Nearly 30 years later, the Frenchman Claude François still a star


Claude François (01.02.1939, Ismaïlia, Egypt - 11.03.1978, Paris, France)
Claude François (01.02.1939, Ismaïlia, Egypt – 11.03.1978, Paris)

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The Frenchman Claude François was one of the biggest stars of French music scene, emerging during the so-called “yé-yé” movement of the early ’60s.

Like Johnny Hallyday and Eddy Mitchell, his early success came mostly from French adaptations of English-language rock and folk hits. However, his image – immaculately coiffed hair and glitzy sequined suits – played just as big a role in his popularity, and made him a major teen idol in his heyday, when fans dubbed him “Clo-Clo.” He dressed his much-imitated quartet of backup dancers, the Clodettes, in even more flamboyant costumes, which gave his act a definite kitsch appeal and became a visual signature for much of his career.

Appropriately for the singer who recorded the original version of the song that became “My Way“, Claude François lived the outsized life of a star, cycling through a series of high-profile affairs and acquiring a reputation for being extremely difficult to work with.

Despite continued popularity, he endured a run of bad personal luck in the ’70s that culminated in his tragic death, on 11 March 1978, at only 39 years old, electrocuting himself in the bathtub while changing a light bulb.

3 Responses to Nearly 30 years later, the Frenchman Claude François still a star

  1. C’est vraiment touchant ces vidéos!!!
    Félicitations de tout coeur pour commemorer Cloclo.
    Les Cloclonautes

  2. Dominique Broen says:

    I saw Clo-Clo when I was 11 years old at the Forum in Liege Belgium, I was with my godmother and we had the best time, Claude and the Claudettes were so entertaining.
    I remember of his passing and the way I felt,sick in my stomach. I was hurting with his mother and his boys.
    I love the videos , Guy Lux, Michel Druker, Sylvie Vartan (now her nefew Michael Vartan is famous) and “la presentatrice” Dorothee (i think)… lots of memories, more good than bad, Claude always made you feel special.
    Dominique

  3. I can only regret, that my invention is 30 years to late. I have invented a shockproof InSalvo lampholder, that – if it had been on the marked 30 years ago, would have saved Clo-Clo.
    He has been an inspiration in making my invention.

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