Juliette Greco: Forever In Black

During September of this year, the French music scene lost one of its greatest singers. As a news agency announced, the French legend Juliette Greco died at the age of 93 surrounded by her family. Greco became the world-famous singer in the 1950s and in 1960s with chansons such as Deshabillez-Moi or La Javanaise she reached the new top. Her death makes fans realize how influential personalities are missing in today’s fast-paced entertainment industry. With her death, after Barbara and Edith Piaf, the last great chansonnette in France left the stage forever.

Juliette Greco: Forever In Black
Juliette Greco: Forever In Black

On Stage Until The Age Of 89

Juliette Greco led an extraordinary life. She continued to perform well into old age. Greco spent her last years in Ramatuelle in the south of France, which is very close to Saint-Tropez. Her health had recently deteriorated. After suffering a stroke at the age of 89, the legend had finally withdrawn from the stage. It wasn’t an easy step for her. In interviews, she repeatedly emphasized how much she would miss the performances. She saw her purpose in life in singing. After all, the diva had been on stage from childhood. At that time she took part in talent competitions. At the end of the 1940s, she was already celebrating her first major successes. The interpretations of well-known chansons became great hits. She almost exclusively interpreted the songs of other composers. These included such big stars as Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Brel. Even famous writers like Jean-Paul Sartre wrote texts for her. He was one of her fans, as was the Nobel Prize for Literature Albert Camus.

An Eventful Life

Juliette Greco was born in Montpellier on February 7th. Since she hardly knew her father and had big problems with her mother, she grew up with her grandmother and in a monastery. Her mother did not want anything to do with Greco and repeatedly expressed contempt for her daughter. That had to fend for itself from a young age. The Germans sent her family to concentration camps during the German occupation in World War II. They also attested Greco herself but was released. Nevertheless, she was one of the first singers from France to perform in Germany in the post-war period. Throughout her life, she was considered not only an outstanding interpreter but also a style icon.

Her distinctive style contributed to this. The dark voice matched her pale skin, and her darkly made-up eyes entirely. With a page head and black clothing, she created a unique personality that also became her trademark on stage. So it’s no wonder that she was often called the Lady in Black. Her love life was also in the focus of interest. Greco was married to the great French actor Michel Piccoli and had a daughter with Philippe Lemaire. Her affair with jazz trumpeter Miles Davis made headlines. Greco most recently married the pianist Gerard Jouannest. After a 65-year career, Juliette Greco last appeared on stage five years ago on her farewell tour Merci.