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Who was Annie Cordy?

Credit: Belga

The death of singer and actress Annie Cordy has made headlines across Belgium as tributes poured in from celebrities in Belgium and France alike. For those who don’t know who she was, here’s a brief look at the singer best known for songs like “Tata Yoyo” and “La bonne du curé”.

Cordy was born Léonie Cooreman in Laeken, Brussels, on 16 June 1928. She started dancing and singing at a young age. She was noticed by the artistic director of the Lido in Paris, where she moved on 1 May 1950 after being convinced by him.

Just two years later, she started recording her first hits and appearing on the big screen. She went on to record over 700 songs and appear in musical comedies, films, TV series and plays, as well as 10,000 live shows.

She was made Baroness in 2004 by King Albert II, taking “La passion fait la force” (Passion is strength) as her motto. It is a play on Belgium’s national motto, “L’union fait la force” (Union is strength).

Tributes poured in not only from Belgian politicians and celebrities, but also from France. Cordy took the French nationality and died at her home near Cannes in the South of France. French president Emmanuel Macron as well as the football club Paris-Saint-Germain paid tribute to Cordy, as did Disney, who she also leant her voice to.

A tribute will be paid to Cordy on Brussels’ Grand Place, with her photo projected onto City Hall and some of her biggest hits being broadcast in her memory until Saturday, the day of her funeral. The city has also opened a register of condolences at City Hall, which will be available for at least a week.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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