Mylene Farmer

Mylene Farmer

Mylène Farmer born Mylène Jeanne Gautier (September 12, 1961), in Montreal, Canada, is a French singer, songwriter, occasional actress and author.

She has sold 25 million records and is among the most successful recording artists of all time in France.

Mylène Gautier was born in Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada, a suburb (now borough) of Montreal. Her parents moved from France to Canada in the late 1950s as Farmer’s father, Max, pursued an engineering contract on a dam. Her family returned to France when she was eight, settling in the Parisian suburb of Ville-d’Avray. In her teenage years, Farmer was passionate about horse-riding, going on to qualify as a riding instructor at the equestrian centre in Saumur. At 17, however, Mylene Farmer discovered her other passion, acting, and she abandoned the stables to take a three-year course at the Cours Florent, a drama school in Paris. Changing her name to Mylène Farmer (after her favourite American actress Frances Farmer), she began to earn a living as a model acting in several TV ads.
In 1984, Farmer met Laurent Boutonnat, a young film student also enrolled in Cours Florent, when she replied to a newspaper ad for an actress for a small film he was working on. Farmer and Boutonnat became friends and forged a creative partnership, writing and producing all her music. Boutonnat, whose ambition was to become a film director, was also the driving force behind Mylène’s videos. Much of Farmer’s fame and success can be attributed to elaborate and theatrical music videos which are often eight minutes or longer. Her concerts and videos are often compared to those of Michael Jackson and Madonna (“Pourvu qu’elles soient douces” lasts 17 minutes, while “California” was directed by Abel Ferrara and cost $700,000).
Farmer gained fame with songs featuring ambiguous or shocking lyrics, and somewhat explicit music videos: “Maman a tort” was about the love of a young girl for her female hospital nurse. “Pourvu qu’elles soient douces” was about a man with an obsession for the buttocks of his lover, with hints of sodomy; the video, set in the 18th century, featured a caning. “Libertine” is said to feature the first full frontal nudity appearance by a singer on a major music video. “Que mon cœur lâche” was about love with condoms in the age of AIDS; the video for the song features a scene in which God tells Jesus he won’t send him to Earth again because the last time “it was a disaster.”

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