France Gall

When France Gall died of cancer on January 7th 2018 at the age of 70, the whole country seemed to go into mourning with top politicians - including President Emmanuel Macron - paying tributes to a much-loved and consistently successful singer. Born into a musical family in Paris - her mother Cécile Berthier was a singer and her father Robert Gall a lyricist who'd written for Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour - she seemed destined to be a star from an early age, sending demos to music producer Denis Bourgeois. She subsequently released her first single 'Ne Sois Pas Si Bête' ('Don't Be So Stupid') at the age of 16 and she became an instant star. Her second single 'N'écoute Pas les Idoles' ('Don't Listen to the Idols'), which was written by Serge Gainsbourg, topped the French charts, the beginning of a hugely successful collaboration, which produced a series of major hits including 'Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son' the song which won her the Eurovision Song Contest representing Luxembourg making her an international star. Over the course of her career, her music ranged from novelty pop to childrens songs, jazz (one of her hits paid tribute to Ella Fitzgerald) and more modern synth pop, rock and dance music. Her relationship with composer Michel Berger - who she married in 1976 - also proved to be highly productive, resulting in a series of best-selling albums such as 'Paris, France', 'Tout pour la Musique', 'Débranche', 'Babacar' and 'Double Jeu', but it was a partnership that ended prematurely with Berger's sudden death from a heart attack at the age of 44 in 1992. She also built a parallel career as an actor, appearing in several films and TV shows.

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