Michel Sardou

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Michel Sardou
Michel Sardou performing in Bercy in 1998
Background information
Born (1947-01-26) 26 January 1947 (age 67)
Paris, France
Genres French popular music
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Years active 1965–present
Labels Barclay Records, Trema, Universal Music Group
Website www.michelsardou.net

Michel Sardou (born 26 January 1947) is a French singer.

He was born in Paris, the son of Fernand Sardou and Jackie Rollin (Jackie Sardou). He is the grandson of the dramatist Victorien Sardou,[1] as well as father of the French novelist Romain Sardou and the actor Davy Sardou.

He is known not only for his love songs ("La Maladie d'Amour"), but also for songs dealing with various social and political issues, such as the rights of women in Islamic countries, clerical celibacy, colonialism and the death penalty. Another sometimes controversial theme found in some of his songs ("Les Ricains" and "Monsieur le Président de France" for example) is his respect and support for the culture and foreign policies of the United States. He has been accused of being a racist due to his 1976 song : Le temps des colonies where he sang positively about colonialism and slavery but Sardou has claimed the song was sarcastic.[2] He has focused his full attention on his homeland, ignoring the prospect of an international audience, although his 1981 single "Les Lacs du Connemara" did manage to become a big international hit. A number of his hit songs were written in collaboration with Jacques Revaux, a few others (most notably "En Chantant") with Italian singer Toto Cutugno.

Even in the 21st century, Michel Sardou remains quite popular in France, selling out 18 consecutive dates at Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in 2001, while his 2004 album "Du plaisir" went straight to the no. 1 spot on the French album charts.

He has been married three times; first (1965–1977) to a dancer Françoise Pettré, the mother of his daughters Sandrine (born 1970) and Cynthia (born 1973); then (1977–1998) to Elizabeth "Babette" Haas, the mother of his sons Romain (born 1974) who is a writer and Davy (born 1978) who is a comedian; and lastly to a lifelong friend Anne-Marie Périer (the daughter of the actor François Périer) who was the editor of the French version of Elle magazine.



He is the heir to a long family tradition of spectacle. Indeed, his paternal grandparents were comic actors in Marseille; his grand mother was a dancer. When he was a child, he spent the most of his time in cabarets or on tour with his parents.

His school situation was not brilliant and he carried out a life behind the scene and in theaters, so he decided to stop his studies. In 1963, at the age of 16, he planned to run away to Brazil in order to open a striptease club. His father caught him at the Airport. Then Michel announced to him his desire to work and to leave school.

While he was a waiter in his father's cabaret, he was earning his spurs on stage, he met Michel Fugain and had an audition for Eddie Barclay.


The early stages (1965–1970)[edit]

In 1965, Michel began to sing with Le Madras, co-written with Michel Fugain and Patrice Laffont. Thanks to this song, he could be on TV for the first time but then he was completely forgotten.

In 1967, his career was really launched, thanks to a censorship: while France left NATO's military command and the Vietnam War caused an anti-American sentiment in France, Michel Sardou launched Les Ricains (The Yankees), this song insists on the duty of gratitude towards the USA. Charles de Gaulle didn't like this song and he advised against broadcasting it on the air.

This conferred a new notoriety to the singer. The song allowed to lay the foundations for his future artistic style. However from 1967 to 1970, he had difficulties being a big hit.

In view of the mitigated success of his singles, in 1969, Eddie Barclay decided to terminate his contract, estimating that Michel was not cut out to be a singer.

So he launched the record label Tréma which would produce his records, with Jacques Revaux, who will become his most loyal composer and Regis Talar, a French record producer.

The 2000s[edit]

Michel Sardou at the Palais des Sports (Paris) in 2005

Michel Sardou seemed to leave the scene in order to devote to acting and to his Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin.

But Michel Sardou has proved that he has not given up his singer career, as in 2004 he signed a contract with Universal Music for a new album entitled "Du plaisir", he participated in the French television show Star Academy and finally he organized a big tour in 2004 and 2005, in which he sang in France, in Belgium, in Switzerland and in Canada.

His new double album, entitled "Hors Format" was released on 13 November 2006. This album includes 23 new songs, one of whom is a duet with Chimène Badi, "Le chant des hommes". Hors Format has reached 400 000 copies sold and it's a double platinum.

In 2007, he started his last tour; he sang in, among others, the Olympia and the Zénith de Paris.

Private life[edit]

Michel Sardou has been married three times :

  • with Françoise Pettré, a dancer. They got married in 1965, they divorced in 1977. They had two daughters : Sandrine (born in 1970) and Cynthia (born in 1973).
  • with Elizabeth Haas, called Babette. They got married in 1977, they divorced in 1998. They had two sons : Romain, writer (born in 1974) and Davy, actor (born in 1978).
  • with Anne-Marie Périer, the daughter of the actor François Périer, the sister of the photographer Jean-Marie Périer and the former editor-in-chief of Elle. They were married in 1999 in Neuilly-sur-Seine by the former Mayor of Neuilly, and former President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy.



Year Album Chart Positions
1968 Les Ricains
1970 J'habite en France 2
1971 Olympia 71
1972 Danton 2
1973 La maladie d'amour 1
1975 Olympia 75 1
1976 La vieille 1
Olympia 76 4
1977 La java de Broadway 2
1978 Je vole 1
1979 Palais des Congrès 78 34
Verdun 10
1980 Victoria 18
1981 Palais des Congrès 81
Les lacs du Connemara 1
1982 Il était là 2
1983 Vivant 83 2
Vladimir Ilitch 4
1984 Io Domenico 1
1985 Concert 85
Chanteur de jazz 5
1987 Musulmanes 1
Concert 87 8
1988 La même eau qui coule 2
1989 Bercy 89 5
Sardou 66
1990 Le privilège 2
1991 Bercy 91 9
1992 Le bac G 1
1993 Bercy 93 6
1994 Selon que vous serez, etc., etc. 1
1995 Olympia 95 3
1997 Salut 1
1998 Bercy 98 5
2000 Français 1
2001 Bercy 2001 5
2004 Du plaisir 1
2005 Live 2005 au Palais des Sports 11
2006 Hors format 12
2008 Zenith 2007
2010 Être une femme 2010 2
2013 Les grands moments live 23

Emblematic songs[edit]

La Maladie d'amour (love disease) is certainly the most famous song of Michel Sardou, it remained at the top for 11 weeks. Michel drew his inspiration for this song from the Pachelbel's Canon. A few bars from the Beatles' "Let it Be" can also be heard in the song.

Les Lacs du Connemara (Connemara Lakes) is also one of the most popular song of Michel Sardou. It is very often sung at the end of French student parties and at weddings in Flanders.[citation needed]

Other activities[edit]

Theater manager[edit]

In 2001, he bought the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin, with his producer Jean-Claude Camus. In 2005, he resold his shares to his associate.

Theater actor[edit]

Movie actor[edit]

TV actor[edit]


Preceded by
Francis Cabrel
Male artist of the year
Succeeded by
Patrick Bruel
Preceded by
Laurent Voulzy
Song of the year
1987 – "Musulmanes"
Succeeded by
Maxime Le Forestier
Preceded by
Award for the biggest number of spectators
Succeeded by


  1. ^ http://www.clubsardou.com/clubms.php?page=biot&b=11&lang=fr
  2. ^ Sardou, Michel (1989). La moitié du chemin. Nathan. 

External links[edit]