What happened to the French singer?
Mireille Mathieu, the grande dame of French chanson, is 75 years old. The singer is still on stage today.
Over 190 million records sold, an international career and icon status: Mireille Mathieu, also known in Germany as the “Avignon Sparrow”, has an impressive life’s work to show. And that’s far from over: The Grande Dame des Chansons, who will celebrate her 75th birthday on July 22nd, is still on stage.
Mathieu was born in Avignon in 1946 as the eldest child of 14 siblings. The extended family lived in poor conditions, but the petite girl wanted to aim high: Mathieu made her first appearance as a singer at the age of four and emulated her great role model Édith Piaf (1915-1963). At the age of 19 she sang on French television – and subsequently became a world star.
Still on stage at the age of 75
Mireille Mathieu performed her chansons in eleven languages over the years, and she has now had more than 50 years of international career. The 75-year-old still performs today: her voice has always been characterized above all by its bell-like clarity. Their singing is still powerful today, but age has left its mark. Her gestures, however, have remained the same: while Mireille Mathieu sings, she always raises one hand and moves it to the beat of the music.
Only at the end of June did she announce that she would be giving three concerts in December: in Bratislava as well as Brno and Prague. Mireille Mathieu released her last album to date in 2019 with “Cinéma”, on which she interpreted melodies from well-known Hollywood classics. In May 2021 her first album “The Fabulous New French Singing Star” (1966) was released in a remastered version. For a short time, she has also presented herself to her fans her Instagram accountthat the singer has been running since last November.
Mireille Mathieu: “When I sing, I immediately feel better”
In addition to her voice, her timeless appearance is also one of her trademarks: She has been wearing her iconic brunette bobble head and black dresses for over 50 years, and the make-up has not changed either. She has always kept her private life out of the public eye – nothing is known of a great love, for example, Mireille Mathieu is childless.
She rarely gives insights into her soul life, for example in an interview with the weekly newspaper “Journal du Dimanche”: The French woman revealed at the end of 2020 how she was doing in lockdown. Mathieu, who has lived with her sister Monique for 40 years, can “no longer fall asleep without a light in the room”. Accordingly, she is plagued by anxiety and she is still mourning her mother Marcelle-Sophie Poirier, who died in 2016 at the age of 94. However, Mireille Mathieu keeps herself physically fit, so a healthy diet and regular singing exercises are part of her everyday life.
Ending a career is out of the question: “I’m not thinking of retiring. What would I be without the singing?”, She said in 2017 “Image on Sunday”. “No matter how bad a situation is, when I sing, I immediately feel better.”