It is with great sadness that we learn that François Guy has passed away.
The singer-songwriter was the spouse of the actress Isabelle Lajeunesse, the daughter of Janette Bertrand.
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The announcement of his death was made late Monday evening by journalist Sylvain Cormier. On his Facebook account, the latter wrote a note, with Isabelle’s agreement, where we learn that François Guy died suddenly last Friday, at the age of 76, following a stupid fall in his cottage.
Here is the full text:
“FOR FRANCOIS GUY…
1947 – 2023
The following text is a sort of press release, written at the request and with the authorization of Isabelle Lajeunesse, spouse of François Guy, following the latter’s sudden death, which occurred accidentally last Friday.
It is not a priori a publication of Le Devoir. This is a text from me, from Isabelle. Written and spoken media, digital platforms can quote it or repeat it in full, it’s up to you. For immediate release.
FOR FRANCOIS GUY…
1947 – 2023
“It’s not the same when you’re not there”
It would take the right words to tell you that not too violently. A joke, which would still make you laugh. Something joyful, mischievous, tender, loving, not sad. Something à la François Guy. He should be the one writing. There is no way to make a song out of it, which would rhyme with something. Sense. But no, facts are facts, and death is death.
François Guy died last Friday, May 12. He was 76 years old. It happened at Labelle’s chalet. Suddenly, as they say. An accident, as stupid as the most cursed accidents. A fall, a terrible fall. Instant death. “Five minutes before, he was singing,” says his beloved Isabelle, the Isabelle of the song Isabelle, his companion for 41 years, who asked me to write these words.
So that’s the press release. This is not a real press release. It’s just because it’s too hard for her, too hard for their beautiful children, Félix who is 38 years old, Zoé who is 30. Too hard for the family, the very close relatives, almost all faithful friends for years. decades. So I said yes, for them and for him. Close by far, but close nonetheless.
What to tell you? The career, I don’t really want to, even if his songs have accompanied us so much. Yes, there are the Sinners from 1965 where he was the John Lennon with his pointed nose; yes François le Sinner with Louis Parizeau le Sinner, Andrée Cousineau and Michèle Mercure in the film Kid Sentiment by Godbout; yes The French Revolution and the Quebec anthem (and the first part of The Doors at the Forum!); yes, his headlining role in the famous Hair at the Comédie-Canadienne in 1970; yes John, James & François who wanted so much to succeed in the USA; yes, the musical revues of the 1970s, Tout Chaud, Circociel, Paquet voleur, L’Île en ville. Yes the song Cinema, cinemas with Chloé Sainte-Marie for Gilles Carle.
Yes oh yes, there are the handful of albums signed François Guy, his songs which from time to time became more and more delicate and transparent with emotion (I prefer happiness, Ivre de vivre, Flaner sous la mer.. .), which was not nothing for this braggart who gladly joked, to laugh and not reveal too much.
Once with Isabelle, love with a capital I, he sang without a filter. The songs he offered to others benefited immensely, Je t’aime un point c’est tout, for Renée Martel, Y a les mots, for Francine Raymond, many others.
Yes yes, all that, and much more, I summarize. I can hear it, François, it was in 2000, telling those who were trying to perform for the Ma première place des arts competition, when he took over the SACEF (Society for the Advancement of la chanson d’expression française): “It’s going to do the classic songs, you’re going to sing me the songs of your contemporaries, recent ones, new ones!” It was his fight, not badly won, I think. That’s where we met, at the FrancoFolies de Spa too. We ran a little garage sales, he was a fan of Spirou.
Isabelle was there, at SACEF, in Spa, I have always known them together, ideally complementary and accomplices, teenagers and adults at the same time. Their solidarity, in the incredible story of organ donation between their children, was admirable: they saved their lives!
The companion, the father, the friend. A human being of quality without concessions, who loved his world and took care of it, and who was immersed in music. Four guitars and two pianos in the house. In recent years, after the episode of Old Criss, a group for fun between consenting seniors of the song, he continued to scratch his guitar and rhyme gently. Far from the career, but always craftsman of songs.
I can’t believe he’s gone. A song by him comes to mind, on repeat. “It’s not the same when you’re not there.” A song for Isabelle. A song for who wanted it, a song for us. This is the song we sing to him today. And that he will sing to us again, through the magic of recording. The living voice.
From your friend Sylvain
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Many colleagues, friends and subscribers took the time to express their sympathy.
We join them and take this opportunity to send our deepest condolences to the loved ones.