers of the French variety thanks to the songs of Michel Berger, whom she married in 1976, including The Declaration of Love, If Mom, Come on, I'm taking you, He was playing the piano upright, All for the music, Babacar, Ella She has... France Gall died, Sunday, January 7, in Paris, at the age of 70 years. The news was announced by its communications officer, Geneviève Salama. Hospitalized on December 19th, 2017 at the American Hospital of Neuilly, near Paris, France Gall fought « for two years, with discretion and dignity, against the recurrence of his cancer ", the statement said.
Born on October 9, 1947 in Paris, Isabelle Gall - her first name France was chosen by the producer of her record company in 1963 - grew up in a family where music is important. His father, Robert, sings in cabarets, wrote for others - Luis Mariano, Tino Rossi, Andre Claveau, Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour (especially Mamma) ... Her mother, Cecilia, is the daughter of Paul Berthier, who has confused Les Petits Chanteurs with the Croix de bois. His elder brothers, twins, play guitar. France Gall learns, as a child, the piano and the guitar, hums while listening to the first discs of Johnny Hallyday, Wildcats, Beatles, discovers jazz too. His father is organizing a recording session during the Easter holidays in 1963. The result is convincing enough to interest the Philips record company.
On October 9, 1963, the day of his 16th birthday, his first 45-lap was published. Four titles from which the song is detached Do not be so stupid, adaptation by Pierre Delanoë of Stand at Little Closer, which had a small success in the United States a few months earlier, in August, performed by the trio The Laurie Sisters. With Jacques Datin, Robert Gall cosigns two other songs. He will be present on many of his daughter's 45-turns in the 1960s. In a few weeks, France Gall is propelled to the rank of star - at the same time Mamma enters the repertoire of classics Aznavour. The girl goes through photo shoots and meetings with reporters and stops high school before taking her baccalaureate.
Victory at Eurovision
With Do not listen to idols, his second 45-round, published in March 1964, the fledgling career of the young artist takes another dimension. The title track, written by Serge Gainsbourg, marks the beginning of a collaboration that will last until 1967. After Juliette Gréco, and before Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, France Gall is then the "singer of Gainsbourg", even if many other writers will write for her - including Vline Buggy, Alain Goraguer, Andre Popp. weekly Paris Match devotes a great article to the singer, the radio show and the magazine for young people Hi buddies make one of their idols. From April 1964, when she was barely 17 years old, she had to go to the next stage, the stage. She is doing well but will confide years later that she found then little pleasure.
In August 1964 appears Drop the girls, new composition of Gainsbourg, pop atmosphere cha-cha with brass. Then at the end of the year it's Crowned Charlemagne, written by his father and Georges Liferman, intended for a 45-round for children. A song she does not like but which will flow to nearly 2 million copies in France and in French-speaking countries. Selected to participate in Eurovision under the colors of Luxembourg, she won the competition, March 20, 1965, interpreting in his voice fluty Doll of wax, doll of her, written by Gainsbourg - France, represented by Guy Mardel with Never admit, will arrive third. From that moment, France Gall became for some time an international star, she recorded versions of the Eurovision song in Italian, German, Japanese.
Will follow other titles of Gainsbourg, Wait or go, Baby Pop, before, in May 1966, The lollipops. A text with two meanings, the obvious sexual connotation but that the young singer interprets naively, arousing sneers at his expense. Later, France Gall will confide to having lived as "A humiliation" the fact that Gainsbourg knowingly placed him in this situation. Their collaboration will stop soon after. In 1967, Baby shark, Joe Dassin's song, Jean-Michel Rivat and Frank Thomas, jazz-pop way, brings it back to the "children's" register of the time Crowned Charlemagne.
In the late 1960s, the singer went through a period of decline. She lived, from 1964 to 1967, a difficult love relationship with Claude François. She records several songs in German. In the early 1970s, she continues to interpret romances and fantasies (Winter is dead, Sun in the heart, Elephants, Man very small ...). Jean-Michel Rivat, Frank Thomas, Jean-Pierre Bourtayre and Etienne Roda-Gil are signing songs for him. But without the public doing the same feast as it was in the beginning. Frankenstein in 1972, who sees the ephemeral return of the collaboration Gainsbourg-Gall, will change nothing there. She lived during this period with Julien Clerc (he wrote to him Snow plow in 1971). Discreetly, between Paris and a house in the countryside.
Michel Berger, his star
In the spring of 1973, as she will regularly have the opportunity to say, she hears a song by Michel Berger, Wait for me, which will be a click. She feels that this young songwriter and singer is the one who will match what she seeks, greater depth. Berger writes and composes since the early 1960s, he recorded some 45-laps under his name. His first album, from which this song is extracted, has just been released. She gets in touch with him. He is hesitant at first. He has just worked with Véronique Sanson, with whom he has a relationship, and Françoise Hardy. The attraction between France Gall and Michel Berger seems so irresistible. He concretizes it by writing to him The Declaration of Love. The melody is unstoppable, the simple text and the success at the rendezvous, in May 1974, of this title where everyone can find moments dreamed or lived.
This Declaration inaugurates a long series of tubes for the couple, which is married June 22, 1976. The voice of France Gall is quite comfortable, fluid, untied on catchy tunes. She who had gradually abandoned the scene takes again taste. She will now be assured, playful, natural. The words and melodies of Michel Berger sung by France Gall fly every time: But love her, How to tell her, I loved her, It sways a lot in Paris, Music, If mom, He was playing the piano upright, which, in 1980, follows the stage success in 1979 of the musical Starmania written by Berger and Luc Plamondon, with Daniel Balavoine, Gall France, Diane Dufresne and Fabienne Thibeault, Everything for music, Resist, Disconnect, Babacar, Ella she has ...
Beyond that, this young and loving couple, often invited on television sets, seduces a large audience. Their humanitarian commitment also contributes to the sympathy they generate. In 1985, Michel Berger and France Gall are, with the singers Daniel Balavoine, Lionel Rotcage and the actor Richard Berry, at the origin of Actions écoles, a structure that raises funds to help agricultural development projects in various African countries. The association ends its activities after the death of Balavoine, January 14, 1986, during the race of the Paris-Dakar.
At the beginning of 1988, France Gall wishes to take a break. After a long tour, consecration of the success of the album Babacar (with the song Obviously, dedicated to Daniel Balavoine), she stayed almost seven weeks at the Zenith of Paris, at the end of 1987. She then aspires to a quiet life, family, with her children, Pauline and Raphael, plans to open a gallery of paintings, to devote to music publishing.
Little by little, the desire to sing resumes. It will be a disc of ten songs in duet with Michel Berger, form that they refused until then outside television shows or for It sways in Paris. Rather on rock background, Double-dealing, co-produced, released in June 1992. Concerts, a tour may be planned. The couple goes on holiday to his property in Ramatuelle. After a tennis game on August 2, 1992, Michel Berger died of a heart attack. After several months of mourning, France Gall announces that she will present on stage the new songs and the successes she and her husband have performed. It's a triumph, in 1993.
"She did not want to sing anymore"
The singer still makes a few appearances on stage (including Salle Pleyel in 1994), participates in the Enfoirés troupe records for Les Restos du cœur. In 1996, she moved to Los Angeles, where she recorded what would be her last album, La France, a collection of cover songs by Michel Berger. The death of Pauline, in December 1997, at the age of 19, who for several years fight against cystic fibrosis, makes him distance himself from his profession. His appearances in public will be rare. She lives part of the year on the island of Ngor, facing the city of Dakar (Senegal), discovered in 1990. In an interview with Paris Match, in December 2014, she explained that she had opened a restaurant there with "Fifteen people to work. Which means that hundreds of people will live in the village thanks to that. It's almost as hard for me as doing a show. "
She will return to Michel Berger at the end of 2015 with the writing of a musical show, resistant, which she does not participate on stage but which she closely follows the development, presented at the Dome of Paris (ex-Palais des Sports) then during a long tour until December 2016. "She had crazy energy. She was incredibly present on this project, testified on France Info the director of resists, Ladislas Chollat. She did not want to sing anymore, but she explained to young artists how to sing her songs (...) she was a kind of energetic mom. "
Tributes multiplied Sunday, January 7. "If Johnny Hallyday was for many French this figure of great brother protector, France Gall was undoubtedly their eternal little sister, whose radiant fragility has accompanied generations," declared President Emmanuel Macron in a statement. Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen hailed "An icon of the French song" who "Faced personal fights by giving everything for the music". Julien Clerc reacted on Twitter by questioning the one who was for five years his companion: "France, we had 20 years, happiness, sorrows. Part of my life goes with you. "
October 9, 1947 Birth in Paris
October 9, 1963 First 45-laps with the song "Do not be so stupid"
March 1964 Beginning of the collaboration with Serge Gainsbourg who wrote to him "Do not listen to idols"
March 20, 1965 She wins, representative of Luxembourg, the Eurovision Song Contest with "Doll of wax, doll of her"
Late 1960s-early 1970s Decline of his career
May 1974 Back to success with "The Declaration of Love", written by Michel Berger, beginning of a long series of hits
June 22, 1976 Marriage of France Gall and Michel Berger
1988 After the success of the album Babacar, published in April 1987, and a long tour, she decides to take a break
June 1992 Release of "Double game", duet album with Michel Berger. The singer dies on August 2, from a heart attack
1996 Last album, "France", a collection of songs by Michel Berger
2015-2016 Success of the show "Résiste",
January 7, 2018 Death, in Paris, at the age of 70
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