Etienne Daho

Born : 14/01/1957 in Oran (Algeria)
Country : France
Language : French
Category : Composer / Male Artist / Songwriter
Style of music : Chanson

Etienne Daho was a passionate music fan in his teens, listening to records by the French 60's star Françoise Hardy as well as alternative American bands such as Lou Reed's Velvet Underground. Inspired by his musical idols, it was not long before the talented young singer/songwriter from Rennes went on to become a major star in his own right. In the early 80's Daho established himself as the undisputed King of French Pop with catchy modern, melodies such as his classic "Week-end à Rome".

Etienne Daho was a passionate music fan in his teens, listening to records by the French 60's star Françoise Hardy as well as alternative American bands such as Lou Reed's Velvet Underground. Inspired by his musical idols, it was not long before the talented young singer/songwriter from Rennes went on to become a major star in his own right. In the early 80's Daho established himself as the undisputed King of French Pop with catchy modern, melodies such as his classic "Week-end à Rome".

Etienne Daho was born on January 14, 1957, in the Algerian town of Oran, where he lived up until the age of 6. Etienne's father was employed by the army, while his mother worked as a chemist. Etienne's father abandoned his wife and family during the Algerian war of independence, however, and this episode would leave enormous emotional scars on the young Etienne. Following his parents' separation Etienne and his two sisters were sent to live with their grandparents who ran a bar/grocery shop on the coast. It was here that the young Etienne had his first contact with the world of music, sitting in front of the bar's jukebox hour after hour and listening to Sylvie Vartan, Françoise Hardy and other stars of the French "Yéyé" movement (a craze inspired by the American rock'n'roll wafting in from across the Atlantic). The young Etienne probably never dreamt for a moment that he would end up working with Sylvie Vartan and Françoise Hardy more than 20 years later.

The family returned to France at the end of the Algerian war and Etienne was sent to live with an uncle in Reims for several months. Then, in 1965, the family finally settled in Rennes. Growing up in this lively student town in Brittany with his mother and sisters, the young Etienne was soon introduced to the swinging sound of the 60's, listening to records by the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. Etienne soon became a passionate music fan, discovering the sound of the avant-garde New York group Velvet Underground (still a major influence on his work today).

In the 70's Etienne went on to collect albums by Nico, Lou Reed and David Bowie, before discovering the sound of Roxy Music and Brian Eno. In 1976, at the age of 19, Etienne went to London for the first time. There he discovered a thriving music scene and the excitement of the punk movement and he returned to Rennes thoroughly inspired by his stay. Rennes itself proved to be something of a hotbed for young musical talent and Etienne soon started hanging out on the music scene. He also began writing songs in his spare time (even though he had never received any formal music training). After passing his 'baccalauréat', Etienne went on to university to study English and art. But he soon abandoned his studies to devote himself to his music, earning a living through a series of odd jobs.

Hanging out on the Rennes music scene, Etienne built up a string of contacts and, on December 20 1978 he finally managed to organise a concert, featuring a star line-up of his favourite groups (including Marquis de Sade et les Stinky Toys, the group formed by Elli and Jacno). The following year, conquering his extremely shy nature, Etienne Daho finally appeared in concert himself, performing at "Les Transmusicales", the annual Rennes rock festival on June 14 1979. He performed with a temporary group "Entre les deux fils dénudés de la dynamo", made up of musicians from several local groups including the legendary Marquis de Sade. In June of the following year Etienne Daho "Junior" (a stage name presumably chosen to avoid confusion with his father, also called Etienne) overcame his stage fright once again to perform a solo concert, accompanied on stage by nothing but a backing track. He returned to the stage later that year (December 18) for the second edition of "Les Transmusicales, joined by musicians from Marquis de Sade and other local groups. Etienne Daho Junior's five songs went down extremely well with the audience at the Rennes festival.

Greatly encouraged by these musicians, and in particular by Franck Darcel from Marquis de Sade, Etienne was finally persuaded to record a series of demo tapes. One of these demos soon paid off and the singer was signed to record his début single, "Cowboy", on the small independent label CBH.

Daho's talent was then spotted by the British label Virgin (still relatively small and unknown at that time in France). After signing to Virgin, the singer dropped the 'Junior' of his previous stage name and becoming Etienne Daho. Daho was by now a prominent figure on the Rennes music scene and he was already performing a variety of local gigs with his group of five musicians (which included Franck Darcel on guitar and the young keyboard-player Arnold Turboust who also wrote much of Daho's material with him).

1981 - Daho records his debut album "Mythomane"

In 1981 Daho went into the studio with producer Jacno to record his début album, "Mythomane". The album, released in December of that year, did not sell as well as had been expected but music critics gave "Mythomane" an enthusiastic reception. Daho's reputation was beginning to spread beyond Rennes and a small, but extremely fervent, following of fans was beginning to build up in Paris. Daho gave his first concert in the capital on June 21 1982, appearing at the annual Fête de la Musique. Following the success of this concert, Daho decided it was time to concentrate his efforts on the Paris music scene and he moved to the capital with his two faithful musicians Darcel and Turboust.

In December 1982 Daho went back into the studio to record a new single, "Le grand sommeil". This proved to be an enormous hit, catapulting the young singer to the forefront of the French music scene. The single was even featured on the American compilation album "Made in France" (released in 1983). Encouraged by this first major success Daho devoted himself to writing new material for a second album, aided and abetted by Arnold Turboust and Franck Darcel.

Daho's second album, "La Notte la Notte", was released in May 1984, and a new single "Sortir ce soir" soon followed. The album rocketed straight to the top of the French charts and it was not long before Etienne Daho was being hailed as the most promising young talent on the French music scene. Writing in the prestigious daily newspaper "Le Monde" in July of that year the novelist Hervé Guibert would devote an entire page to the Daho phenomenon.

In July 1984 Daho set off to conquer America, flying to New York to perform at the famous Danceteria club with The Comateens.

1985 - Daho rockets to fame with "Tombé pour la France"

Meanwhile back in France Virgin released a second single from the album "La Notte la Notte" in September. "Weekend à Rome" proved an instant hit with the French public, as did the following string of singles. "Tombé pour la France", released in March 1985, proved a particular best-seller, accompanied as it was by an extremely popular video made by the cult young film-maker Jean-Pierre Jeunet (of "Delicatessen" fame). "Etienne Daho e Grupo" set off on tour on March 5th of that year, giving a memorable performance at the Olympia in Paris on March 18 which finished with a rousing standing ovation. Daho was not only an immense hit with the public, he also proved a great success with the critics who voted him Best Rock Artist of the Year in June, presenting him with the coveted "Bus d'Acier" award.

One of the outstanding highlights of Daho's career came in October 1985, when Françoise Hardy, one of Daho's all-time idols, presented him with a gold disc for sales of the album "La Notte la Notte". (Hardy had actually recorded one of the tracks on the album with Daho, singing on the duet "Et si je m'en vais avant toi"). The following year Daho was to co-write Françoise Hardy's biography with Jérôme Soligny ("Superstar et ermite" published in 1986).

1986 - Dahomania sweeps through France

1986 was to prove a pivotal year in Daho's career. "Dahomania" was to spread throughout France and the 29-year-old singer became the figurehead for the entire 80's pop generation. More importantly, Daho flew to London to record a new album (without his long-time partner Franck Darcel but still accompanied by his other loyal music partner Arnold Turboust). Daho produced the 11 tracks on the new album himself, working with the English musician and producer William Orbit, renowned for his innovative contribution to the experimental dance music scene.

Daho, who was extremely busy at this point, had not had much time to prepare the songs for his new album and practically improvised the whole thing in the studio. The result was superb, however. "Pop Satori" was an elegant fusion of smooth pop and catchy lyrics, which proved an instant hit with the French public when it was released with a brand new single Epaule Tattoo" on April 1 1986. After winning yet another gold disc in September, Daho set off on the "Satori" tour on October 15, performing at the prestigious Olympia music-hall (October 21-29) with Elli Medeiros as support act. The "Satori" tour ended with a triumphant performance at "Les Transmusicales" Festival in Rennes, Daho's hometown, where the singer really brought the house down on December 9 1986.

That same year Daho made his screen début, making a brief appearance in the young French director Olivier Assayas's film "Désordre". Daho also wrote one of the songs on the film's soundtrack ("Soleil de minuit") with his old songwriting partner Franck Darcel.

In April 1987 Daho won another award to add to his ever-growing collection, this time scooping the European Video Award for "Epaule Tattoo". The singer then released a new album, "ED Collection", featuring a selection of B-sides, remixes and new versions of previous Daho classics. Daho also landed another minor film role that year, appearing in Virginie Thévent's movie "Jeux d'artifice". But 1987 was largely given over to Daho's new production work with young up-and-coming artists on the French music scene. (Robert Farel, the group Max Valentins and the young girl singer Dani all owe their big breaks to Daho). Daho went on to produce the English singer Bill Pritchard's album "Three Months" in 1988. He then devoted his time and energy to songwriting, penning new material for Daniel Darc (a former member of the group Taxi Girl) and his old idol Françoise Hardy ("Laisse moi rêver").

At the start of 1988 Daho moved to London to begin writing material for his new album, "Pour nos vies martiennes", which was released on June 1 that year. The album, which featured a particularly spectacular cover designed by artist Guy Peelaert (renowned for his work with the Rolling Stones and David Bowie) went gold on the first day of its release, selling a phenomenal 100,000 copies.

The ensuing "Martian" tour was a huge success, attracting audiences of 200,000 between January and April 1989. When Daho performed at the Zénith in Paris (January 20 - 26) with a variety of special guest stars including Lio, Jérôme Pijon and Edith Fambuena (from the group Max Valentins) 3,000 fans flocked to see him every night. After a memorable performance at the Printemps de Bourges Festival in March, Daho's tour came to a triumphant end in London at the famous Marquee on April 21.

1989 - Live ED

Following this hugely successful tour, Daho released a new album, "Live ED", on October 1 1989. This live album, recorded at the Zénith concerts in Paris, proved another hit, selling 250,000 copies.

1989 was a year filled with numerous collaborations. Daho began the year working with the English producer Arthur Baker, who invited him to sing on his album alongside international stars such as Al Green and Jimmy Sommerville. Daho then went on to record a duet with Chris Isaak which featured in Bertrand Fèvre's short film "Tant pis pour l'Idaho". In 1990 Daho devoted his time and energy to his songwriting career, penning material for Mercedes Audras and Arnold Turboust as well as continuing his production work (with Les Valentins, Sylvie Vartan and singer Lio).

In 1991 Daho's career took a new turn when, after having worked in London throughout the 80's, he decided to focus his attention on the American music scene in the 90's. Daho, was already a great fan of American music (Blondie, Television, the Velvet Underground and Motown) and he soon decided it was time to get into the New York scene which he had discovered through his friendship with the group The Comateens.

So in June 1991 Daho moved into a flat in Greenwich Village, New York, with musician Edith Fambuena, just around the corner from the studio where the pair would begin work on Daho's new album. Edith played guitar on the album as well as co-producing it, and Daho was joined in the studio by a host of well-known international musicians including Billy Idol (who played bass and drums). Daho also invited a group of gospel singers to perform backing vocals on the album, which accentuated its strong soul feel. After a rather difficult period in the recording studio the new album was finally mixed in Paris.

"Paris ailleurs" was a more mature, sophisticated album than Daho's previous work. The lyrics also featured a strong autobiographical content, revealing the singer's sensual nature, hitherto unexplored in Daho's songs. Daho's fans had waited three entire years for the new album. So it was hardly surprising that "Paris ailleurs" had already gone gold even before its official release on December 9 1991 (thanks to thousands of advance orders). The album produced no less than five hit singles, beginning with the best-selling "Saudade" (a tribute to Lisbon, one of Daho's favourite cities). Interestingly enough, the ninth track on the album was a cover of his old idol Françoise Hardy's 1972 hit "La Berlue". The critics greeted the release of the new album with rapturous articles, hailing "Paris ailleurs" as an absolute masterpiece. Several critics even compared Daho to the late great French chanson star Serge Gainsbourg. 1991 proved to be a triumphant year for Daho - his début album "Mythomane" also went gold that year, ten years after its original release.

By 1992 sales of "Paris ailleurs" had topped the 500,000 mark, earning Daho a platinum disc to add to his extensive collection of awards. That year the singer was the driving force behind a special fund-raising project. Daho invited the best-known French singers and musicians into the studio to record a compilation album to raise money for various AIDS charities. The double album "Urgence" featured contributions from 27 French stars (including Jean-Jacques Goldman, Michel Jonasz, Francis Cabrel, Alain Souchon, Jane Birkin, Françoise Hardy and Patricia Kaas who recorded a magnificent cover version of "La Vie en Rose").

On October 3 1992 Daho kicked off the "Paris ailleurs" tour. Following four immensely successful concerts at the Zénith (October 10 - 13), Daho returned to Paris to perform at the Olympia on December 13 and 14 (where he was joined on stage by his old songwriting partner Arnold Turboust). On November 28 the singer gave a memorable performance in Reims with special guest star Sylvie Vartan.

1993 - Daho tours 14 different countries

The "Paris ailleurs" tour showed the full extent of the Daho phenomenon. The singer's concerts took him to no less than 14 different European countries and included dates as far afield as Canada and Japan. Daho returned to France on July 11, however, to perform at the famous Francofolies Festival in La Rochelle the same evening as Jacques Dutronc. Three days later Daho jetted off to Switzerland to perform at the Nyon Festival where he headlined alongside the likes of Iggy Pop.

Daho's next single, "Mon manège à moi", was taken from a compilation album on which French musicians and singers covered classics from the old French chanson repertoire. Needless to say "Mon manège à moi" rocketed straight to the top of the singles charts. Daho also chose to include it on his new album, "Daholympia", recorded live at the Olympia and released at the start of 1994. This album would prove to be as popular as Daho's previous albums, selling 250,000 copies in just a few months.

In 1994 Daho devoted his time and energy to new collaborations with his favourite artists. He produced Jacno's album "Faux témoin" (Jacno had produced Daho's own début album "Mythomane" in the early days of his career), then went on to produce Brigitte Fontaine's album "Genre Humain". After working on Elli and Jacno's Greatest Hits compilation, Daho produced an album for Arnold Turboust on his own label, Satori Song, and then went on to pen new material for Guesh Patti, Sylvie Vartan ("Quelqu'un qui me ressemble") and the duet "Tous les goûts sont dans ma nature", which he performed with Jacques Dutronc.

Daho scores a hit in England

Despite Daho's constantly busy touring and recording schedule rumours began to circulate in 95 that the singer was suffering from AIDS, several people affirming that he had even died from the illness. Shocked by these allegations, Daho instantly bounded back with a new mini-album, pointedly calling it "Reserection". Recorded in England with the group St Etienne, the album was released in October of that year but it failed to make any impact on the French music scene. Yet the mini-album (containing 5 tracks including "Accident" and a new English version of the hit "Weekend à Rome") proved a surprise hit in England, the single "He's on the Phone" rocketing to the top of the charts. Daho was soon invited to appear on "Top of the Pops" (the legendary BBC TV music show) where he appeared alongside a host of top British stars including Oasis, Everything But the Girl and David Bowie. Following his extraordinary success in England, Daho left his appartment in Montmartre and moved to the English capital to begin work on a new album with Arnold Turboust (who became Daho's producer after having failed to get his own solo career off the ground).

Daho's new single "Au commencement" was released on November 4 1996, just a few days before the singer's 40th birthday. Two weeks later his new album "Eden" hit the record stores, the cover showing a healthy, tanned Daho lying on a sumptuous beach on the Atlantic coast. This new album was a brilliant fusion of 90's sounds, mixing jungle, groove and pop with Brazilian bossa nova. Daho's sound was as melodic and dance-oriented as ever, while the lyrics, revolving around love and passion, proved superbly catchy. Daho was joined in the studio by a host of talented guest singers, including Sarah Cracknell from the group St Etienne, Elli Meideiros ("Rendez-vous au jardin des plaisirs"), Lyn Byrd from the Comateens ("Me manquer") and the legendary Brazilian star Astrud Gilberto ("Les Bords de Seine").

Following this phenomenal success, Daho branched out in a new direction, performing a show with the famous French actress Jeanne Moreau at the Théâtre Molière in Paris. Daho's contribution to the show, an innovative song version of Jean Genet's short story "Le Condamné à mort", delighted the audience of theatre-goers and music fans.

In 1997 Daho returned to the studio to record an English version of his hit album "Eden", giving British fans a taste of his smooth French pop style on the first single release "The New World" (the English version of "Au commencement"). In the autumn of 97 Daho made a major comeback on the French music scene after a long four-year break from touring. The singer's "Kaleidoscope Tour", a colourful techno-pop extravaganza, proved a big hit right across the country and Daho brought the house down when he appeared at the Olympia in Paris (27 - 30 November). The following year Daho went on to perform a highly successful concert in London on March 23. The popular French star then embarked on a major French tour in April 98.

At the end of 98 the King of French Pop was back in the headlines following the release of his Greatest Hits album. The album (an excellent retrospective of Daho's 20-year career) was released on 9 November, together with a compilation of the singer's best video clips. Before the album even hit French record stores, Daho was already back in the studio hard at work on a new album.

Upfront and Personal

Daho returned to the forefront of the French music scene on 18 April 2000 with a brand new album entitled "Corps et armes". Displaying his usual eagerness to experiment with new pop sounds, Daho announced that his new CD was in a more pared-down minimalist vein and closer to his real self. Daho invited his old friends Les Valentins on board as co-producers and recorded the majority of the new album at the legendary Abbey Road studios in London. The songs on Daho's new album contained a fair amount of autobiography, but the over-riding theme of "Corps et armes" was love.

Refusing to conform to fashionable pop stereotypes, Daho has decided to give free rein to his true nature these days, letting his personal emotions and problems add a very human side to his music. The singer, who currently divides his time between London and his Montmartre home in Paris, has taken to spending more time away from the media spotlight, getting back in touch with the normality of day-to-day life after many years of fame.

In November, Etienne Daho set off on a tour entitled 'Tour de l'été sans fin’. Very similar to his previous one, this show was mostly the opportunity for the artist to exhibit his improving stage routine. The American singer, Vanessa Daou, with whom he sang a duo on his last album performed as a support act. The crew did a stopover at the Olympia in Paris before going on touring around France and Belgium until December the 20th 2000. Daho hit the road again in March, stopping at a few summer festivals, such as the Fourvière festival in Lyons on July 8th or, 11 days later, in the Cote d’Opale.

Daho returned to the French music news in October 2001 with a live album. The 22-track album, recorded during the Belgian leg of his tour, featured vibrant new live versions of many of his greatest hits, together with a special bonus track written by Jean Genet ("Sur mon cou") and a duet with 60s pop idol, Dani ("Comme un boomerang").

The song which the late Serge Gainsbourg originally wrote for Eurovision (but was turned down as the French entry because of its risqué content) finally found its market in the 21st century. The single rocketed up the charts, selling 250,000 copies and it was nominated at the “Victoires de la Musique” Awards in February 2002.

2003: "Réévolution"

In 2002, Daho was made a "Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite" a prestigious French honour for a French pop star. Continuing his songwriting activities, Daho got down to work with Les Valentins, writing "The Pleasure Song" for veteran British rock diva Marianne Faithfull. And, proving that despite his age he could still be as hip and trendy as ever, the French pop king wrote and recorded "If," a song which featured on “Laid back,” the début album by fashionable Parisian band Ginger Ale. 

Daho went on to release his ninth studio album, "Réévolution" in November 2003. This proved a huge hit with the French public, going gold shortly after its release. It came as no surprise to anyone when "Réévolution" was nominated in the ‘Best Album of the Year’ category at the “Victoires de la musique” Awards in February 2004. 

"Réévolution" made no attempt to break with Daho’s pop past. On the contrary, the album managed to assemble all the ingredients which had assured the French pop king’s success over the years – namely romantic, teen vocals, melancholic melodies and sophisticated harmonies. "Réévolution" revolved around two of Daho’s continuing obsessions: Serge Gainsbourg and the 60s. Daho’s new album included a duet with the late great Serge’s daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg (a new version of "If). The singer also paid tribute to the 60s via a collaboration with Marianne Faithfull who recited an extract from "Venue in Furs" (written by her great-uncle Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch) on the song "Les Liens d'Eros". 

Following the release of his new album, Daho kicked off the "Réévolution" mini-tour in 2004 with 17 dates in France in March and June and a concert in Brussels. Fans turned out in force and the six concerts programmed at the Olympia in Paris (23 - 28 March) were sold out weeks in advance. 

Daho was soon back in the studio, collaborating with a number of major music stars. He recorded a duet with Jane Birkin, "La grippe" (a cover of a song originally recorded by Brigitte Fontaine and Jacques Higelin) which featured on Birkin’s album "Rendez-vous". The French pop king then went on to team up with Elsa, recording guest vocals on "L'or et la poussière" (featured on Elsa’s album "De lave et de sève.") Daho also guested on a track on his bass-player Mars’s album. (The song, entitled "Dragonfly," was written by Frank Darcel, a close friend from Daho’s early years in Rennes). 

Meanwhile, Daho’s songs began to enjoy increasing success beyond French borders. The Spanish singer Luz Casal recorded a cover of "Duel au soleil" (which became "Un nuevo dia brillara" in Spanish). The song went on to triumph as the most played single on the Spanish airwaves in October 2004.

Daho remained on the road with his "Réévolution tour" right through until June and played a packed-out concert in Paris, at Le Zénith, on 29 June 2004.

On 1 March 2005 – just under a year after completing the "Réévolution tour" – Daho made a welcome return on the recording front with a Greatest Live Hits album, entitled "Sortir ce soir." This was the fourth live album the singer had released in his twenty-year career. "Sortir ce soir" was made available as a one-volume package or a double-album set (featuring the added bonus of songs from Daho's recent albums). The album also included a new studio version of one of Daho's earliest hits, the chart-topping "Sortir ce soir". A fortnight after the release of the album, fans were treated to the live DVD, also entitled "Sortir ce soir."

Daho remained an extremely popular figure on the French music scene, and within a few months of its release, the album "Sortir ce soir" achieved gold disc status while his live DVD went platinum.

In 2006, Daho stepped behind the studio controls to produce "For You", a new album by Elli Medeiros, making a comeback to the French music scene after a long absence. In September, Daho’s record label re-released "Pop Satori" 20 years after it was originally made, marking the anniversary of the album that had gone down in French pop history as a cult classic. On 13 November 2006, Daho took to the stage for a special one-off concert at L’Olympia, in Paris. The show, programmed as part of the Inrockuptibles festival, featured the king of French pop singing all the old favourites from "Pop Satori" including "Epaule Tatoo" and the unforgettable "Duel au soleil".

On 28 November 2006, Etienne Daho received official recognition for his work when the French Culture and Communications minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, made him an "Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres."

2007: "L'invitation"

Daho spent most of 2007 in solitary confinement, working on material for his new album, "L'Invitation." His ninth album hit record stores on 5 November and proved to be a big hit, going gold two weeks after its release. Recorded between studios in Paris, London, Barcelona and Ibiza, the eleven songs on "L'Invitation" were all written by Daho himself (with the exception of "Toi, jamais toujours", penned by Brigitte Fontaine). As for the compositions on Daho’s new album, these were placed in the more than capable hands of Nicolas Dubosc, Xavier Geronimi, Jerôme Soligny, Edith Fabuena and Jean-Louis Pierot (the former Valentins).

Daho, a notoriously shy singer who for the most part of his career had remained fiercely protective of his private life, took everyone by suprise on "L'Invitation", revealing intimate details about his relationships and his family life. On "Boulevard des Capucines", for instance, he evoked the painful memory of his father who had abandoned him as a child during the Algerian war and who had died not long before the making of the album. On a more upbeat note, "Cap Falcon" paid tribute to a favourite seaside haunt Daho had frequented during his childhood years in Oran, Algeria. In short, "L'Invitation"proved to be an interesting semi-autobiographical affair, on which Daho dropped his famous enigmatic style of songwriting.

Daho co-produced his new album with his old friend, the guitarist Edith Fambuena and strings played a major role throughout "L'Invitation" as Daho flirted with a number of different music styles skipping from pop and soul to flamenco. Daho also recruited the services of the British arranger David Whitaker (famous for his work with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Serge Gainsbourg and Marianne Faithfull) which gave his new album certain Velvet Underground tones. 

The following spring Etienne Daho set off to play his album on a tour taking in over 80 dates. He performed in the Olympia in Paris from 3 to 8 June 2008, and also did a one-off concert recorded and filmed the capital’s Salle Pleyel on 3 December. A few months later, the DVD and live CD came out entitled “Daho Pleyel Paris”.
That year, he won the Victoire award for the pop rock album of the year for “L’invitation”.
 
2008 saw the release of “Tombés pour Daho”, a tribute compilation on which artists like Benjamin Biolay and Daniel Darc sang cover versions of Daho’s songs.
For “Soleil bleu”, Sylvie Vartan’s 2010 album, he wrote the song “La prisonnière”. The same year, on Nouvelle Vague’s album, he revamped his hit “Week-end à Rome” in a duet with Vanessa Paradis.
 
Etienne Daho then got together with the actress Jeanne Moreau to record the whole of Jean Genet’s work, “Le condamné à mort” (from which the song “Sur mon cou” was taken). The disk was released in the autumn of 2010. To mark the one hundredth anniversary since the writer’s birth, the two artists performed a show along with a group of musicians at the Théâtre de l'Odéon in Paris on 23 and 24 November. They performed in France and elsewhere in Europe in June and July 2011 and even did a performance at the prestigious Avignon Festival on 18 July.
 
Etienne Daho featured on a tribute album to Jacno, "Jacno future", doing a cover of "Amoureux solitaire" with the daughter of his deceased friend.
 

To mark the anniversary of “Mythomane”, his first album released in November 1981, Daho agreed to special new versions of his albums "Mythomane", "Pop Satori", "Corps et armes" and "L'invitation", supplemented with original titles and bonus tracks.

September 2012 saw the release of an acclaimed album by Jane Birkin’s daughter, the actress Lou Doillon, “Places”, which Daho produced and arranged.

Yet the pressure was on for Daho to produce a collection of his own. Just as a new collection was finally announced in the summer of 2013, the singer found himself in hospital suffering from peritonitis and septicaemia, closely brushing with death. The serious blow to his health and ensuing convalescence forced him to postpone the album’s release and the start of the accompanying tour.

2013: "Les Chansons de l'innocence retrouvée"

The album, "Les Chansons de l'innocence retrouvée", finally came out in November 2013. The contents were inspired by English poet William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence”, which Daho was reading when he recorded the collection in London. The poetry directly echoes what he was feeling at the time: “The impression that I’m living the best moments of my adult life.”

The disc was produced and partially composed by Jean-Louis Piérot, former half of the Valentins, and offers up a warm sound set to a funk and pop beat. The “huge”, carefully honed production leaves nothing to chance, including a near-perfect guest list: Chic’s gutarist, Nile Rodgers features on two tracks ("Les torrents défendus" and "L'étrangère"); Debbie Harry sings a duet ("L'étrangère"); Dominique A composed "En surface"; along with an appearance from Yan Wagner and the American group Au Revoir Simone ("Les Chansons de l'innocence"). The lyrics take up the familiar themes of feelings, doubts and love, underpinned by destiny. The album was an instant hit and the press waxed lyrical.

January 2014

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