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Tribute to French Singer Christophe

Christophe, the French singer and songwriter known for his songs Aline and Mots bleus, passed away on April 16, 2020 at 74 years old. Let’s take a look back at this figure’s career, consisting of multiple influences and nearly 200 songs.

In my head, I am not a singer; I have done painting, sculpting…I’d say I do musical painting. Often, people of my generation say that music was better before. I do not agree. I have a really good time with the technology that we have now.” - Christophe

A true figure in the landscape of French singing, the first idols of Christophe were Édith Piaf and Gilbert Bécaud. In love with the Blues, he quickly directed himself towards Rock, as he learned how to play the guitar, the piano, and the harmonica. But it was in 1965, with his song Aline, which sold over 1 million copies, that Christophe experienced a new success in France and became known abroad. A yé-yé star at only 20-years-old, he wrote other successes, like Les MarionnettesJ'ai entendu la mer and Excusez-moi Monsieur le professeur.

In the 1970s, Christophe solidified his success with the songs Mes PassagèresMain dans la main and Belle et Rock Monsieur, which made all the top-hit charts of the time. With the album Les Paradis Perdus, co-written with Jean-Michel Jarre, he revived his audience. After Aline et Les Mots bleus, his third biggest success is the song Succès Fou, which sold 600,000 records.

His album Bevilacqua marked a turning point in the 1990s. The disc contained an homage to Enzo Ferrari and a powerful duet with Alan Vega from the duo Suicide that is based in New York – one of his inspirations. He had many collaborations with American artists. For example, the percussionist Carmine Appice contributed to his Aimer ce que nous sommes, which came out in 2008. This artist, both passionate and a perfectionist, is also recognized for his songs full of poetry, communicated through divine, little symphonies.

In 2003, Christopher was awarded a Victoire de la musique, and, in 2014, he became a chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur.  His last album Les Vestiges du Chaos came out in 2016. After a rich career that lasted over 60 years, Christophe remains a free and avant-garde singer of multiple talents.

If you would like to re-watch him in concert, we suggest that you watch his performance at the Villa Medicis from 2013. It is accessible on Youtube.

You can also listen to some of our favorite tunes by Christophe using our playlist below.