July 17, 2024

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Françoise Hardy, the temperamental French pop star, dies at the age of 80

Françoise Hardy, the temperamental French pop star, dies at the age of 80

She was the only French singer on Rolling Stone’s 2023 list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Ms. Hardy’s ethereal, almost languid voice expressed a certain kind of French youthful ennui while becoming fuller as the years passed. She sang of love sought but not found, of love lost, of the passage of time, of unfulfilled hopes, of words she wrote herself, of French pop legend Serge Gainsbourg, and even of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Patrick Modiano (who wrote, In the song “Etonnez-moi, Benoit,” “Astonish-me, Benedict, walk on your hands, swallow some pinecones, Benedict”).

Ms. Hardy captured a picture of the depression of her generation, which, like her, was born at the end of World War II and, like her, was dissatisfied with the material progress that France achieved in the following decades, in the “thirty glorious years.” “

It was the youthful discontent that existentialists had predicted It is sometimes considered The accomplished pop singer burst into demonstrations in France in May 1968, when her fame was at its peak, although she disapproved of them and fled to her resort in Corsica. The words Mr. Ginzburg wrote to her that year embodied the cool icon she had already become: “Under what pretext/Do I wish to have/The reactions of unhappiness.”

In fact, its cult of solitary, steely grief would make it too shy of mass solidarity movements. to reject What she called her “left-wing fanaticism” and her subsequent orientation towards right-leaning affiliations with the likes of Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, or the misanthropic writer Michel Houellebecq.

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A damaged childhood with a single mother led Ms. Hardy to seek refuge in inner exploration through songwriting. as well as Tell Le Monde in 2016: “I am unable to hide and lie. On the contrary, writing a song forces you to delve deeper into what you have experienced and felt. Songwriting was an “outlet,” she said.