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French music star Francoise Hardy dies aged 80

French singer and actor Francoise Hardy, who shot to fame in the 1960s, has died aged 80 following many years of illness.

Her passing was announced by her son, the musician Thomas Dutronc. who posted a message to Instagram. Hardy had been treated for lymphatic cancer since 2004.

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Born on January 17, 1944, in Paris, France, Hardy emerged as a leading figure in the 1960s yé-yé movement, a genre characterized by its catchy pop tunes and youthful energy. Her distinctive voice, coupled with introspective lyrics and a beguiling persona, captivated audiences around the globe.

Hardy’s career took flight in 1962 when she released her debut single, Tous les garçons et les filles (All the Boys and Girls), which became an instant hit, propelling her to stardom at the age of 18.

Her melancholic yet melodic songs, often tinged with themes of love, longing, and existential introspection, resonated deeply with audiences.

Francoise Hardy at Paris Book Fair – Salon du Livre 2009 on March 15 (Olga Besnard / Shutterstock)

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she released a series of popular albums including Comment te dire adieuLa question and Message personnel.

In this period, she worked with songwriters such as Serge Gainsbourg, Patrick Modiano, Michel Berger and Catherine Lara. Between 1977 and 1988, she worked with producer Gabriel Yared with the albums StarMusique saoûleGin Tonic and À suivre

Throughout her career Hardy explored many different musical styles including alternative rock and jazz.

Bronski Beat and The Communards singer Jimmy Sommerville showed his love of Hardy’s work when he covered Comment te dire adieu on his debut solo album. Hardy also teamed up with British band Blur recording a duet version of their song To the End in 1995.

Hardy began and long and unconventional relationship with singer Jaques Dutronc is 1967. The couple moved into a shared residence in 1974, a year after the birth of their son, but continued to live largely separate lives. They stopped living together in 1981, but never divorced.

Hardy and her sister were raised by her mother who was a single parent. Their father was married to another woman. In the 1980’s she discovered that her father, who she’d always had a distant relationship with, was bisexual and often employed sex workers.

She wrote about the discover in 2008 saying “The revelation that someone is a homosexual is not shocking in itself, even if it is your own father, but the fact that at the age of almost eighty he was picking up young guys turned my stomach, despite the loneliness and suffering such degraded behavior implied.”[

Her father was killed in 1981, though not reported at the time, it is assumed he was assaulted by a sex worker he had engaged.

In her later years Hardy had been vocal about her right-wing political views which caused controversies on several occasions.

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