French Pop Icon Françoise Hardy Passes Away — Age 80

when did Françoise Hardy die
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when did Françoise Hardy die
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Photo Credit: Joost Evers / Anefo / CC by 1.0

French singer and pop icon Françoise Hardy has passed away at age 80. Thomas Dutronc, her son, confirmed the death on social media with a photo of himself as a child with Françoise holding him.

Hardy began her musical career in 1962, recording her first single, “Tous les garçons et les filles” at just age 18. The song was written and composed by Hardy and quickly became a hit, helping her to rise in the French music scene as a driver of the yé-yé movement.

Hardy quickly became an icon as her influence extended beyond France. “I always put the words on the music. It’s always like that,” she told The Associated Press in 1996 about her song writing process. “First I get the music and I try to put words on it.”

Hardy met fellow musician Jacques Dutronc in the mid 1960s and the couple had a son, Thomas Dutronc, in 1973. Dutronc’s multiple infidelities led to the couple’s eventual separation, but the emotions of dealing with that influenced Hardy’s music.

She was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 2004, enduring numerous treatments and radiotherapy which left her deaf on one ear. Despite the health struggles in her later years, she continued to produce music. Her final album is Personne d’autre and was released in 2018.

In addition to her music, Hardy also landed roles as a supporting actress in films including ‘Château en Suède,’ ‘Une balle au cœur,’ and the American production, ‘Grand Prix.’ She also became a muse for fashion designers such as André Courrèges, Yves Saint Laurent and Paco Rabanne.

Despite creating and performing music and acting in movies, Hardy was known for her shyness and disenchantment with celebrity life. She remains one of the best-selling singers in French history and continues to be regarded as an iconic and influential figure in French pop and fashion.