Mireille Mathieu

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Known Credits 71

Gender Female

Birthday 1946-07-22 (76 years old)

Place of Birth Avignon, Vaucluse, France

Also Known As

  • Мирей Матьё

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Biography

Mireille Mathieu (born 22 July 1946), is a French singer. She has recorded over 1200 songs in eleven languages, with more than 122 million records sold worldwide.

Mireille Mathieu was born on 22 July 1946 in Avignon, France, the eldest daughter of a family of fourteen children; the youngest brother was born after she moved to Paris. Her father Roger and his family were native to Avignon, while her mother Marcelle-Sophie (née Poirier) was from Dunkirk. She arrived in Avignon in 1944 as a refugee from World War II after her grandmother had died, and her mother went missing. Roger, with his father Arcade, ran the family stonemason shop just outside the Saint-Véran cemetery main gate. The Mathieu family have been stonemasons for four generations. Today the shop is named Pompes Funèbres Mathieu-Mardoyan, owned and managed by her sister Réjane's family.

The Mathieu family lived in poverty, with a huge improvement in their living conditions in 1954, when subsidized housing was built in the Malpeigné quarter near the cemetery. Then again in 1961 they moved to a large tenement in the Croix des Oiseaux quarter southeast of the city.

Roger had once dreamed of becoming a singer, but his father Arcade disapproved, inspiring him to have one of his children learn to sing with him in church. Mireille included her father's operatic voice on her 1968 Christmas album, where it was mixed in with the Minuit Chrétiens song. Mireille's first paid performance before an audience, at age four, was rewarded with a lollipop when she sang on Christmas Eve 1950 during Midnight Mass. A defining moment was seeing Édith Piaf sing on television.

Mireille performed poorly in elementary school because of dyslexia, requiring an extra year to graduate. She was born left-handed, and her teachers used a ruler to strike her hand each time she was caught writing with it. She became right-handed, although her left hand remains quite animated while singing. She has a fantastic memory, and never uses a prompter on stage. Abandoning higher education, at age 14 (1961), and after moving to Croix des Oiseaux, she began work in a local factory in Montfavet (a suburb southeast of town) where she helped with the family income and paid for her singing lessons. Popular at work, she often sang songs at lunch, or while working. Like her parents, she is a short woman at 1.52 m (5 feet) in height. Her sister Monique, born on 8 July 1947, began work at the same factory a few months later. Both were given bicycles on credit to commute with, making for very long days, and many bad memories of riding against the mistral winds. The factory went out of business, so Mireille and two sisters (Monique, and Christiane) became youth counselors at a summer camp before her rise to fame, a summer where she had her fortune told by Tarot cards by an old Gypsy woman, saying she would soon mingle with Kings and Queens. ...

Source: Article "Mireille Mathieu" from Wikipedia in English, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Acting

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