Iconic French singer Françoise Hardy dies aged 80

One of France’s best-loved singer-songwriters, Françoise Hardy, has died at the age of 80, the BBC reports.

“Mum is gone,” her son, Thomas Dutronc, who is also a musician, wrote on social media.

Hardy burst on to the music scene in 1962 and became a cultural icon who inspired the likes of Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan. Known for her melancholy ballads, she symbolized France’s Yé-yé (yeah yeah) pop movement, so-called because of its nod to English music.

Her most famous songs included All the Girls and Boys (Tous les garçons et les filles), It Hurts to Say Goodbye (Comment te dire adieu) and My Friend the Rose (Mon amie la rose).

Hardy was born in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944 and raised by her mother.

Like many girls at the time, she grew up listening to Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard and other American and British stars on Radio Luxembourg and she signed her first record deal at just 17.

Her breakout as a musician came in 1962 with the simple, plaintive song, Tous les garçons et les filles, when she sang of all the boys and girls walking hand in hand, while “I walk alone through the streets, my heart aching”. It was an instant hit in France and even broke through in the UK charts.

Her style captivated fashion designers, becoming a model for the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Paco Rabanne, who designed a minidress out of gold plates for her.

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger once famously called her the “ideal woman”, while fellow singer-songwriter Bob Dylan penned several love letters to her.

He addressed her in a poem on the back of his 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan.

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