Françoise Hardy

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Françoise Hardy
Françoise Hardy05.JPG
Françoise Hardy in 1992
Background information
Birth name Françoise Madeleine Hardy
Born (1944-01-17) 17 January 1944 (age 71)
Origin Paris, Occupied France
Genres French pop, yé-yé
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, actress
Years active 1961–present
Labels Virgin/EMI
Associated acts Jacques Dutronc

Françoise Madeleine Hardy (French: [fʁɑ̃.swaːz aʁ.di]; born 17 January 1944) is a French singer and actress. Hardy is a popular figure in music and fashion.[1][2]


Hardy grew up in the 9th arrondissement of Paris with her younger sister Michèle. Her parents lived apart when she was young; her father contributed little financially to the family and had little to do with his daughters. He was, however, persuaded by the girls' mother to buy Françoise a guitar for her birthday as a reward for passing her baccalauréat.[3]

Her early musical influences were the French chanson stars Charles Trenet and Cora Vaucaire[4] as well as Anglophone singers Paul Anka, the Everly Brothers, Cliff Richard, Connie Francis and Marty Wilde whom she heard on the English-language radio station, Radio Luxembourg.[3]

After a year at the Sorbonne she answered a newspaper advertisement looking for young singers. Hardy signed her first contract with the record label Vogue in November 1961. In April 1962, shortly after she left university, her first record "Oh Oh Chéri" appeared, written by Johnny Hallyday's writing duo. Her own flip side of the record, "Tous les garçons et les filles" became a success, riding the wave of Yé-yé music in France. It sold over a million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[5] The track peaked at #36 in the UK Singles Chart in 1964.[6] She reportedly hated the song claiming it was recorded "in three hours with the worst four musicians in Paris." She was dating photographer Jean-Marie Périer at this time and his shots featured on many of her record sleeves.[7]

Hardy sings in French, English, Italian, Spanish and German, and has one interpretation in Portuguese. In 1963 she came fifth for Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest with "L'amour s'en va". In 1963, she was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque of the Académie Charles Cros.[citation needed]

In 1981, she married her long-time companion Jacques Dutronc, who is the father of her son, Thomas Dutronc, born in 1973. Hardy lives in Paris and Dutronc in Monticello, Corsica, although they reportedly remain legally married.[citation needed]

In 1994, she collaborated with the British pop group Blur for their "La Comedie" version of "To The End". In 1995, she sang on Malcolm McLaren's single "Revenge Of The Flowers". The song appears on his concept album Paris. In May 2000, she made a comeback with the album Clair Obscur on which her son played guitar and her husband sang the duet "Puisque Vous Partez En Voyage". Iggy Pop and Étienne Daho also took part. She has also recorded a duet with Perry Blake who wrote two songs for her award winning Tant de belles choses album.[citation needed]

On shyness and fame[edit]

Because of her difficult upbringing Hardy became painfully shy — a trait which is still part of her character today.[3] When asked about her shyness in an interview with John Andrew, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2011 she said:

"I thought at first my parents were divorced — at that time it was not a good thing, it was a kind of shame. My father didn't help much financially my mother, and all the other girls, little girls, were dressed differently than I was — their parents had more money...I didn’t enjoy at all everything, the trappings, when all of a sudden you become very famous... [on being taken up by the fashion houses] it was work, things I had to do, a chore — I didn't enjoy it at all...It is quite impossible to stand — to be admired too much — it is not a normal situation...I don't like that at all...I am not comfortable with my professional life really, so the word 'icon' — it's as though you were talking about someone else, it's not me really...I feel happy when I'm on my bed, in my room with a good book."[3]

Cultural references[edit]

Françoise Hardy in 1969


Hardy is mentioned in a poem by Bob Dylan, "Some other kinds of songs", which he wrote on the cover of his album Another Side of Bob Dylan, released in 1964.[8]


Hardy made a cameo appearance in a scene from Jean-Luc Godard's film Masculin, féminin (1966). She also played a minor role as the Mayor's assistant in the 1965 film What's New Pussycat? starring Peter Sellers, and appeared as Lisa, the girlfriend of fictional Italian driver Nino Barlini, in John Frankenheimer's film Grand Prix (1966). In a scene from director John G. Avildsen's film Save the Tiger (1973), Jack Lemmon's character Harry Stoner makes a reference to Hardy during a melancholy telephone call to his wife. Her song "Tous les garçons et les filles" played during the British film Metroland (1997) and Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers (2003). The French movie 8 Femmes (2002) features her song "Message Personnel" as sung by the French actress Isabelle Huppert. Her recording of "Träume" plays during the end credits of François Ozon's Water Drops on Burning Rocks (Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes) (2000).[9]

Her song "L'Amitié" is played during the end credits of Denys Arcand's movie The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares) which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003 (the main character had referenced her in an earlier scene in the movie). Her recording of the song "Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux", composed by Louis Aragon, is played in the Norwegian film Tatt av Kvinnen (2007).[10]

In the award-winning Greek film Attenberg (2010), her song "Tous les garçons et les filles" is played and sung by the two main characters in a lament of adolescent longing and loneliness.

"This is my favorite record album."

In Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom (2012), her song "Le Temps de l'Amour" features prominently. The film's two lead characters, a pair of 12 year old runaways in the year 1965, dance on the beach and have a romantic interlude as the song plays on a portable turntable. The female lead (Suzy) calls it her "favorite record album", and it is the only album she packs when preparing to run away from home.[11]


Hardy's song "Ce Petit Coeur", was featured in the Gilmore Girls episode "French Twist". Her song "Ma Jeunesse Fout Le Camp" was also played in the television series La Femme Nikita's third season episode "Beyond the Pale" when Nikita pulls out an old record and plays the song. “Le Temps de l'Amour” featured in the closing sequence of the first season finale of Helix (TV series).


Hardy's style is mentioned as inspiration for many fashion figures such as Alexa Chung and Nicolas Ghesquière, former head of the couture house Balenciaga and currently creative director of Louis Vuitton.[12]

Partial discography[edit]



Year Single Chart Positions
UK[6] AU
1962 "Tous les garçons et les filles" 36 -
"J'suis d'accord" - -
"Le temps de l'amour" - -
1963 "Le premier bonheur du jour" - -
"L'amour s'en va" - -
1964 "Only friends" (English)
"Ton meilleur ami" (French)
- -
"Mon amie la rose" - -
"Je n'attends plus personne" - -
"Et même" 31 -
1965 "All Over The World" (English
"Dans le monde entier" (French)
16 -
"L'Amitié" - -
"Only You Can Do It" (English)
"Je Veux Qu'il Revienne" (French)
- 22
1966 "La maison où j'ai grandi" - -
1967 "Just Call and I'll Be There" - 83
"Des ronds dans l'eau" - -
"Voilà" - -
1968 "Comment te dire adieu?" - -
1970 "Fleur de lune" - -
1973 "Message Personnel" - -
1978 "J'écoute de la musique saoûle" - -
2000 "Puisque vous partez en voyage" - -
2004 "Tant de belles choses" - -


Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Françoise Hardy", in Unknown legends of rock 'n' roll: psychedelic unknowns, mad geniuses, punk pioneers, lo-fi mavericks & more, Richie Unterberger, Hal Leonard Corporation, 1998, ISBN 0-87930-534-7 p. 177 ff
  2. ^ Belle and Sebastian: Just a Modern Rock Story, Paul Whitelaw, Macmillan, 2005, ISBN 0-312-34137-7 p. 64
  3. ^ a b c d "Falling for Francoise". BBC Radio 4 programme. BBC. broadcast 21 May 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Anon. "Françoise Hardy". RFI Musique. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London, UK: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 147. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  6. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 243. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ MOJO, Collections, French Pop Winter 2001
  8. ^ FRANÇOISE HARDY (very brief biography,; retrieved 9 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Water Drops on Burning Rocks". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Tatt av Kvinnen". Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Innocence in Amber: Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.; retrieved 9 November 2012.
  12. ^ Balenciaga Fall 2005 Ready-to-Wear Collection on Runway Review. Retrieved on 2012-11-09.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
François Deguelt
Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by