Françoise Hardy: A Life in Photos

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The French pop star Françoise Hardy, who died on Tuesday at the age of 80, was celebrated for her beauty and style, always striking the perfect pose whether she was doing a fashion shoot or had gotten caught in a candid picture. Hardy’s self-possession could be intimidating, but her songs created a sense of intimacy, pulling listeners close by exploring emotional depths, and she earned the love and loyalty of pop aficionados, devoted aesthetes and lonely souls.

In these images we gathered, notice how she sometimes seems to be looking at us, even though we are looking at her. Notice also what is not there, besides any bad angles: no come-hither poses, no inviting décolleté, no exposed gams, and almost no teeth — Hardy’s smiles were of the closed lips, amused kind, not open-mouthed beams. In a photo captured on a motorboat, she’s the only one not wearing a bathing suit as she turns her face to the sun in what looks like serene bliss.

Hardy was no prude and enjoyed fun — she was prone to fits of laughter, her close friend the singer Étienne Daho remembered in a brief eulogy — but she led her life and career while remaining true to herself, on her terms: watching the world with curiosity, artistically exacting, a little aloof and a little curmudgeonly, and always passionate.

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