In 1965 she gave Luxembourg it’s second victory in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, singing, “Poupée de cire, poupée de son”, composed by legendary French composer Serge Gainsbourg. 

And this morning, a representative for France Gall announced that after being admitted to hospital in Paris in December 2017, the singer has passed away after a two-year battle with cancer.

Gall’s Communications Officer Geneveie Salama said:

“These are words we would never want to say. France Gall joined the White Paradise on January 7, after having challenged for 2 years, with discretion and dignity, the recurrence of her cancer.”

IN MEMORIAM: FRANCE GALL

France Gall began her career aged sixteen, when her first single  “Ne sois pas si bête“, which translates as “Don’t Be So Stupid”, became a hit and sold 200,000 copies in her native France.

Follow up single “N’écoute pas les idoles” topped the French charts for three weeks in 1964 and then further success followed with “Sacré Charlemagne” which sold 2 million copies.

Gall herself was not a fan of “Sacré Charlemagne” saying, “I did not like it at all.”

To Eurovision fans though, France Gall is most remembered for her Eurovision bid in 1965, and her yé-yé track “Poupée de cire, poupée de son”. Though there has been controversy that Gall sang and won for Luxembourg rather than her native France, music crosses borders, and the song became an international hit.

Recorded in multiple languages, including Japanese, the song was chosen for inclusion in the Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest programme broadcast to celebrate the Contest’s 50th Anniversary.

https://youtu.be/9ZhguAINZtw

FRANCE GALL ON EUROVISION 1965: “ABSOLUTE DRAMA”

Speaking to France 2 for an episode of “This Is Your Life”, Gall revealed she now views her experience as “absolute drama“.

Gall claims that after her victory, UK act Kathy Kirby slapped her, and that she was booed throughout rehearsals because of how different her song was to the traditional ballads which had been a mainstay of the contest until then. Despite resistance, the song’s upbeat tempo paved the way for the modernisation of the contest.

After Eurovision and success in the sixties, Gall will also be remembered for her relationship with singer-songwriter Michael Berger. She had a string of further hits in the seventies, eighties and nineties, many of which are included in the musical Résiste.

A true icon and trailblazer France will be missed. Our condolences go to her family.

GET MORE FRANCE NEWS HERE

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Charly
Charly
2 years ago

My favourite winner of all time ?

Mark
Mark
2 years ago

Kathy Kirby slapped her? Why because she won? What a sore loser…

France was was truly one of the best Eurovision winners ever.

kenna
kenna
2 years ago

Such a sad news. I’m very shocked!! My condolences to her friends and family.

Azotman
Azotman
2 years ago

Résiste ! Prouve que tu existes ! Ella elle l’a ; Evidemment ; Il jouait du piano debout ; ma déclaration. Une chanteuse extraordinaire et pas seulement pour l’Eurovision. Si vous ne connaissez pas ses chansons, je vous invite à les découvrir. Ses chansons ont marqué les générations et seront éternelles. Une des plus grandes artistes de la chanson Française.

chanson
chanson
2 years ago

Such sad news. One of the absolutely best winners ever.

I love that song so much and it’s given me so much joy that it always makes me sad to think France didn’t enjoy her Eurovision experience…

blondboybc
blondboybc
2 years ago

RIP, France Gall. One of the most memorable ESC songs of all time. Peace.

ms
ms
2 years ago

One of the most iconic song of eurovision.
I love that song.
Rip.

AngieP
AngieP
2 years ago

One of my all time favourite songs! Changing the direction in Eurovision from only ballalds to more up-beat pop songs. It’s sad.

brennan
brennan
2 years ago

laisse tomber les filles is and will always be one of my favorite songs of the 60’s and a legendary feminist anthem i think bands like the allisons or los tnt modernized the contest more than she did (and bobby solo, monica zetterlund, nana mouskouri, the ingmanns, francoise hardy, and others all brought different genres to the ESC before her,) but it definitely was bold to introduce ye-ye so confidently into the Eurovision sphere and poupee de cire was 100% one of the best winners of the 20th century so I am very very very sad to hear the news… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
2 years ago

Very sad.

Of her other hits, Ella, Elle L’a is my favorite. She was much more than her Eurovision winner, and hopefully will be long remembered as the sensation that she was, apart from the associations with the various men in her life. A true star.

Rest in peace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgHGU8gqz9U

Mark
Mark
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonas

Elle, elle l’a is a great song.

alexo
alexo
2 years ago

my favorite winner from the 60s is dead ):

alexo
alexo
2 years ago

my favorite winner from the 60s is dead…?

Ariso Light
Ariso Light
2 years ago

How sad. She will be missed. R.I.P. France, we all love you! 🙁

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
2 years ago

This is one of the few entries from back then that I know, it’s such a classic and I’m really sorry for her family and close ones. She was revolutionary.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
2 years ago

OMG what??
RIP France, you’ll be missed dear ?

GG
GG
2 years ago

Unexpected and sad news,really!
Une grande dame de la chanson française s’en est allée…

ESC 4ever
ESC 4ever
2 years ago

RIP, you will be missed iconic Queen!

desfolhada
desfolhada
2 years ago

We won’t forget this song neither France Gall! :’
RIP

Alex
Alex
2 years ago

French idol Claude François was so jealous of her victory that he ended their relationship by a phone call immediatly after it was announced.
This and the drama with the UK singer is why she seems so sad and struggles to smile when she is given the prize.

Racal
Racal
2 years ago

Beautiful woman for a beautiful song. “Poupée de cire, poupée de son” is the best argument to bring the orchestra back to ESC, that tune is an absolute masterpiece. Legend says that the band was also upset about having to play an upbeat song for the first time at Eurovision and purposedly played too fast to sabotage her, which may explain why she sounded a bit off. Actually, at 0:25 in the video above, you can totally tell she’s confused and looks at the orchestra. She’s also very famous for her song “Les sucettes” (“The lollipops”), also written by Serge… Read more »

val
val
2 years ago
Reply to  Racal

@Racal – ”the band was also upset about having to play an upbeat song for the first time at Eurovision and purposedly played too fast to sabotage her”

…because for them, ”Poupee…” was fast-food music, now it’s a masterpiece. That shows the ignorance of people like Salvador. His music was fast-food too, in another time in history.

Racal
Racal
2 years ago
Reply to  val

The passing of someone is not a weapon to be used to attack others, especially not an iconic winner like Salvador (and your comment doesn’t even make any sense, Salvador’s song is not upbeat).

Show some respect.

val
val
2 years ago
Reply to  Racal

Is not about the beat, is about how you see music, and maybe you should not write a novel is people are not allowed to comment about it.

Racal
Racal
2 years ago
Reply to  val

1. Four paragraphs/twelve lines are not “a novel”. 2. Who said people were not allowed to comment? I told you to be respectful because… Who the hell makes a scene under a memorial notice?!

That Salvador story was built upon sand, it’s totally unrelated to this story (he didn’t try to sabotage anyone, regardless of your opinions) and that was 9 months ago. It might be time to get over it.

desfolhada
desfolhada
2 years ago
Reply to  val

@Val, Salvador on interview, after he won national final, he said that “Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son” is one of his favourites… so you are wrong.
but lets stop talking about fast-food. Respect to France Gall pls

val
val
2 years ago
Reply to  desfolhada

Poupee is not fast-food for Salvador, but it was for the orchestra at that time (1965). Each era had it’s misunderstood music.

paulo
paulo
2 years ago
Reply to  val

That comparison is totally idiotic. Salvador didn’t say that “non mainstrean” music is better than mainstream, he just complained about the lack of quality and content in today’s music, mainstream or not.

Denis
Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  desfolhada

She’s not saying Salvador thinks the song is fast-food music, she’s saying that it was seen as fast-food music at the time. And she’s right! Many didn’t like the song and thought the contest would suffer from not having classical ballads.

Mark
Mark
2 years ago
Reply to  Denis

They’re silly. The contest needs diversity.

Gobio
Gobio
2 years ago

RIP she was one of my favorite acts from classic Eurovision, and I admired her whole career, that makes me really sad that she’s gone.

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
2 years ago

Iconic queen, who dragged Eurovision kicking and screaming into the 1960s with one of the best songs ever.

Hubert Znajomski
2 years ago

My favorite winner of 20th century….

oldschool
oldschool
2 years ago

RIP poupée de cire poupée de son