|Who is it?||Actress, Music Department, Soundtrack|
|Birth Day||September 12, 1961|
|Birth Place||Montréal, Québec, Canada|
|Age||59 YEARS OLD|
|Birth name||Mylène Jeanne Gautier|
|Genres||Pop Rock Synthpop Electronic New wave Dance|
|Occupation(s)||Singer songwriter record producer actress mass merchant|
|Labels||Polydor, Sony Music|
|Associated acts||Laurent Boutonnat Moby Seal Archive Alizée Ben Harper Jean-Louis Murat RedOne Sting Jeff Dahlgren|
Mylène Farmer was born in Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada. Her parents, Max Gautier (originally from Marseille) and his wife Marguerite (born in Lennon, in Brittany) moved from France in the late 1950s as Farmer's father pursued an engineering contract on a dam. Her family moved back to France when she was eight, settling in the Parisian suburb of Ville-d'Avray. When she first arrived in France, she took speech classes after her school declared her Québécois accent to be "improper" – this is why she now speaks with the accent of metropolitan France. In her teenage years, Farmer was passionate about horse-riding, qualifying as a riding instructor at the Equestrian centre in Saumur. At the age of 17, however, Farmer discovered acting and she left the stables to undertake a three-year course at the Cours Florent, a drama school in Paris. Changing her name to Mylène Farmer as a tribute to her idol, 1930's Hollywood Actress Frances Farmer, she began to earn a living as a model acting in several TV adverts such as those for Fiskars, Caisse d'Epargne etc.
After Boutonnat and Jérôme Dahan (a young songwriter) co-wrote the song, Farmer was auditioned and eventually chosen to record "Maman a tort" (one of the few songs not to be written by Farmer herself), which became a mild success in March 1984. The video, which cost the mere sum of 5000₣, became controversial, due to the song's ambiguous lyrics (a woman falls in love with her female nurse).
Despite the minor success of her first two singles, Farmer, helped by Boutonnat, started working on her first album, Cendres de lune. Even though the album was almost entirely written by Boutonnat, it was then that it was decided that Farmer would write the lyrics to her songs - Boutonnat would write the music and direct the videos. "Libertine", the album's lead single, was released in March 1986 and set the tone for Farmer's musical style. The sensual, romantic lyrics were inspired by 19th century literature. As for the video, which has a running time of over 10 minutes, Boutonnat was inspired by the film Barry Lyndon and the novels by Marquis de Sade, thus giving the video a cinematic style. Farmer, lit by candlelights, is shrouded in mystery and sexual ambiguity. It also was the very first video in which a French female singer appeared in full-frontal nudity. The following single, "Tristana", also met with great success and its video carried the cinematic approach.
In 1988, Boutonnat and Farmer started to work on her follow-up album, Ainsi soit je... (a play on the French expression ainsi soit-il, meaning "so be It" or "amen"). This album, infused with a much darker atmosphere, is more sexually ambiguous than her previous one, featuring songs inspired by Farmer’s favourite authors, including the French romantic poet Charles Baudelaire and the American horror Writer Edgar Allan Poe. The album sold 1.8 million copies on the back of the No. 2 hit "Sans contrefaçon" as well as her first No. 1 hit, "Pourvu qu'elles soient douces". The other singles "Sans logique" and the title song were also hits in France, while the Juliette Gréco cover "Déshabillez-moi" became a fan favourite. Ainsi soit je... was the best-selling female album in France of the 1980s.
In spite of her drama courses, Farmer found it difficult to overcome shyness when facing an audience. She hesitantly agreed to tour in 1989. After test-singing in a small venue in Saint-Étienne, the singer went to Paris to perform at the Palais des Sports for a week in May. Following the positive response of the audience, she agreed to a full-scale 52-date tour throughout francophone Europe. A live album documenting the tour was released at the end of that year, titled En Concert. It featured a new song, "A quoi je sers" (What Am I Good For), in which she questioned the Future of her career. The tour costumes were created by the famous French designer Thierry Mugler.
Prior to the release of the album's third single on 19 November 1991 a disturbed man who had been stalking Farmer entered the Polydor Records headquarters in Paris and held employees at gunpoint demanding to talk to her. The man had previously written the singer some fan mail, which she did not respond to. He killed the receptionist. Following this occurrence, Farmer shunned media attention and left France to live in Los Angeles for a few weeks.
In late 1992, she released the remix album Dance Remixes, a two-disc set containing 14 remixes of the singer's greatest dance hits plus a new song: the single "Que mon cœur lâche". As usual, Farmer did not shy away from controversy; "Que mon cœur lâche", a song dealing with AIDS and sexual relations, is accompanied by a video directed by Luc Besson (the first time in the singer's career that a video wasn't directed by Boutonnat) in which Farmer plays an angel sent down to earth by God (who refuses to send Jesus again, stating that "last time it was a disaster") to save mankind from itself. The imagery in the clip references pop stars, condoms, prostitution, homosexuality and drug use. The single was also recorded in an English version, "My Soul Is Slashed".
"Que mon cœur lâche" would be the last single released by Farmer in 3 years. In the meantime the singer would star in a movie, as her longtime collaborator had written a script he had wanted to direct for a long time. The result was the ill-fated Giorgino (1994). The film, shot in English, was a huge critical and commercial flop. Budgeted at 80 million francs, it was seen by only 60,000 people and recovered only 1% of its budget. One of the main reasons for the film's flop was its length of over three hours. According to Farmer herself, the bad reception of Giorgino was particularly hard on Boutonnat, who was directing his first feature film, something he would not do again for 13 years until the release of Jacquou le Croquant in 2007. Following the lukewarm reception of the film, Farmer decided to leave France to take a long break in the United States.
The Mylène Farmer-International Fan Club (MFIFC) existed from 1995 to 2001. At its peak, it had over ten thousand subscribers in 37 countries. The club published subscriber-only fanzines, which included interviews with people who personally knew Mylène, including Khaled, Marcus Nispel, Abel Ferrara, H. R. Giger and Paco Rabanne. They also organised a fan tour in which several members attended concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
In summer 1996, Farmer embarked on her second concert tour, which met with huge success. The corresponding live album, Live à Bercy, is currently the best-selling French live album ever. During the tour, Farmer sang a Raï version of Michel Polnareff's La Poupée qui fait non with Khaled, which was released as a promotional single from the live album and became a Top 10 hit in France.
During her time in California, Farmer started to write her fourth studio album, Anamorphosée. The album was launched by "XXL", a rock song with blasting electric guitars, and a video directed by Marcus Nispel featuring Farmer strapped to the front of a moving train. The single became her first to debut at No. 1. Anamorphosée debuted at No. 2 in the album charts and sold half a million copies in three months. The album continued to sell well with the release of "L'Instant X", "California" (a jazzy-pop ballad bolstered with bass guitar featuring a highly acclaimed video directed by Abel Ferrara), "Comme j'ai mal" and "Rêver", which helped the album reach No. 1 in January 1997 – 16 months after its release – gaining a Diamond certification. The album is the first to contain music written by Farmer ("Tomber 7 fois...").
In late 1999, Farmer embarked on her third concert tour, the Mylenium Tour, which set the record of the highest grossing tour by a non-English speaking Artist. The stage of the show featured a huge pharaonic statue at the center of the stage from which she emerged and flew before being carried down by the hand of this very statue. During the tour, Farmer released the album's third and fourth singles: "Souviens-toi du jour" and "Optimistique-moi".
In 2000, Farmer and Boutonnat had assembled songs and video ideas they felt appropriate for a younger, new star. They began the search for a female singer to break into the French charts – they found Alizée Jacotey, a 15-year-old contestant on the French television show Graines de stars. They wrote and produced Alizée's albums Gourmandises and Mes courants électriques. Alizée's biggest hit, "Moi... Lolita" reached the top of the charts and she became the most successful French singer that year. In 2001, Le Figaro announced Farmer as top earning French entertainer of the year thanks, in part, to her writing, recording, and producing credits of Alizée's music, which earned 10.4 million €.
Farmer's second greatest hits collection, titled 2001.2011, was released in late 2011, featuring all of her hit singles recorded after 2001's Les Mots.
In December 2004, after a long period of silence, Farmer held a press conference announcing her new album, Avant que l'ombre... and the single "Fuck Them All" as well as a special 13-night concert engagement at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in January 2006. This era featured no further promotion, and marked a new level of reclusivity for the star, who simply stated "What I have to say is in my music". She also announced her new series of concerts in Paris-Bercy, a show designed by Mark Fisher. She explained that she could not tour due to the complex sets of the performances of the show, which featured two stages, a mobile bridge to link the two stages and a curtain of words written with water.
Alizée's image was crafted by Farmer and Boutonnat; she was allowed a few interviews of no more than 20 minutes and a limited number of promotional appearances. In 2005, after two successful albums and a concert tour, Alizée amicably parted ways with the duo to meet different songwriters and producers.
As announced in her press conference, she returned to the stage in January 2006 for 13 dates in Paris-Bercy. A live album and concert DVD, Avant que l'ombre... à Bercy were released in December 2006. Within months, the DVD became the best-selling music DVD in France ever.
In 2007, Farmer's long-time songwriting partner, Laurent Boutonnat, directed his second feature film, Jacquou le Croquant. Farmer recorded the theme song of the film, "Devant soi", for the end credits. During that period, she also worked on the French version of Luc Besson's animated feature Arthur and the Minimoys, lending her voice to Selenia, the character voiced by Madonna in the international version. The movie was a box-office hit.
Meanwhile, in 2008, Farmer announced a new protégée in the vein of Alizée: Lisa, Farmer's niece. Her lead single, "Drole de creepie", was released in September 2008, produced and written by Boutonnat and Farmer. The song accompanied the hit children's series, Growing Up Creepie, and the video depicts Lisa dressed as Creepie Creecher. Unlike Farmer & Boutonnat's previous side-projects, Lisa is marketed primarily to children.
The album Bleu Noir was released on 6 December 2010, produced by Farmer, Redone, Moby and Archive. It entered the French album chart at No. 1 and remained at the top for three consecutive weeks. It was the 9th best selling album in France in 2010, with more than 300,000 copies sold in only three weeks. It has sold so far 600,000 copies reaching Diamond status within three months of its release. It also broke the record for best debut in the Downloads Chart, with 9,000 copies sold.
In early 2012, Farmer said that she was recording a new album which was to be released in late 2012. A new single, "À l'ombre" had its radio premiere on 22 October 2012. It reached number one in the French Singles Chart, becoming her twelfth number-one solo single and thirteenth overall. Farmer's album was titled Monkey Me and entered the French charts at number one on 11 December 2012, with sales of 147,000.
Farmer's tour for the album, Timeless 2013, started in September 2013. Nearly 200,000 tickets were sold on the first day. More than 500,000 people in total attended the tour.
In 2014, Alizée revealed plans to include a song named for the singer on her Blonde album. The song, written by Lionel Florence, tells the story of an obsessed fan. Alizée revealed in an interview that the song is meant to pay tribute and respect to Farmer. Although the two no longer work together, she mentioned that she is still a big fan.
On 15 March 2017, it was announced that Farmer signed a new record deal with Sony Music Entertainment, leaving her previous label, Universal.
Mylène Farmer - Rolling Stone (audio) Published on 18 January 2018 Directed and co-composed by Feder.