Honored this Tuesday, May 10, 2022 on France 2 in the program “Happy Birthday Renaud”, the singer celebrates his 70th birthday. Known both for his music and for his long battle with addictions, the artist has been battling the demon of depression for many years. His life consists of ups and downs that he has to fight every day.
The issue of mental health is increasingly present in the world of show business, and onlookers are gradually becoming aware that their favorite stars see life in pink far from everyday. Renaud is one of those tortured artists. He has never hidden his difficulties from his audience, and in particular his battle with alcoholism, an illness that has forced him to take many breaks in his career and has had a serious impact on his general health. The singer also doesn’t hide that he is a heavy smoker and struggles to draw a line under the cigarette, no matter how hostile the singers are. But Renaud also struggles with depression, even if he doesn’t bring up the subject so easily.
His brother’s revelations
In 2018, David Séchan had expressed his brother’s ailments in the columns of Paris Match. “Renaud suffers from a manic-depressive illness.” The man explains that the singer’s entourage is fighting next to him to help him in this daily struggle: “Dominique, his first wife, Romane, his second wife and I have tried everything, with all our strength, to get him out of there.” “His morale is hard to control. He fell back among his demons after rising back to the top with his latest album which sold more than 800,000 copies. He’s home, I’ll see him. He’s doing much better.”
Video. “Not seeing my children grow up…”: Renaud, addicted to cigarettes, confides his fears
The subject was already mentioned in an interview for TV Mag in 2011 by the author and interpreter of Mistral Gagnant himself. “I constantly feel like I’m being persecuted, followed, listened to, spied on on my email and on my cell phone by people who want to harm me. I have very specific paranoia… I’m also afraid of dying I don’t know where it comes from, it’s a disease,” he confided at the time, paralleling his fear of returning to the alcoholism path: “I’ve been through addiction and I don’t want to fall into it again. ” A will that unfortunately was not enough to counteract the artist’s discomfort: “I am exhausted, I wither. This damned boredom prevents me from writing and the lack of inspiration drives me crazy, because I feel that I am not more exist socially as an artist.”
A depression related to politics?
In his song Boucan d’enfer, Renaud sang in the early 2000s: “We recognize happiness, it seems, by the sound it makes when it goes away (…) mine left yesterday, after twenty benches from under my roof. ” And according to David Séchan, politics had a strong influence on the disappearance of his brother’s happiness in life: “First there was the fall of ideals. Close to the Communist Party, he had started singing in Moscow, where his concert was deliberately sabotaged. by the power that was there. It had touched him deeply, as if all his dreams were collapsing, as if he understood for the first time that this was a dictatorship,” he said during Paris Match.
A feeling that was revived shortly after by the death of Coluche, Renaud’s great friend and godfather to his daughter Lolita: “They were so close that Coluche wanted Renaud to sign a paper: in bad luck he would become the official father of Lolita’s. .” Then that of Pierre Desproges, with whom he was also very close. “When Renaud talks about this period, he talks more about melancholy than depression. It’s probably more beautiful. I prefer to call it a manic-depressive illness.”
In 2021, Renaud’s twin brother also recalled the impact of the singer’s malaise on the occasion of the documentary “Renaud, my brother”. And in particular about his divorce from his first wife, Dominique Quilichini, in 1999. “It was a bit of a descent to hell, which led to the breakup of the couple. What is special is that it is a couple who love each other, who are leaving each other. I am very touched to talk about it because it is the truth”. He also believes that it was during this time that his brother began to sink into alcoholism: “He started drinking too much, while he never drank. Alcohol became, if not a drug, something that calmed him, which also numbed him.”
Renaud’s Rare Confidence About His Depression
Renaud, for his part, rarely said what he felt. One of the rare statements on this subject was made in music, in the lyrics of the song On va pas s’laisser pourrir, in 2019: “I know a singer friend who lost ten years of his life / Ten years of wandering and misfortune , depression, hypochondria / All because of pastis, the only poison of Marseille / Because of a life far too sad, because of a life without sunshine.” Once he’s back on the podium, once again freed from his alcohol addiction, one can only hope that Renaud is also freed from his depression.
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Also see: Renaud celebrates his 70th birthday at France 2: Great return to the podium, his daughter Lolita present and proud