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.
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.
Her early musical influences were the French chanson stars Charles Trenet and Cora Vaucaire 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.
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. The track peaked at #36 in the UK Singles Chart in 1964. 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.
Hardy sings in French, English, Italian, German and has two interpretations in Spanish and one 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 from the Académie Charles Cros (see: Grand Prix du Disque for French Song).
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.
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, Françoise Hardy won the trophy "Female Artist of the Year" at the Victoires de la musique ceremony in 2005.
In 2012, Françoise Hardy scored her 50 year career by publishing her 27th album and both headings story "L'Amour fou".
On March 5, 2015, after two years of silence, a second book was published under the title "Avis non autorisé..." (Unauthorized opinion). In this book, she reflects on old age, her interests and her annoyances. In interviews given, she has said that she does not at all want to write songs.
On shyness and fame:
Because of her difficult upbringing Hardy became painfully shy -- a trait which is still part of her character today. 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."
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.
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).
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).
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 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 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.
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.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license