Françoise Hardy

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Françoise Hardy
Françoise Hardy, 1966, Royat, tournage du film Grand Prix (cropped).jpg
Françoise Hardy during the filmmaking of Grand Prix on the Circuit de Charade in August 1966
Françoise Madeleine Hardy

(1944-01-17) 17 January 1944 (age 76)
Paris, France
  • Singer-songwriter
  • writer
  • vocalist
(m. 1981)
Partner(s)Jean-Marie Périer (1962–1967)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1962–present
Associated acts
Françoise Hardy signature.svg

Françoise Madeleine Hardy (French pronunciation: ​[fʁɑ̃swaz madlɛn aʁdi]; born 17 January 1944) is a French singer-songwriter. She made her musical debut in the early 1960s on Disques Vogue and found immediate success with her song "Tous les garçons et les filles". As a leading figure of the yé-yé movement, Hardy "found herself at the very forefront of the French music scene" and became "France's most exportable female singing star", recording in various languages, appearing in movies, touring throughout Europe, and gaining plaudits from musicians such as Bob Dylan, Miles Davis and Mick Jagger.[1] With the aid of photographer Jean-Marie Périer, Hardy began modeling and soon became a popular fashion icon as well.[1]

As the yé-yé era drew to a close in the late 1960s, Hardy sought to reinvent herself, casting off the fashionable, girl-next-door image that Périer had created for her and abandoning the "cute" and catchy compositions that had characterized her repertoire up to that point.[1][2] She began working with more accomplished songwriters such as Serge Gainsbourg[3] and Patrick Modiano.[4] Her 1971 album La question represented an important turning point in her career, moving towards a more mature style; it remains her most acclaimed work and has generated a dedicated cult following over the years.[1][5] The early 1970s also marked the beginning of Hardy's renowned involvement with astrology, becoming an expert and writer on the subject over the years.[1][5]

Hardy remains a popular figure in music and fashion[6][7] and is considered an icon of French pop and of the 1960s.[8] The singer is also considered a gay icon and has "repeatedly declared that her most devoted friends and fans are gay".[9] Several of her songs and albums have appeared in critics' lists.[10]


Hardy in December 1969

Hardy was born and 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.[11]

Her early musical influences were the French chanson stars Charles Trenet and Cora Vaucaire [fr],[12] as well as Anglophone singers Paul Anka, the Everly Brothers, Cliff Richard, Connie Francis, Elvis Presley, and Marty Wilde, whom she heard on the English-language radio station Radio Luxembourg.[11]

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 record.[13] The track peaked at No. 36 in the UK Singles Chart in 1964.[14] She reportedly hated the song, saying that 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 are featured on many of her record sleeves.[15]

Hardy sings in French, English, Italian, German and has two interpretations in Spanish and one in Portuguese. Her recordings in Italian, completed in Paris in 1963 under the production of Ezio Leoni, remain to this day highly acclaimed. In 1963, she represented Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing fifth with "L'amour s'en va". In 1963, she was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque from the Académie Charles Cros (see Grand Prix du Disque for French Song).

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 Tant de belles choses. For this album, Hardy won the trophy Female Artist of the Year at the Victoires de la musique ceremony in 2005.

In 2012, Hardy marked her 50-year career by releasing her 27th album, L'Amour fou; she also wrote and published a book of the same title.

On 5 March 2015, after two years of silence, a second book was published under the title Avis non-autorisé... ("Unauthorized opinion").[16] In this book, she reflects on old age, her interests and her annoyances.

Françoise Hardy in 1992

Because of her difficult upbringing, Hardy became painfully shy – a trait which is still part of her character today.[11] When asked about her shyness in an interview with John Andrew, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2011, she said:[11]

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.

After a serious illness in March 2015, she stated that she had no desire at all to write songs.[17] She regained her health after two years and began returning to the recording studio in November 2017.[18]

Personal life[edit]

In 1981, she married her long-time partner Jacques Dutronc, who is the father of her son Thomas Dutronc, born in 1973. Hardy lives in the 16th arrondissement of Paris and Dutronc in Monticello, Corsica, but they reportedly remain legally married.[8][19][20]


  • The Despair of Monkeys and Other Trifles: A Memoir by Françoise Hardy (Published in France in 2008 under the title: Le Désespoir des singes... et autres bagatelles), translated into English by Jon E. Graham, published in the United States by Feral House, 15 May 2018.

In popular culture[edit]


Hardy is mentioned in a poem "Some other kinds of songs" by Bob Dylan, which appears on the back cover of his album Another Side of Bob Dylan, released in 1964.[21]


Françoise Hardy made her film debut in 1963, after having been chosen by director Roger Vadim to take the role of Ophélie in his movie Nutty, Naughty Chateau (Château en Suède, drawn from Françoise Sagan's piece for theatre of that name). She then did three to four performances as a singer in some musicarelli in Italy, for example, Questo pazzo, pazzo mondo della canzone in 1965. This same year, Hardy played a minor role as the Mayor's assistant in Clive Donner’s film What's New Pussycat? and then had a supporting role in A Bullet Through the Heart (Une balle au cœur), directed by Jean-Daniel Pollet. In 1966, she made a cameo appearance in a scene from Jean-Luc Godard's film Masculin, féminin, then participated in Grand Prix, a US blockbuster focusing on Formula 1 racing and the lives of the drivers, directed by John Frankenheimer, in which she plays Lisa, the girlfriend of Nino Barlini, a fictional Italian driver. Following this role, Françoise Hardy did not want to make films anymore, but in 1972 she had a cameo role as a hippie in the film Les Colombes (The Doves) by the Québécois filmmaker Jean-Claude Lord. This was her final appearance on the screen apart from in Claude Lelouch’s 1976 film If I Had to Do It All Over Again (Si c’était à refaire), where she appears as a singer performing a song.[22]

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).[23] 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 with images dating from 1965[24]).

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).[25] 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.

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, dance on the beach and have a romantic interlude as the song plays on a portable turntable. The female lead (Suzy) calls The "Yeh-Yeh" Girl from Paris! (1962) her "favorite record album", and it is the only album she packs when preparing to run away from home.[26]


Hardy's song "Ce Petit Cœur" 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. Her song "All Because of You" was covered by Jessica Sula and appeared in the first episode of the sixth season of Skins. Sula's character, Grace Blood, covered the song to submit as her music final in college, but wasn't able to finish it due to a fatal car accident. "Tous les garçons et les filles" also appeared in the final episode of the 2015 British mini-series The Enfield Haunting. Her song "Voilà" appears in the British television series The End of the F***ing World. Her song "Il Voyage" is featured in the first episode of the BBC America series Killing Eve in the scene that shows Villanelle's character walking to her apartment in Paris.


Hardy's style is mentioned as inspiration for many fashion figures such as André Courrèges, Paco Rabanne, Alexa Chung and Nicolas Ghesquière, former head of the couture house Balenciaga and currently creative director of Louis Vuitton.[27]


Studio albums[edit]

Partial compilation albums[edit]

Selected singles[edit]

Year Single Chart positions
UK[14] 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" ("Ton meilleur ami") - -
"Mon amie la rose" - -
"Je n'attends plus personne" - -
"Et même" 31 -
1965 "All Over the World" ("Dans le monde entier") 16 -
"L'Amitié" - -
"Only You Can Do It" ("Je veux qu'il revienne") - 22
1966 "La maison où j'ai grandi" ("Il ragazzo della via Gluck") - -
1967 "Just Call and I'll Be There" ("Le Temps des souvenirs") - 83
"Des ronds dans l'eau" - -
"Voilà" (listen [1]) - -
1968 "Comment te dire adieu" ("It Hurts to Say Goodbye") - -
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" - -
2016 "True Love Ways" - -

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Françoise Hardy – Biography". Radio France Internationale. March 2013. Archived from the original on 30 April 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  2. ^ Galán, Lola (15 February 2013). "La 'chanson' de la musa madura". El País (in Spanish). Ediciones El País, S.L. Retrieved 27 October 2016. Atrás quedan los temas de su primera etapa, cancioncillas pegadizas de las que abomina. Hasta La question, de 1971, a partir de la cual se inicia una segunda época de la que sí está orgullosa.
  3. ^ Lima, Carlos Eduardo (17 October 2014). "Françoise Hardy e Suas Meninas" (in Portuguese). Monkeybuzz. MTV Brasil. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Françoise Hardy, de l'idole à l'icône". L'Express (in French). Groupe Altice Média. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b Rigoulet, Laurent (9 April 2016). "Françoise Hardy en question". Télérama (in French). Groupe Le Monde. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ Belle and Sebastian: Just a Modern Rock Story, Paul Whitelaw, Macmillan, 2005, ISBN 0-312-34137-7, p. 64.
  8. ^ a b Cañas, Gabriela (2 May 2015). "La tercera edad de un icono del pop francés". El País (in Spanish). Ediciones El País, S.L. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  9. ^ Guilbert, Georges-Claude (30 May 2018). Gay Icons: The (Mostly) Female Entertainers Gay Men Love. McFarland. pp. 85–86. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Françoise Hardy". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d "Falling for Francoise". BBC Radio 4 programme. BBC. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  12. ^ Anon. "Françoise Hardy". RFI Musique. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  13. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London, UK: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 147. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  14. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 243. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  15. ^ MOJO, Collections, French Pop Winter 2001.
  16. ^ Released 5 March 2015 by Éditions des Équateurs.
  17. ^ RTL: 25 June, by Marc-Olivier Fogiel – BFM TV: 23 July, by Philippe Dufreigne – Europe 1: 27 July, by Thierry Geffrotin.
  18. ^ L'Obs n° 2766, 9 November 2017.
  19. ^ Hardy, Françoise (2008). Le désespoir des singes… et autres bagatelles [The despair of monkeys... and other trifles] (in French). Paris: Éditions Robert Laffont. pp. 228–230. ISBN 9782221111635.
  20. ^ "Jacques Dutronc : qui est sa compagne, Sylvie Duval ?" [Jacques Dutronc: who is his partner, Sylvie Duval?]. Femme Actuelle (in French). Paris. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  21. ^ FRANÇOISE HARDY (very brief biography. Archived 13 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  22. ^ "Femme parmi les femmes" ("Woman among women"), written by Pierre Barouh with music by Francis Lai.
  23. ^ "Water Drops on Burning Rocks". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  24. ^ Images from Françoise Hardy – Journal – Londres 65 (Françoise Hardy – Diary – London 65), report shooting by Pierre Koralnik and broadcast on 1 July 1965 on TSR and in 26 December 1965 on ORTF.
  25. ^ "Tatt av Kvinnen". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  26. ^ Innocence in Amber: Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. Archived 30 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  27. ^ Balenciaga Fall 2005 Ready-to-Wear Collection on Runway Review. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  28. ^ I own the Double LP UK set

External links[edit]

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