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Michel Berger - JPop.com
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Michel Berger

Michel Berger

Michel Berger


Michel Berger (28 November 1947 – 2 August 1992), born Michel Jean Hamburger, was a very successful French singer and songwriter. He was a central figure of France's pop music scene for two decades both as a singer and as a songwriter for well-known French artists like his wife France Gall, Françoise Hardy and Johnny Hallyday. He was also romantically involved with singer songwriter Véronique Sanson in the early 1970s before he married France Gall. Read more on Last.fm
Michel Berger (28 November 1947 – 2 August 1992), born Michel Jean Hamburger, was a very successful French singer and songwriter. He was a central figure of France's pop music scene for two decades both as a singer and as a songwriter for well-known French artists like his wife France Gall, Françoise Hardy and Johnny Hallyday. He was also romantically involved with singer songwriter Véronique Sanson in the early 1970s before he married France Gall. He died of a heart attack at the age of 45. Berger first became known to the French public in the 1960s as singer of hit song Salut les copains, after which he became record producer and songwriter for EMI and where he wrote amongst others Les Girafes for Bourvil in 1967.

In the early 1970s, he moved to Warner Music where he produced the early albums of Véronique Sanson, and Allah once again in 1989. In 1973, he was responsible for producing the album Message personnel, the title track of which relaunched the career of Françoise Hardy. He also produced the single Je suis moi for Hardy. Berger started writing for France Gall in 1974, produced all her albums from 1975, and married her on 22 June 1976. In 1985, he produced Johnny Hallyday's album Rock'n'Roll Attitude and also his stage-show, followed by Le Tour de France 1988 of France Gall in 1987. In 1978, he composed the musical: Starmania, with lyrics by Luc Plamondon. The musical starred France Gall, Daniel Balavoine, Diane Dufresne, Nanette Workman, Eric Estève and Fabienne Thibeault.

It was a big success in France in the 1980s and 1990s. An English version: Tycoon was released in 1991 with lyrics by Tim Rice, but it did not achieve the success the original version had in France. Partnered by producer Jerome Savary, and by lyricist Luc Plamondon in 1980, he produced the musical La Légende de Jimmy, inspired by the life of James Dean. However, this bombed. Dreams in stone, was conceived as an American musical, co-arranged with Michel Bernholc, recorded in the United States.

The show never saw the light of day, but the album was nevertheless released in 1982. The album was a complete flop and is not well-known. As composer, Berger scored several film projects, which included Mektoub, a 1970 film by Algerian Director Ali Ghalem, Robert Benayoun's Sérieux comme le plaisir in 1975, Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Tout feu, tout flamme in 1982 and Rive droite, rive gauche the 1984 film by Philippe Labro. He is also known for his Orangina advertisement jingle. Berger was one of a handful of French artists who participated readily and actively in humanitarian acts: in 1985, he worked exclusively for Action Écoles alongside France Gall, Richard Berry and Daniel Balavoine, then later for Ethiopia with Renaud (Chanteurs Sans Frontières) and for Les Restos du cœur with comedian Coluche. On 2 August 1992, a few weeks after the first album of duets with France Gall came out, Michel Berger died of a heart attack, in the middle of a tennis match. He is buried in the cimetière de Montmartre in Paris.

His untimely death came as a shock to many people because he had been one of the most popular French singer-songwriter of the 70's and 80's. Moreover, unlike many pop stars, he came across as a nice and simple man, more interested in music and family life than in rock & roll excesses. As a matter of fact, his marriage with France Gall was remarkably stable. Read more on Last.fm.

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