Raymond Lévesque died at the age of 92.


Pierre Roussel / NEWSCOM / SIPA

Raymond Lévesque has passed away.

The Quebec singer-songwriter, father of the classic

When Men Will Live With Love,

 which toured the world, died at the age of 92 after contracting Covid-19, several Canadian media reported Monday.

Poet, novelist, playwright and actor, Raymond Lévesque has also composed hundreds of songs that have punctuated Quebec's cultural life.

A pacifist hymn translated around the world

His best-known work will remain the pacifist hymn

When men will live in love

, composed in 1956 partly in reaction to the Algerian war ("When men will live on love / There will be no more misery / And the beautiful days will begin / But we will be dead my brother ”).

From Eddie Constantine to Celine Dion via Bourvil or Renaud, it will be taken up by many artists and translated all over the world.

In August 1974, three legends of Quebec song, Félix Leclerc, Gilles Vigneault and Robert Charlebois, sang it together during the “Superfrancofête” festival on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec, in front of more than 100,000 shocked spectators.

Committed to the independence of Quebec

"All my condolences to the family and loved ones of the great Quebecer Raymond Lévesque, author of one of the most beautiful songs of all time," Quebec Prime Minister François Legault immediately reacted on Twitter.

Federal Minister of Heritage, Steven Guilbeault, hailed the memory of a “giant of the Quebec artistic scene”.

"Raymond Lévesque is leaving us, but his hymn to peace will continue to awaken what is most beautiful in everyone's heart," he tweeted.

Committed to the independence of Quebec, Raymond Lévesque had refused for political reasons the Governor General's award, representing Queen Elizabeth in Canada, which had been awarded to him in 2005.

Having become deaf in the mid-1980s, he then devoted himself to writing, particularly poetry and theater.

Hospitalized in Montreal after contracting Covid-19, the multi-talented artist died on Monday, according to his family quoted by the media.


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