The singer – also an actress and model, among others – died Monday evening of “following a malaise” in the Tours region where she lived, her manager Lambert Boudier told AFP on Tuesday.
The artist had just finished the tour of his last album “Horizons Dorés” and was already finishing the preparation of a new album.
Dani (Danièle Graule in the civil status) had chosen to call this next album “Attention Départ”. “Like a premonition. I only saw a new chapter in it”, wrote in his tribute on Instagram Etienne Daho, who says he spoke to him on Monday evening.
“You the unclassifiable, free, so young (…) you did everything with the elegance of dilettantes”, still greets the singer. Before concluding “If rock, but you for real”.
“She’s a real character, she has real depth, there’s no affection at home, she doesn’t play a role, there is a real desire to sculpt an artist’s trajectory”, described to AFP in 2020 Bertrand Dicale, specialist in French song.
– “Very chaotic” –
Even if, as Dani told AFP two years ago in his voice with delicate roughness: “it’s not always easy to take paths like no other”. “It’s very chaotic, but with beautiful encounters”.
Dani was the queen of “Paris by night” in the 70s, at the helm of L’Aventure, a trendy nightclub, the French version of Studio 54 in New York. His unshackled lifestyle was summed up in his song “La vie à 25 ans (Y’a pas de mal à se faire bien)”.
François Truffaut chose her for the role of Liliane in “The American Night”, a mise en abyme on the world of cinema, Oscar 1974 for best foreign film. She also toured with Roger Vadim, Claude Chabrol, Georges Lautner and even recently Olivier Marchal.
But his course was bumpy. In 1987, the former yéyé muse recounted her descent into hell in “Drogue la galère”.
Shunned by record companies because of her frequentation of artificial paradises, she therefore returned to the front of the stage thanks to Etienne Daho in 2001.
The latter had offered to sing in a duet “Like a boomerang”, a title composed for her by Serge Gainsbourg but failed for Eurovision 1975 – because it was considered too sexually connoted – and forgotten.
To say that the previous year, in 1974, France – which was to be represented by Dani – withdrew from Eurovision at the time of the death of the President of the Republic Georges Pompidou. A clairvoyant had predicted to her that she would not go…
– “Total unconsciousness” –
“Like a Boomerang” was a great success. However, she didn’t believe it at first.
“Etienne Daho told me If you want to get out of it, you have to sing again. I answered him, are you sick or what? (laughs)”. Since then, she had regained an iconic status, which embarrassed her.
“There is a fixed side when I have the impression of being in the movement”, she confided to AFP in 2020. She preferred to speak of an “atypical career” – model, singer, actress, magazine leader, florist…
“Did I be chosen or was it me who chose? Who knows!” Asked Dani in his autobiography “The night does not last”.
It all started for her when she left Perpignan for Paris in 1963, at the age of 19.
“When I started, I was completely unconscious. Hoping to pose for fashion photos, I knocked on the door of Jours de France, the only magazine we read in Perpignan with Elle”, she confided. to AFP in 2016.
The following week, she was on the cover. She will pose during her career in front of the lenses of Helmut Newton or Jean-Baptiste Mondino.