Jacques Dutronc is a French singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer, and actor. He has been married to singer Françoise Hardy since 30 March 1981 and the two have a son (jazz guitarist Thomas Dutronc, born 1973). He also has been a longtime songwriting collaborator with Jacques Lanzmann. Some of Dutronc’s best-known hits include “Il est cinq heures, Paris s’éveille” (a song akin to “Waterloo Sunset” by The Kinks that All Music Guide has called “his finest hour”), “Le Responsable”, and “Les Cactus”.
Jacques Dutronc was born on 28 April 1943 at 67 Rue de Provence in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, the home of his parents, Pierre and Madeleine. His father was a manager for the state-run Office of Coal Distribution. Jacques was educated at Rocroy-Saint-Léon elementary school (now a Lycée). Similarly, the École de la Rue Blanche (now a drama school) and then at the École Professionnelle de Dessin Industriel. And that was where he studied graphic design from 1959.
Career in 1960s
In 1960, Dutronc formed a band with himself as guitarist, schoolfriend Hadi Kalafate as bassist, Charlot Bénaroch as drummer (later replaced with André Crudot) and Daniel Dray as singer. They auditioned in 1961 for Jacques Wolfsohn, an artistic director at Disques Vogue. And that was who signed them and gave them the name El Toro et les Cyclones. In this capacity, he co-wrote songs for artists such as ZouZou, Cléo and Françoise Hardy.
Wolfsohn asked Dutronc to work with Jacques Lanzmann, a novelist and editor of Lui magazine, to create songs for a beatnik singer called Benjamin. Benjamin released an EP in 1966, featuring songs written with Dutronc and a Lanzmann-Dutronc composition, “Cheveux longs” (Long Hair).
Career in 21st Century
Dutronc starred in Claude Chabrol’s 2000 film Merci pour le chocolat. Further, 2002, he starred in Michel Blanc’s Summer Things.
In 2003, Dutronc reunited with Jacques Lanzmann for Madame l’existence, an album described by rock critic Christophe Conte as “surpassing, without much apparent effort, everything that [Dutronc] has created in the last two decades”. Since then, he has appeared in films by directors including Gabriel Aghion and Alain Corneau.
Since 2010, Dutronc toured for the first time in 17 years. And released recordings from the tour as a live album and DVD, Et vous, et vous, et vous. In November 2014, Dutronc performed a series of concerts. And that was with Eddy Mitchell and Johnny Hallyday at Paris Bercy. And that was under the name “Les vieilles canailles” (“The Old Gits”).
Reputation and influence
According to a 1979 editorial in the French magazine Rock & Folk, Dutronc is “the one singer who is so closely identified with the 1960s that it has become impossible to talk about them without talking about him”.
Dutronc began a relationship with Vogue label-mate Françoise Hardy in 1967. Since 1973, they had a son, Thomas, who grew up to become a successful jazz and pop musician. In 1998, Jacques began a relationship with a stylist whom he had met on the set of the film Place Vendôme. He currently lives in the town of Monticello, Corsica. Since 2015, Dutronc revealed he had a brief relationship with Romy Schneider. That lasted as long as they were shooting the film That Most Important Thing: Love.
- Full Name: Jacques Dutronc
- Date of Birth: 28 April 1943
- Age: 76
- Birth Place: Paris, France
- Genres: French pop, French rock, Chanson, Yé-yé, Garage rock, Psychedelic rock
- Instruments: Guitar, piano, drums, percussions, bass, accordion, recorder, sitar, banjo, ukulele
- Years active: since 1961–present
- Height: 1.7 m
- Spouse: Françoise Hardy (m. 1981)
- Partner: Sylvie Duval (1997–)
- Net Worth: $100,000 – $1M
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