Death of Marcel Amont: career, songs... The incredible life of a giant of the music hall


Death of Marcel Amont: career, songs... The incredible life of a giant of the music hall

MARCEL AMONT. Singer Marcel Amont, one of the last giants of French music hall, died on Wednesday March 8, 2023, at the age of 93.

[Updated March 10, 2023 at 10:09 a.m.] Singer Marcel Amont died on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. He was 93 years old. Author of the songs Bleu, blanc, blond or Le Mexicain, the singer died at his home in Saint-Cloud, in eastern Paris, surrounded by his family: his wife Marlène and his children. The death of Marcel Amont was announced by Jean-Pierre Pasqualini, director of programs at Melody, on social networks.

"At the request of his wife Marlène, and his children, I am sad to announce the disappearance of Marcel Amont, who died at the age of 93. The 75-year-old singer died on Wednesday March 8. surrounded by his family in his house in St Cloud", can we read in the press release. Marcel Amont leaves behind him an immense career of more than 70 years and dozens of successes.

He was one of the last French music hall giants: Marcel Amont was a French singer and actor, popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Born in 1929 in Bordeaux, he came from a family of shepherds. After obtaining his baccalaureate, he enrolled at the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and the Institute of Physical Education, hesitating between the two professions. His attraction for comedy is nevertheless stronger, so much so that he begins to perform in Bordeaux, both as a singer and as an actor.

In 1951, Marcel Amont decided to come to Paris. He played in many cabarets, which gave him a certain fame and led him to the Olympia in 1956 to take part in the concerts of Edith Piaf. He achieved real success and his talents enabled him to be named "Revelation of the Year" and then to record his first live album, which earned him the Grand Prix du Disque and ensured numerous performances. The same year, he also turns in the film The bride is too beautiful with Brigitte Bardot.

Marcel Amont's life took a completely different turn at this time: his career was launched and success continued until the end of the 1970s: at the Bobino theater in 1962 for his first one-man show, at the Olympia in 1965 and 1970, on television in 1967 in the program "Amon tour" then in 1974 in "Tutankhamont", and during numerous shows in France, Europe and Japan. Nevertheless, the 1980s kept Marcel Amont off the scene until the mid-2000s. During this period, he published several books such as Une chanson. What's inside a song? in 1990 and It's said, it's written, it's sung in 2000.

After several years of musical absence, Marcel Amont returns in 2006 with the album Décalage temps, performs in 2007 at the Olympia, and in 2009 releases his collection of memories Sur le boulevard du temps qui passe. He also participates in the tour "Age tender, the idol tour". After a year of concerts in 2013, in 2014 he released the double CD Anthologie and the book Lettres à des amis, and continued performing on the "Sacred Evening" tour.

This is one of Marcel Amont's greatest popular successes: the song Un Mexicain. It was Charles Aznavour who offered him this playful piece in 1962: A Mexican quickly won first place in sales and gave him new popularity, he who was performing that year at the Bobino theater for three and a half months, at ticket offices closed. The same year, the song was taken up by the Compagnons de la chanson, then, in 2018, by their heirs: the Nouveaux Compagnons.

In the second half of the 1970s, Marcel Amont's schedule became lighter. In 1975, he was behind a musical called Pourquoi tu chantais pas, which was played at the Bouffes Parisiens, but which struggled to attract crowds. And it is once again a collaboration with a great French artist who will bring him back into the spotlight: his friend, Georges Brassens. Like Aznavour with Un Mexicain, the latter offered him the song Le Chapeau de Mireille, which would also become one of his classics. "At that time, I was a variety singer and Georges, the successful author of Patachou was beginning to make a name for himself as a performer. His bawdy and poetic songs fascinated me with their audacity. My admiration for him quickly transforms into friendship", confided Marcel Amont to Paris Match in 2013.

And to remember: "His guitar slung over his shoulder and the pipe in his mouth, he interprets Mireille's hat. I am enthralled as much by the words as by the melody; I ask him to sing it to me again. 'Do you like it? (…) She's yours', he replies with a smile. I can't get over it. I, who am in the hollow of the wave, this generosity goes straight to my heart. Brassens, adored by the public , acclaimed by the press, has just given me a gift that is priceless."

In 1977, Marcel Amont married Marlène Laborde. Together they had two children: Romélie and Mathias. The singer already had two, Karia and Alexis, born from a previous union. Since then, she has become his "nurse", his agent in addition to his wife, as Marcel Amont confided in the columns of Sud-Ouest in 2019. It must be said that Marlène Laborde has been alongside the artist during many successes throughout his career. "I had Katia, my eldest daughter, at 27, and then Alexis, before divorcing and leading a happy single life. When I met Marlène, I was 47. She was the one who everything arranged in our house and who fell in love with the Aspe valley. She fitted out my family's old barn", he told the magazine France Dimanche in 2014.

If there is a famous inhabitant in Borce, this small town in the Pays de Béarn, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, it is Marcel Amont. It was in this region of the Aspe valley that the singer's parents were from, coming from a long line of peasants. In this family home, Marcel Amont likes to recharge his batteries, far from the noise of Paris. Moreover, the artist was inducted into the Académie du Béarn, in Pau, in February 2020. "I have my feet in Paris but my head in the mountains (...) If Dad and Mom were still there , them children of the people, they would be proud to see that I became an academician. Of course not like at the French Academy but in any case most of them sing out of tune. Here at least we speak the same language even if as I get older I stammer a little!", he launched after the induction speech, reported Le Parisien. A new proof of the singer's attachment to the Béarnaise region, he who sang it so often throughout his long career.

He was considered one of the last living legends of French music hall, alongside Line Renaud and Hugues Aufray. After his debut in 1951, the artist from Bordeaux was successful until the end of the 1970s. Since the 1980s, Marcel Amont has been more discreet on the media scene, but has never moved away from the stage and music for all that.

In 2007, he performed at the Olympia, fifty years after his first time in the Parisian hall. Marcel Amont published his memoirs, Sur le boulevard du temps qui passe ou Il a neigé, before performing at the Alhambra to celebrate his 60-year career. In 2017, the singer set out again on the roads of France with Tender age, the idol tour, before returning to the Alhambra in 2018 for the show Marcel tells and sings Amont. It is in this same room that he will celebrate his 90th birthday during a concert, alongside personalities such as Maxime Leforestier, Serge Lama, Gérard Lenormand or Michel Jonasz.

After the publication of his ninth book, Behind the Scenes of My Life, in 2019, Marcel Amont was appointed president of the jury for the Georges Moustaki Prize in 2020. His latest book, Mirlitontaines and Forgotten Songs, was released in January 2021.