Portrait of an extraordinary singer – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

The iconic and perhaps the most famous French singer Mylène Farmer celebrates her 60th birthday on Sunday 12 September.

Since the mid-1980s, she has been at the top of the musical Olympus of Europe, cultivating a completely unique style of performance. Her shows, with constantly changing large decorations, are recognized as some of the most colorful in the world.

As the popular French women’s journal Journal des femmes writes, she “has hypnotized us for almost 40 years.”

1. “Free electron”, “forever young”, “rebellious soul”, “red angel”, “elusive provocateur”, “bubble of mystery”, “red-haired beast” – all kinds of epithets have not been used by critics to define Mylene Farmer. Since the release of her first song “Maman a Tact” in 1984, the singer, like no one else, has kept secret information about her work and personal life. All communications around the singer’s performances are really blocked to such an extent that she still has not joined social networks and rarely gives interviews. Mylene last appeared on the front page of Télé Star magazine on September 6, 2021 with a beautiful photo taken while climbing the stairs on July 6 at the Cannes Film Festival. The publication reported that the singer is preparing her new album in the strictest secrecy. Her latest album, Disobedience, was released three years ago, on September 28, 2018. Since 2005, Mylene usually has three years between her two studio albums.

2. Mylene Gaultier (Farmer) was born on September 12, 1961 – in Pierrefond (Montreal area) in Quebec. His father, Max Gaultier, a road engineer and the youngest member of a family of four, worked on the construction of the Manicouagan Dam. In Quebec, Mylene spent the first eight years of her life. Her mother Margarita Martin was a housewife, taking care of Mylene, her older sister Brigitte and her brother Jean Loup, born in 1969. Mylene admitted that she retains few memories from childhood, except for the “whiteness of the snow she eaten” and the famous Canadian maple syrup. Mylene took care of the animals, which would later make her want to become a veterinarian. At school, Mylene was a rather reserved student who practically did not communicate with her peers. “I was not a tomboy! Since childhood, I never liked to play with dolls. I always preferred company and games for boys. Of course, this had to affect my character,” she admitted in an interview with OK! Magazine.

In the early 1970s, Mylene and her family returned to France. They settled in the suburbs of Paris in Ville d’Avre. Mylene has adapted very poorly in her parents’ home country. Classmates for a long time mocked her Canadian accent. She later admitted that “the isolation of the suburb has replaced her with a much more cheerful Canadian universe.” At the age of ten, Mylene won a vocal competition. She was awarded the main prize – the book “White Rabbit”. As a teenager, she spent part of the summer visiting sick children in hospitals. Her love for animals led him to sign up for riding lessons in Saumur. She stopped them after a serious fall from her horse at the age of 16. “In another life, I think my love for animals will prevail. Ideally, I would be both a veterinarian and a shelter for them,” she admitted in an interview.

3. Mylene entered drama school in Cours Florent, managed to play the role of Zesette in the play “Santa Claus – Trash”, directed by her friend Thierry Mugler. After graduating from school, she was interrupted by odd jobs, first as a dental assistant, and then as a gynecologist. She also tries her hand at the advertising world, first appearing with furniture advertisements, then in various commercials, including an advertisement for Fiskars scissors. At the same time, she was shaping her own literary culture, particularly with the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and the poetry of Baudelaire. The texts of her compositions are deeply symbolic, full of imagery and metaphors.

4. In 1984, she met director and composer Laurent Boutonne, who became the main person from the art world in her life, launching her career and filming all of her iconic videos of the 1980s and 1990s. The singer was credited with an affair with Boutonna, but both of them said that they had a friendly relationship. Farmer has never been married and has no children. “I am not married, I live with a Capuchin. He is not a monk, but a little monkey,” Farmer said in a recent interview. She is the muse of the legendary fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, who makes all the stage costumes for her. A real friendship and mutual inspiration arose between the singer and the couturier. “I cannot thank Jean-Paul Gaultier enough for his generosity, his madness, his modesty,” she said. In everyday life, Farmer dresses in simple dresses, even sailor tops, and wears heels.

5. Mylene made her debut as a singer in 1984 after a casting organized by Laurent Boutonne and Jerome Dahan, who wrote the song “Maman A Tort”. The song told the story of an American actress of the 1930s, Frances Farmer, who was sent to a mental hospital by her mother. Butonna and Dahan were looking for a girl who could play this character. When Mylene Gaultier appeared at the casting, the choice became obvious. “We accepted her right away. It seemed to us that in her face it was our character who had just left the hospital with her long hair, on the verge of psychosis,” Boutonna recalled in the book “Mylene Farmer – a star with two faces.” So she recorded her first song and signed a contract with the record company RCA. She then chose her stage name Mylene Farmer in memory of Francis Farmer. With the help of her manager Bertrand Le Page, the song “My Mom Is Wrong” became very successful, the single sold over 100 thousand copies and was rotated on numerous radio stations in France, according to the singer’s official website. Real success came to her only in 1986. “Libertine” was her first single to enter the top 50 in France and was released a few days before her first album, “Cendres de lune” (Moon Ash). Mylene Farmer dyed her hair and acquired a special, “fiery” appearance that distinguishes her from other singers. The video for “Libertine” directed by Laurent Boutonne, a veritable short film, revolutionized the music video world in France and spawned the Farmer-Boutonne duo in this field. She appeared nude in the video for “Libertine”, but turned down offers from magazines to pose in Eve’s outfit. “I no longer want my body to go home. I learned love very late compared to young women my age. I refuse to talk about this topic. I no longer want to remember anything other than my first love for a teacher who I was fascinated! Since then I have had very difficult relationships with men, “she admitted in an interview in the 1980s.

6… Mylene Gaultier – Farmer quickly became a star in French music. However, she adhered to unchanged discretion and rarely appeared in public, as she was traumatized by a terrible event that occurred in 1991. Then her fan killed in cold blood Jean-François Pigaglio, the administrator of the record company Polydor, who refused to disclose to him the address of Mylene Farmer. In 1996, another drama awaited her. Her brother Jean-Loup Gaultier died at the age of 36 in a traffic accident near his home in Saint-Cloud.

7. In November 1988, Milen won the prestigious Victoire de la Musique (Victory of Music) and was recognized as the singer of the year in France. In May 1989, Mylène Farmer performed for the first time on the big tour “Tour 89”, which attracted more than 300 thousand spectators throughout France, including one week of performances at the Palais des Sports in Paris, as well as Belgium and Switzerland. The 45-concert tour concluded in December with a performance at the famous Bercy concert hall in Paris. After several months of rest and promotion of the album “So be I …” in Europe, on March 18, 1991, Mylène Farmer released perhaps her most famous, nine-minute single and clip, directed by Boutonne, “Désenchantée” (Disappointed). It was a huge success: it sold over 800 thousand copies and for nine weeks in a row the composition was in the top 50 songs of France. Her third album, “Another …” was released on April 8, 1991. It will be certified as a diamond album and close to 2 million sold in France. In 1993, Mylene received an award at the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo for the world’s best selling records of a French singer. Mylene Farmer took a break for many months in 1994-1995 to take stock and record her fourth album in California. She changes her image and admits that she “finds herself”. The disc “Anamorphosée” (“Amorphous”), released on October 17, 1995, is an unexpected album with more rock passages, emphasizing the singer’s more feminine and sexy image. Album “Live à Bercy” (“Concert in Bercy”) was released on May 20, 1997 and sold almost 900 thousand copies, which became a record for a “live concert”. Mylene Farmer is recording her new album in the USA with Laurent Boutonne. The fifth studio album “Innamoramento”, announced as Album of the Year, was released on April 7, 1999 and brought many surprises. Mylene herself composed the music for several songs. On April 23, 2003, the philosophical tale “Lisa-Lou and the Storyteller”, written and illustrated by Mylene, appeared in bookstores.

8… Mylene Farmer has an “existential shyness”. She admitted this in an interview with Le Parisien. “Some of my relatives often say about me that I am a wolf, one who lives in the depths of the forest, and when it comes time to go on stage, I supposedly become a werewolf. But this is not so. I do not realize this. I go out on the stage, and the hall seems empty to me. The inner fear of being abandoned has existed in me since childhood, “she said in an interview.

9. The sixth studio album “Before the shadow” was only released on April 4, 2005. The hits were the compositions “Fuck them all”, “QI”, “Redonne-moi”, “Love is nothing …”, “Maybe you”. Despite the crisis in the recording market, over 500 thousand copies were sold in France, and “Before the shadow” was certified three times platinum. In January 2006, Mylene gave thirteen performances at the Bercy concert hall in Paris. Concert tickets were sold out several months before the performances. In 2009, Mylène Farmer became the first French singer to perform at the Stade de France, which was built for the FIFA World Cup in France. More than 80,000 tickets for her concert, mostly online, were sold out in less than two hours.

10. Mylene Farmer has all the talents, even the ability to fall beautifully. In 2010, during a dinner at the Elysee Palace, organized by Nicolas Sarkozy on the occasion of the visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the singer tripped over the steps of the Elysee Palace. Captured by photographers, the singer got to her feet and smiled dazzlingly, proving that “funny doesn’t kill.”

11. On January 19, 2018, the first single from Milen Farmer’s eleventh studio album “Rolling Stone”, created and produced by Feder, was made available for streaming and download. It became the number 1 bestseller in France. On March 14, 2018, Pascal Logier’s film “Ghost Country” was released on French screens, in which Mylene plays the role of Pauline. The reviews from critics were positive and everyone praised Farmer’s work. This film of the genre of auteur cinema gathered 250 thousand viewers in France, which is a good indicator for such a film.

12. According to the RTBF TV channel, in honor of the singer’s anniversary in September, it is planned to release albums in luxurious versions, such as the re-release of the Before the Shadow disc, with instrumental compositions, unreleased tracks, DVDs and various collections of songs.

Source: Российская Газета by rg.ru.

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