France: Marie Myriam discusses Destination Eurovision appearance and France Gall

by Roy Knoops 1,967 views

French artist of Portuguese descent, and Eurovision 1977 winner, Marie Myriam will be a special guest in semi-final 2 of France’s selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, Destination Eurovision, and reminisces about the recently deceased France Gall.

Marie Myriam is excited to open semi-final 2 of Destination Eurovision on channel France 2, Saturday 20 January. The song she will perform is as yet a surprise – it will not be her 1977 winning Eurovision song L’oiseau et l’enfant.

Marie Myriam has not performed in public for several years, so her appearance in Destination Eurovision is a big surprise. In an interview with Télé, the artist clarifies:

Exactly, I’m participating because I do not sing my song… That’s the surprise! It is Bruno Berberes (casting director of The Voice and Destination Eurovision) who convinced me. I have not been singing for four years. I’m always afraid of what will happen to the vocal cords. These are muscles that I have not trained in all this time. We’ll see! I’m a little nervous about that.

Perhaps Marie Myriam will take the stage during other occasions as well, such as the Eurovision concert in Besançon, at the end of May:

It’s in talks. Maybe, yes, why not… A large number of artists have already responded to this and I hope that the public of the Eurovision Song Contest will be there. I do not expect to see the same viewers there as for the Age Tendre-tour. But if I’m there, I’ll probably be the godmother of this event, since I’m the last winner for France.

On France Gall and Eurovision

Marie Myriam also has fond memories of France Gall, who passed away on 7 January:

I am extremely sad. I was even shocked. I was not close friends with her, but I really admire this woman who has suffered a great deal, who has had great misfortunes in her life. And I understand very well why she retreated from the public. That’s what I’ve done in the last four years as well. It’s good that she returned for the musical Résiste. She was a very courageous woman and very discreet about her cancer. It hurt me a lot.

France Gall was a Eurovision winner, just like Marie Myriam herself:

We had met once on a television set a long time ago. I admire her as an artist. We had not talked about Eurovision together. Because France Gall hated this contest because of its context: it was on this occasion that Claude François, her boyfriend at the time, had ended their relationship. She did not participate in the Eurovision concerts organized across Europe either. It was a very bad memory. Me, I view it positively, it was a happy moment. Even if it’s been over 40 years now and I’m getting a little tired of talking about it… But that’s nothing new (laughs)!

Marie Myriam was set to open semi-final 1 of Destination Eurovision on Saturday 13 January, bur her performance was re-scheduled and she will appear in semi-final 2, Saturday 20 January on France 2.

About Marie Myriam

Marie Myriam (born Myriam Lopès, married name Myriam Lopès Elmosnino, Luluabourg/Kananga, former Belgian Congo, 1957) is a French singer of Portuguese descent, born in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa.

She moved to Paris with her family, aged 6. Her parents opened a Portuguese restaurant, Le Ribatejo, where fado-singers would perform, and Myriam discovered her love for singing.

It was there that she was discovered by singer and composer Jean-Paul Cara, who (co-)composed several Eurovision entries (Catherine Ferry, Jean Gabilou, and the French version of Ein bißchen Frieden by NicoleLa paix sur terre). She took the stage-name Marie Myriam.

Her first single, Ma colombe (My dove), was a hit in France and Québec, Canada.

Marie Myriam represented France at the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest in London, the United Kingdom. She eventually won the contest with her entry L’oiseau et l’enfant (The bird and the child), composed by Jean-Paul Cara and lyrics by Joe Gracy, receiving 136 points.

Marie Myriam went on to have a successful career, establishing herself as one of France’s iconic singers.

She married artistic director and music producer Michel Elmosnino, who passed away in 2013. The couple have two children, daughter Laureen and son Richard (Rick).

In the past years, Marie Myriam has gradually retreated from public performances.