Mireille Mathieu: a bright woman and a prisoner of fate
Mireille Mathieu loves her viewers from different countries and from the very beginning of her career she taught and certainly performed songs in their own language at concerts. She is always sincerely pleased with the interest in her work, willingly communicates with fans and frankly answers questions from journalists. The singer does not get tired of thanking fate for the opportunity to engage in creative work and give it to people.
The famous singer has become famous throughout the world for her unique strong and charming voice. In the performance of each song she puts the soul and emotions that invariably find a response from the audience. For 50 years, we have waited for her concerts in all corners of the world: from America to China. Moreover, in the Middle Kingdom, she became the first invited foreign performer for several decades.
Childhood and adolescence Mireille
The future famous performer was born in Avignon in the family of Roger and Marcel Mathieu, who named their firstborn Mireille.Her mother came to Provence from Dunkirk, bombed by the Germans, together with a family where she worked as a nanny. There she got a copyist in the city hall and occasionally allowed herself Sunday walks with her friends and attending dance evenings.
At one of them, she met Roger, who had recently returned from the war. He was the son of a bricklayer and the successor of the family dynasty. Young people quickly got married, and a year later, in 1946, their family was replenished with a girl.
The post-war years were hard for everyone, not excluding the rapidly expanding Mathieu family. They lived in a tiny house with narrow windows that was cold and damp. The children were constantly sick. On the table were usually bread, potatoes and lentil soup. Meat was cooked on holidays.
Despite the poverty, family members loved and cared for each other. Mireille, as an older sister, from the age of 6 helped her mother with household chores, since she had veins in her legs. For the first time, the girl saw Marcel bleeding from a bursting vein, completely crumbled. This case made such an impression on the child that she began to fear the sight of blood and decided not to have children.
Study and love of singing
Young Mireille studied badly, since most of the time she was taken away from household chores and caring for her younger brothers and sisters. Parents had no time to study lessons with her. Holidays for the family became an outlet, when relatives gathered together and after a modest feast sang songs.
Roger Mathieu had a beautiful voice, but he did not become a professional performer because of the father’s ban. The girl constantly sang to him, and at the age of 4 she first appeared in front of the parishioners in the church. Then she was frightened, but already in kindergarten she gladly participated in matinees and children's concerts.
At school, Mireille felt unhappy, incapable student, and with difficulty received a diploma, remaining in the senior class for the second year.
Surrounding noted her talent for singing. The teacher offered her to take lessons in music school, but the girl did not want to attend solfeggio classes. Mireille Mathieu was a real nugget. She did not know the musical notation, but she memorized the melodies and songs she had heard by ear.
Start a music career
After graduating from school at the age of 14, Mireille did not plan to continue her education. She didn’t do well at school, besides her big family needed money. The municipality of Avignon provided Mathieu with more spacious housing for the poor, but the new house assembled from the blocks was not much better than the previous one.
The girl got a packer at an envelope factory. The work was low paid, but still Mireille's salary helped her relatives make ends meet.
In the workshop, Mathieu sang all the time, and one of her acquaintances invited her to enroll in an amateur contest held by the city administration. Three years in a row she participated in it, hoping to win. Luck smiled at her in 1964, when she performed the song of the recently deceased Edith Piaf.
At the end, the hall burst into applause, and the girl felt that her dream of singing for the audience and getting high fees was a little closer.
With the energy inherited from her mother, Mireille continued to move toward her intended goal. She passed the qualifying competition in Paris for the transfer of Tele-Dimanches, but there were too many people willing to participate in it.The call would have had to wait for 2 years, so the Avignon musician who helped her tried to attach her to other shows.
A year and a half, while attempts to perform in Paris lasted, Mireille performed in her hometown. At one of the gala concerts, she was noticed by an American producer, Johnny Stark, and promised to send her a call to audition for the studio. She was skeptical of his words - many gave her promises to help with her career, but did not fulfill them.
Mireille Mathieu sang beautifully, but was inexperienced. At the same time, Stark did the impossible for her. In 1966, a girl who recently won an amateur contest and exploded the public on a television show performed in the main Paris concert hall Olympia. Before this honor honored only renowned singers.
Johnny forbade his ward to listen to Edith Piaf’s songs, because the public believed that she largely copied the French “little sparrow”. He took care of her image and hired good stylists. The height of the girl barely exceeded 153 cm, so she learned to walk in high heels.
In subsequent years, Mireille appeared in his native Avignon in snatches. The producer arranged her tours around the world, starting with England and Germany. He constantly phoned concert organizations in different countries, forcing the young singer to learn foreign languages and local hits.
Before the concerts, Mathieu met a crowd of fans. She couldn’t just walk around the city, and she didn’t have time. She sent the first fees to the family so that Mom would finally have the operation, and her sisters and brothers would no longer feel in need.
When did you learn about Mathieu in the USSR
In 1967, Johnny Stark contacted the State Concert and offered to hold concerts of a young French star in Moscow and Leningrad. Grandpa Mireille was a member of the Communist Party, which contributed to the emergence of interest in the singer.Foreign performers rarely came to the Soviet Union, so tickets for Mathieu's performances were bought up in an instant.
Initially, the singer was surprised by the filled room, in which there was silence, and the audience sat motionless. She got used to a more relaxed public. However, after each song, she was greeted with a storm of applause, and Mireille realized that she liked her performance.
In Moscow, she was in great demand: she gave concerts, participated in television programs, even starred in the film “Journalist” as herself. Before leaving for the airport, the fans did not want to let Mathieu go. One woman rushed to the singer's car, and with horror she saw the knife-cut name Mireille on her shoulder.
Mathieu and Russia - love forever
Records with songs by Mireille Mathieu were in great demand in the USSR, as were the “page” hairstyles and bright red lipstick, the decals of the performer.
During her first visit to Moscow, a Frenchwoman met a translator who worked in the song and dance ensemble of the Soviet Army ensemble. When the band came on tour to Paris, Mireille performed with them. The spectacle was unforgettable: a tiny girl sang among tall dancers.The French public raged and for a long time did not let the performers leave the stage.
Subsequently, Mathieu repeatedly visited the USSR, and then Russia with concerts. Cooperation with the Russian military ensembles continued in 2009–2016, when the singer was a guest star at the Spasskaya Tower international festival.
The personal life of the singer
Members of the Mathieu clan were tied to each other, and separation from the family became an ordeal for Mireille. From any city she called not only her relatives, but also the owners of nearby shops, and her friends, so as not to lose touch with her homeland.
Before the triumph in the Paris television show, the girl had an admirer Michel, who courted her and went to all her concerts in Avignon. Who knows, maybe she would not become a star, her family life would have been as good as her parents.
The singer chose the scene for the happy marriage. All the vigorous energy inherited from the mother, she directed to achieve the goal to sing for viewers in different countries.
The singer herself does not believe that she sacrificed in the name of creativity.She has dozens of nephews and nieces, the Mathieu clan grows thanks to her brothers and sisters. All of them still cherish every member of the family, so Mireille does not threaten loneliness.
Awards and nominations
The turning point in the fate of Mathieu considers the first performance in Paris. She often mentions him in interviews, again and again experiencing the excitement and joy of victory.
Among the most honorary awards of the singer are two orders of the Legion of Honor, presented to her by Jacques Chirac and Michel Sarkozy. From her sculpted bust of Marianne, the symbol of France. Mathieu is not tall, but she has a very nice figure. Pierre Cardin, who sewed her outfits, always noted this.
In 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev awarded the singer with the Order of Friendship.
Mirey Mathieu today - the latest news
During the years that the singer devoted to the scene, life has changed rapidly. Cassettes replaced CDs and then CDs. The total circulation of sold albums with her songs exceeds 130 million, and singles - 55 million.
In 2005 and 2014, Mathieu gave concerts in Olympia, dedicated respectively to her 40- and 50-year concert activities. They were sold out.In Russia, she also performed with anniversary concerts in 2008, 2013 and 2017.
Behind the famous singer is a great creative way. There is hardly a person in Russia or in the West who does not know her name and has not heard her songs. Mathieu’s popularity in eastern countries, where people appreciate beautiful voices, is also high.
However, not only a strong voice - a business card performer. She sings with her soul and is not afraid to open her heart to the audience. For this she is loved most of all.