Claude Francois

Claude Francois

French singer
Date of Birth: 01.02.1939
Country: France

  1. Biography of Claude Francois
  2. Early Musical Influence
  3. Early Career
  4. Rise to Stardom
  5. Continued Success and Tragic End

Biography of Claude Francois

Claude Antoine Marie Francois, known by his stage name "Cloclo," was a French singer, songwriter, and dancer. He gained fame throughout Europe for his ability to create remakes of popular songs and for his own musical masterpieces. Born in Ismailia, Egypt, Claude Francois was the son of Frenchman Aime Francois, who worked on the Suez Canal. His name was a combination of various factors. His mother wished to name him Claude, and his father's family tradition was to name their children with names starting with the letter A. However, in this case, Francois Sr. had to settle for his second name. The name "Marie" was chosen as a tribute to the Virgin Mary and as a form of protection for the child.

Claude Francois

Early Musical Influence

Claude's love for music was primarily influenced by his mother, who had a great passion for music. Under her guidance, Claude began taking violin and piano lessons. Later, he also learned to play the drums. After the Suez Crisis in 1956, the family had to return to Monaco. Francois Sr. began experiencing health problems and could no longer work, which greatly affected the family's financial situation. The stark contrast between their wealthy life in Egypt and their impoverished life in Monaco had a significant impact on Claude.

Claude Francois

Early Career

A young Francois managed to find work as a bank clerk and, at night, he earned a living by playing drums with an orchestra in luxury hotels on the French Riviera. Although he had a decent voice, it was untrained. However, after some time, Claude was offered a singing opportunity in one of the hotels in the luxurious Mediterranean resort of Juan-les-Pins. His performance was warmly received, and soon he began receiving invitations to perform in prestigious nightclubs. It was during his time in the clubs that Francois met English dancer Janet Woollacott, whom he married in 1960. Unfortunately, his father vehemently disapproved of his son's new career, which was a significant blow to Claude.

Claude Francois

Rise to Stardom

Francois eventually moved to Paris, a more promising place for someone in his profession. At that time, American rock and roll was in high demand in France, and Claude quickly understood this and joined a vocal group. It took some time before he could start performing solo, but Claude did not lose faith in himself and continued recording. His first major success came with the release of the song "Belles Belles Belles," which turned Claude into an overnight sensation. His career continued to flourish, and in 1963, he released two more hits, "Si j'avais un marteau" and "Marche Tout Droit." Claude had a knack for creating successful French adaptations of American songs, and his success was a combination of his talent, incredible work ethic, and perseverance.

Continued Success and Tragic End

Claude Francois continued to work tirelessly, touring Europe, Africa, and Canada almost non-stop. In 1971, he established such a demanding work schedule that he collapsed from exhaustion during one of his performances. He was forced to take a short break but later returned to the stage with his previous energy and enthusiasm. While he was well-known and loved in Europe, his plans to conquer the American music scene were tragically cut short by his untimely death. Claude Francois died in a bizarre accident on March 11, 1978. He had just returned from Switzerland and noticed that a wall-mounted light fixture was hanging unevenly while taking a shower. In an attempt to fix it, he was electrocuted on the spot.