France Gall: Who is the singer who Google honours today?

On 9 October 2023, Google chose to honour French singer France Gall. Who is she and why?

France Gall Google
© Keystone-France / GETTY IMAGES
France Gall Google

For those of us who have to use Google to work everyday, the changes in Google Doodles are always welcome. They are nice little treats.

Discover our latest podcast

In the past, Google celebrated events like Teachers’ Day and Earth Day or people such as Willi Ninja, an icon of ballroom culture, and Alan Rickman, the actor known for playing Professor Snape in the Harry Potter saga. These examples are just a few but, overall, Google tries to hit a wide range of people with the events and celebrities they honour.

So why did France Gall, a French singer who passed away in 2018, is being celebrated by Google today?

Who is France Gall?

France Gall is a French singer who was very popular in France. Some of her songs like Ella, Elle L’a or Résiste are classics in France.

France Gall was born in 1947 under the name Isabelle Geneviève Marie Anne Gall. It was almost natural for her to become a singer as her father was a lyricist for singers Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour. In 1963, her father encouraged her to send a demo to a producer and this led to France Gall auditioning and being signed by the record label Phillips.

At the beginning of her career, France Gall collaborated with Serge Gainsbourg. Their songs became hits. France Gall’s career hit new heights when she recorded the children’s song Sacré Charlemagne which was number 1 in 1965.

That same year, France Gall represented Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest and won with her song Poupée de Cire, Poupée de son. Her win at Eurovision which made her famous around the globe. Poupée de Cire, Poupée de son was recorded in French, German, Italian and Japanese. At the end of the 1960s, Gall’s French career was struggling so she began to sing in German.

In the 1970s and 1980s, France Gall’s French career started again as she changed her collaborators. Most of her famous songs are from this era. In 1992, France Gall’s husband, singer, song-writer Michel Berger died of a heart attack leaving Gall shaken. She only returned to the studio in 1996 and she retired in 1997. France Gall died in 2018 of cancer.

Why is France Gall celebrated by Google?

According to Google Doodle, France Gall is celebrated on her birthday as ‘one of the most influential yé-yé singers.’ The Yé-yé era began in the early 1960’s and is a type of pop music derived from the work of The Beatles. The term Yé-yé comes from the English words ‘Yeah Yeah’.

But Google is not just celebrating her birthday today. They are celebrating her philanthropic work as well. They write:

Somehow, she still made time to do philanthropic work. Over the years, she organized food drives, held fundraisers, and donated proceeds from some of her songs as well as doing work directly on the ground for causes she supported.

Finally, France Gall was a breast cancer survivor and her birthday happens to fall during breast cancer awareness month. Though she didn’t die of breast cancer, France Gall’s successful treatment reminds us that it is crucial to get checked for this disease that kills thousands of people each year.

Read more:

Jane Birkin's fortune: Who are her daughters and how much are they going to inherit?

Céline Dion: Another health update reveals that the singer’s voice might never be the same

Jane Birkin: Attempted burglary of the singer's Paris home, two days after her death



The Guardian: France Gall obituary

This is what the 'Teen Wolf' actors are doing today This is what the 'Teen Wolf' actors are doing today