Michel Sardou

Known for both his lushly orchestrated love songs and his commitment to sociopolitical issues in his native France, Michel Sardou (January 26, 1947) has been a leading exponent of French pop since his debut in the late 60s. The son of actor/singer Fernand Sardou and actress Jackie Sardou, he grew up in Paris and left school at the age of 17 to pursue a career in music. While working at his father’s cabaret in Montmartre, he met songwriter Michel Fugain, who got him the chance to audition for producer Eddie Barclay. “Le Madras,” his recording debut, saw the light in 1965. Two years later, Michel Sardou sparked his first major controversy with the 1967 single “Les Ricains,” which was subjected to censorship by the French government due to its pro-American lyrics. After being dropped by Barclay in 1969, Michel Sardou signed with the label Tréma and delivered his first studio album, 1970’s J’Habite en France, to great domestic success. Some of the tracks included in the LP went on to become staples of Sardou’s repertoire, including the title track, “Et mourir de plaisir,” and “Les Bals populaires,” which reached the top of the French charts. His impressive streak continued throughout the 70s with the chart-topping, gold-selling albums La Maladie d’Amour (1973), La Vieille (1976), and Je Vole (1978). This success carried on into the following decades through the blockbuster LPs Les Lacs du Connemara (1981), Musulmanes (1987), Salut (1997), Hors Format (2006), and Le Choix du Fou (2017), all of which were certified platinum in his native France. Despite having retreated from public performance in 2018, Michel Sardou returned in 2021 with the compilation album Le Concert de Sa Vie, a collection of performances that spanned nearly 50 years of live music.

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