French pop icon France Gall has died, aged 70

The singer won the European song contest for Luxembourg in 1965

French singer France Gall has died, aged 70.

The pop icon had been suffering from cancer for two years, and was taken to hospital near Paris last month for treatment on a severe infection, the BBC reports.

Gall, whose real name was Isabelle Geneviève Marie Anne Gall, released her debut single ‘Ne Sois Pas Si Bête’ in 1963, when she was 16 years old. She went on to release 28 albums in total, concluding with 2004’s ‘Évidement’ compilation.

The singer won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965, where she was representing Luxembourg, with the song ‘Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son’. It was one of many tracks Serge Gainsbourg wrote for her. The pair’s collaboration ended when Gall came to fully understand the double meanings of some of the lyrics the musician had written for her.

In 1987, already one of the biggest stars of the French Yé-yé scene, Gall released an album paying tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. ‘Babacar’ reached Number Two in the French album charts, and found the singer recognition further afield.

Gall retired from music following the death of her eldest child, Pauline, in 1997. She had been working on humanitarian projects since then.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted of Gall’s death: “She leaves behind songs that everyone in France knows and set an example of life devoted to others.”

Arcade Fire, who covered Gall’s Eurovision-winning track, wrote on Twitter: “Sad news about France Gall.” Eurovision also posted a message to their Twitter page, writing: “On behalf of the entire Eurovision family we would like to extend our deepest condolences to France Gall’s loved ones.”