Christophe, a celebrated French crooner best known for his ballads “Aline” and “Les Mots Bleus,” has died. He was 74.
Christophe’s death overnight Thursday was confirmed by his wife, Veronique Bevilacqua, to AFP. He died of emphysema, a respiratory illness, after being hospitalized March 26 in a Parisian hospital and transferred to the city of Brest in Brittany, according to AFP.
“Christophe is gone. Despite the unfailing devotion of his medical team, he lost his strength. Words fail us today…and long speeches are futile,” wrote the late singer’s wife and daughter in a release.
Born Daniel Bevilacqua in 1945, Christophe was raised on the outskirts of Paris and broke through in the 1960s with the ballad “Aline.” He became famous in the 1970s with several love songs, including “Les Mots Bleus,” which was penned by Jean-Michel Jarre. His most recent album, “Les Vestiges du Chaos” was released in 2016.
As a cinephile, Christophe was also beloved within the French film community. Since news of his death broke on Friday, the crooner has been mourned by number of French film figures, including long-time friend Pierre Lescure, president of the Cannes Film Festival, who paid homage to him on Twitter, noting they have known one another since 1965.
France’s culture minister Franck Riester also celebrated Christophe’s accomplishments on social media. “His words, his melodies and his voice transported us, moved us. With Christophe’s disappearance, the French singing world loses a part of its soul, but the bittersweet ‘blue’ of its songs is indelible,’ added Riester.
Several musicians, including Chris (previously known as Christine and the Queens) and Jarre paid tribute to Christophe on social media.
Jarre, meanwhile, wrote “Christophe you left tonight .. and tonight it’s the lost paradise .. we think that the people we love are eternal and they are, and you are.”