Jean-Louis Murat, as well known for his music and his voice as his commitment, is dead.
Jean-Louis Murat is no more!
The French singer died on Thursday, May 25 at the age of 71, his entourage said, without however specifying the causes of death.
A talented singer-songwriter and performer, this Auvergnat by birth, deeply attached to his region of origin, was a special figure in the French musical landscape, due to his prolific production but also his outspokenness and his commitment.
Born on January 28, 1952 in Chamalières (Puy-de-Dôme), Jean-Louis Bergheaud (his real name) grew up in the village of Murat-le-Quaire (hence his pseudonym) where his grandparents owned a farm. .
Introduced to music at the age of 7 when he joined a brass band, he first learned to play the drum and then the cornet, before taking up the saxophone when he entered the conservatory.
Very quickly attracted to singing, he also began to write poems from the age of 9, then discovered soul and jazz in college, thanks to a passionate teacher who introduced him to black music.
In 1967, Jean-Louis Murat obtained his baccalaureate as a free candidate, becoming the first Bergheaud to obtain the precious diploma.
Married at the age of 17, he became a father two years later then divorced his wife before leaving everything to lead a bohemian life, somewhat hectic and made of wandering.
After having traveled all over Europe, living off odd jobs here and there, he is in turn a journalist in Paris, a ski instructor in Avoriaz or even a beach attendant in Saint-Tropez.
This period when he is looking for himself will be marked by an aborted suicide attempt, which sounds like a click for him.
In 1977, then aged 25, he returned to Murat-le-Quaire and decided to devote himself entirely to music. He founded a first rock group called “Clara” with friends from Clermont.
Author-composer and performer, he also plays the saxophone as well as the guitar within this group whose talent will catch the eye of a certain William Sheller who invites Jean-Louis Murat and his friends to come and do some some of its first parts, while employing them as musicians in a sporadic way.
The group broke up at the turn of the 1980s, but Jean-Louis Murat persevered in solo and recorded a first 45 rpm maxi with Pathé Marconi EMI in 1981, still under the impetus of William Sheller.
Baptized “Suicidez-vous le Peuple est Mort”, this disc attracted some critics but turned out to be a commercial failure. And to make matters worse, Europe 1 censors the title on the pretext that it could encourage some young people to take action by committing suicide.
Not cooled by this setback, he released a second eponymous disc in 1982 then his real first album (“Private Passions”) in 1984. But here too, success was not there and his record company decided to separate from him, after a joint tour with Charlélie Couture.
It was not until 1987 that his career finally took off with the release of the 45 rpm “If I should miss you” (Virgin) which met with some critical and commercial success. Jean-Louis Murat was then 35 years old.
In 1989, he confirms with his new album “Cheyenne Autumn”, which contains some of his most famous titles including “The fallen angel” or “Keep you close to me”.
Two years later in 1991, the general public truly discovered him with the single “Regrets”, which he performed in duet with Mylène Farmer, then at the height of her career.
A huge commercial hit, the song propelled Jean-Louis Murat to the forefront and his next album, entitled “Le Manteau derain”, brought him into the top 50 for the first time in the spring of 1992 thanks to the song “Sentiment nouveau”. “.
Between 1993 and 1999, the artist recorded three albums entitled “Vénus”, “Dolorès” and above all “Mustango”, in which he asserted himself as a committed singer.
During the next 20 years, he distinguished himself by his prolific side by recording no less than fifteen albums, with more or less success, thus securing a place of choice in the French musical landscape.
His timbre of voice but also his sincere and committed texts were his trademark.
In parallel with his career as a singer, this great sports enthusiast (especially football and cycling) had also made a few appearances in the cinema in a handful of films.
Married several times and ” multi-divorced ” as he liked to say, Jean-Louis Murat was the father of 4 children.