Eric Charden, Singer and songwriter


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The Independent Online

Eric Charden, who died of cancer at the age of 69 on 29 April, was a French singer who with his wife and singing partner, Stone, had a string of hits in the 1970s.

The pair had recently released their latest album, Made in France.

Born in 1942 in Vietnam, Charden was the son of a French father and a Tibetan mother. His debut album, J'Ai La Tête Pleine De Provence, came out in 1963. In 1966, he was a member of the jury for a "Miss Beatnik" competition, and there he met a young singer, Annie Gautrat, who under the name Stone had released French "yé-yé" adaptations of Beatles songs (several of her songs have appeared on recent French '60s pop compilations like Ultra Chicks and Femmes De Paris). They married later that year and eventually began recording and performing together as Charden et Stone. In 1971, their record "L'Avventura" reached No 1 in the French hit parade, and was followed by hits like "Laisse Aller La Musique" and "Le Prix Des Allumettes" in 1972.

Charden was also in demand as a songwriter, Johnny Hallyday and Sylvie Vartan being among those who asked him to write for them, but perhaps his best loved collaboration was with Jacques Monty; among the songs they wrote together was "Le Monde Est Gris, Le Monde Est Bleu".

After having moved to Quebec Charden had another hit with the song "Montréal". He released a solo album, Quatorze Ans, Les Gauloises, in 1974.

Charden had been suffering from cancer for three years before he died. Some time before his death he said that "the illness showed me that we have few friends". A statement announcing Charden's death said: "He left behind Stone, his long-time partner, and a last album, Made In France. He was very proud of it."