Mireille Mathieu, a French voice that resonates around the world

Born on July 22, 1946 in Avignon, Mireille Mathieu is a popular French singer all over the world and has been for more than 50 years. Mireille Mathieu released her first album in 1966 and she quickly became a star in France and abroad. She has recorded over 1200 songs and sold nearly 130 million records. His instantly recognizable voice has charmed audiences for decades, earning him multiple accolades throughout his career. In this article, we’re going to take a look at his early days and his amazing journey, not to mention his greatest hits.

The beginnings of Mireille Mathieu

Her father, a baritone singer and lover of great voices, introduced her to Edith Piaf during her childhood and Mireille Mathieu took part in her first singing competition in 1962, in her town of Avignon. She finished second, behind a famous Michèle Torr! But it was by singing “la vie en rose” by Edith Piaf during the year 1964 that she won first place in the annual competition. Her talent is immediately noticed by the deputy mayor of Avignon, Mr. Raoul Colombe, who quickly hastens to register Mireille Mathieu in the “game of chance”, the famous tele-hook hosted by Raymond Marcillac. In 1965, Mireille Mathieu was noticed by Johnny Starck, her future impresario, and she opened for Dionne Warwick and Sacha Distel at the Olympia in December 1965. In 1966, Mireille Mathieu made her first Olympia and interpreted her first successes as “my credo” or even “come to my street”. Also in 1966, Mireille Mathieu flew to the United States to participate in the program “The Ed Sullivan Show”. The talent of Mireille Mathieu is confirmed with her interpretation of “Angry Paris”, a famous song from the film “Paris brule-t’il” released in 1966. The disc will sell nearly half a million copies.

Mireille Mathieu in 1968

The international career of Mireille Mathieu

From 1967, the song “the last waltz” (the last waltz) allows him to participate in the Royal Variety Performance in England, in front of Queen Elizabeth II. From the end of the 1960s, Mireille Mathieu multiplied her participation in international shows in England and America, allowing her to compete with big stars like Tom Jones or Cliff Richards. In 1969, the song “Hinter den Kulissen von Paris” opened the doors to Germany and during the 1970s, other successes in the country. In 1977, the song “a thousand doves” and “Santa-Maria de la mer” in 1978 accompanied by the little singers with the wooden cross, will be huge successes in France and Germany.

The greatest duets of Mireille Mathieu

In 1979, Mireille Mathieu recorded 2 albums with Paul Anka, one in French, the other in English. Mireille Mathieu also appears regularly in duets during the variety shows of Maritie and Gilbert Carpentier. In 1981, she interpreted “the winner take it all” an adaptation of the hit of the famous group ABBA and in 1983, a duet with Patrick Duffy, alias Bobby Ewing of the Dallas Series, entitled “Together we are strong”. During her career, Mireille Mathieu will also perform many duets alongside great artists such as:

  • Nana Mouskouri : song “la paloma adieux” in 1975
  • Petula Clark : song “it’s so good” in 1978
  • Dean Martin : “Don’t fence me in” in 1978
  • Paul Anka : “You and I” in 1979
  • Placido Domingo : “all my dreams” in 1983
  • Peter Hoffmann : Scarborough Fair in 1983
  • Barry Manilow : “Don’t take me of love” in 1986…
Mireille Mathieu and Patrick Duffy during a reunion in 2018

The greatest successes of Mireille Mathieu

During her career, Mireille Mathieu has performed many great hits that have marked the public such as:

  • Angry Paris : released in 1966, with music by Maurice Jarre.
  • A woman in love : released in 1980, it is a French adaptation of the song “woman in love” interpreted by Barbrara Streisand and composed by the Bee Gees
  • A thousand doves : released in 1977, this song composed by Eddy Marnay will also be performed in German under the title “Nimm noch einmal die gitarre”.
  • Acropolis adieu : this German song released in 1971 is one of Mireille Mathieu’s greatest hits. There is also an English version “Goodbye my love” and a Spanish version “Acropolis adios”.
  • Paloma adieu : this song from 1973 also exists in its German, Spanish and English version.

Mireille Mathieu in a few figures

Mireille Mathieu has recorded more than 1200 titles and sung in 11 languages: French, German, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Finnish, Japanese, Chinese, Catalan and Occitan. Mireille Mathieu has sold more than 130 million albums and 55 million 45 rpm records worldwide since the start of her career. His records have been distributed by Barclay, Philips, Ariola, EMI and Sony Music record labels. In France, Mireille Mathieu has sold 23 million records and 30 of her songs have been ranked in the hit parades. Mireille Mathieu also likes to perform in concert around the world. Large cities such as Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Warsaw have hosted the “French singer” on tour or performing.

Mireille Mathieu in concert in 2019

The most beautiful awards attributed to Mireille Mathieu

During her career, Mireille Mathieu has received numerous awards and distinctions:

  • National Order of Merit awarded in 1987 by President François Mitterrand
  • Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1999 by President Jacques Chirac
  • Order and Friendship Medal in 2004 by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
  • Officer of the Legion of Honor in 2011 by President Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Medal of the Diocese of Gap and Embrun in 2014 by Monsignor Di Falco

Mireille Mathieu was awarded a ruby disc in 2005 to reward her record sales, which at the time amounted to 122 million copies worldwide. In October 2019, Mireille Mathieu also inaugurated the new tramway in Avignon, the famous city of the festival, of which a train bears her name.


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