Singer Belle du Berry died at the age of 54. - SADAKA EDMOND / SIPA

A very sad news for the world of music. The singer Belle du Berry, voice of the group Paris Combo which had known a great success in the years 2000, chaining the scenes in France and abroad, died in the night of Monday to Tuesday at the age of 54 years, the group announced on Wednesday.

The singer, whose real name is Bénédicte Grimault, died at the Paris hospital of the Kremlin Bicêtre, "suddenly carried away by cancer," the group said in a statement sent to AFP by its agent. Belle du Berry, who was also a songwriter, had just finished recording a new Paris Combo album, the group added.

A mix of jazz influence and gypsy swing

The singer, appreciated for her style combining retro song and jazz, had performed in the 1990s in a duet in small Parisian venues, cabaret trend, with the musician David Lewis. Their meeting with other musicians from various horizons then gave birth in 1995 to Paris Combo, a mixture of jazz influence and gypsy swing.

With its second album Living room  released in 1999, the group which gave new colors to French song is made known to the public: it will become a gold record with more than 500,000 copies sold, with the added bonus of a nomination in the category " revelation ”at the Victoires de la musique.

The band addicted to the scene then goes on to concerts, in France, but also abroad, from Australia to Brazil, via the United States where it quickly acquires a good reputation.

"An" extraordinary "singer / accordionist and author"

"Belle du Berry, an" extraordinary "singer / accordionist and author [in French]," the American magazine Billboard had said about her , enjoying the French group's "cabaret" show.

In 2011, after a five-year hiatus, Paris Combo had reformed on the occasion of an invitation to perform at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, then had resumed the path of recording studios and tours. Their latest album, Tako Tsubo , was released in 2017.

Belle du Berry had also worked in 1992 with the choreographer Philippe Découflé on the ballets for the ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Albertville.


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