Françoise Madeleine Hardy (born 17 January 1944) is a French singer and songwriter. Mainly known for singing melancholic sentimental ballads, Hardy has been an important figure in French pop music since her debut, spanning a career of more than fifty years with over thirty studio albums released. She rose to prominence in the early 1960s as a leading figure of the yé-yé wave, a genre of pop music and associated youth culture phenomenon that adapted to French the pop and rock styles that came from the United States and the United Kingdom. The singer differentiated herself from her peers by writing her own material, a rare feat in an industry dominated by older, male composers and producers. France’s most exportable female singer of the era, Hardy rose to international fame and released music sung in English, Italian and German, in addition to her native French. She also landed roles as a supporting actress in the films Château en Suède, Une balle au cœur and the American big-budget production Grand Prix, although she never pursued a serious acting career. In the mid-1960s, she also established herself as a pop and fashion icon with the aid of photographer Jean-Marie Périer, becoming a muse for top designers such as André Courrèges, Yves Saint Laurent and Paco Rabanne. In the English-speaking world, her trendy public image and personal style led her to become an icon for the Swinging London scene, and attracted the admiration of several famous artists. Long after the height of her career in the 1960s, Hardy remains one of the best-selling singers in French history, and continues to be regarded as an iconic and influential figure in both music and fashion. Her work has appeared on several critics’ lists.
Born and raised in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, Hardy had a troubled childhood marked by the strict upbringing of her single mother and a largely absent father. As a teenager, she discovered English-language rock and roll performers including Elvis Presley and Brill Building pop acts such as Paul Anka through the radio, and decided to pursue a singing career. Hardy made her musical debut in 1962 on French label Disques Vogue and found immediate success through the hit song “Tous les garçons et les filles”, which remains one of her most popular compositions. Disliking the production of her early releases, she began to record in London in 1964, which allowed her to broaden her sound with albums such as Mon amie la rose, L’amitié, La maison où j’ai grandi and Ma jeunesse fout le camp…. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Hardy sought to assert herself as an artist, although this implied less commercial repercussion. The albums Comment te dire adieu, La question and Message personnel—released during this period—are among her most influential and critically acclaimed works. In them, Hardy began to work with more renowned songwriters such as Serge Gainsbourg, Patrick Modiano, Michel Berger and Catherine Lara. Between 1977 and 1988, she worked with producer Gabriel Yared in a string of successful albums, including Star, Musique saoûle, Gin Tonic and À suivre. Her 1988 record Décalages was widely publicized as Hardy’s final album, although she returned eight years later with Le danger, which completely reinvented her sound to a harsher alternative rock. Her following albums of the 2000s—Clair-obscur, Tant de belles choses and (Parenthèses…)—saw a return to her mellow style.
As a public figure, Hardy is known for her shyness, disenchantment with celebrity life and self-deprecatory attitude—attributed to her lifelong struggles with anxiety and insecurity. In addition to music, Hardy has developed a renowned career as an astrologer, having written extensively on the subject since the 1970s as a proponent of the “conditionalist” school of thought—outlined by Jean-Pierre Nicola—which rejects the divinatory use of the discipline. Since the 2000s, she has also worked as a writer of both fiction and non-fiction books, including a bestselling autobiography and two essays. Through these works, Hardy has been noted for her frankness in discussing her family life and health problems related to MALT lymphoma and old age, as well as her sometimes controversial political ideas. In 2006, she was awarded the Grande médaille de la chanson française honorary award given by the Académie française, in recognition of her career in music. In the 2010s, Hardy released her last three albums: La pluie sans parapluie, L’amour fou—released alongside her eponymous first novel in celebration of the 50th anniversary of her music career—and Personne d’autre—which brought her out of a previously declared retirement. She has been married to fellow French singer-songwriter Jacques Dutronc since 1981 and their only son, Thomas, is also a musician. In 2021, Hardy announced that her health had worsenered and that she would not be able to sing again owing to the effects of cancer therapy. (Wikipedia)
Hardy remains a popular figure in music and fashion, and is considered an icon of French pop and the 1960s. The face, the voice, the woman, here is an impressive color photo collection of talented, unassuming, beautiful Hardy in the 1960s and ealy the 1970s.