Maurane, the Brussels-born singer popular in French-speaking Belgium and France, has died at the age of 57. Maurane – real name Claudine Luypaerts – was found on Monday by a friend at her home in Schaerbeek.
The cause of death was not immediately clear, and the Brussels prosecutor’s office ordered an autopsy to be carried out – standard procedure in the case of any unexplained death. However the results are not expected to be known for several weeks, the office said.
Her death caused a shock wave in Brussels, given her age, and the fact that she had performed in a concert in the Grand Place for the Fête de l’Iris, the main Brussels festival. Yesterday, following her death, the city staged an impromptu broadcast of her most loved recordings on the square in her honour. In Schaerbeek, meanwhile, the municipal council agreed to name a previously anonymous square Square Maurane, and to organise an homage at the next full meeting of the council.
“Maurane was one of our most talented singers, someone who rose to international acclaim thanks to a lyrical quality, warm, playful and recognisable to everyone,” said Walloon culture minister Alda Greoli. Walloon minister-president Willy Borsus said he was “profoundly saddened”.
Belgian prime minister Charles Michel posted a statement on Twitter: “A committed artist left us last night. Maurane, a singer out of the ordinary, and inspiring voice, an endearing personality.”
Her fellow artists also paid fulsome tribute. Lara Fabian, with whom she had recorded, posted to her Facebook page: “I can’t believe I will never again hear you laughing and singing. Here I sit in my little white office in Montreal, unable to believe you are no more. A piece of my life has departed with you, and I can never be the same again.”
French TV presenter Nikos Aliagas described her as having “a voice of velvet” and commented, “Some awakenings are like nightmares.”