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Belgian singing star Maurane dies aged 57

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Maurane on stage in 2009. © RFI/Edmond Sadaka

The Belgian singer Maurane was found dead on Monday night at her home in Brussels after having recently announced her return to the stage after an absence of more than two years. She was 57.


Maurane, whose real name was Claudine Luypaerts, was found dead in her bed on Monday around 20:00 at her home in Schaerbeek, a suburb on the north east of Brussels, according to information in the Belgian media.

No cause of death has been given, but the magistrate in charge of the investigation into the circumstances of her death said foul play has been ruled out as a cause. Further details will be released after an autopsy.

Tributes have been pouring in on social media from artists as diverse as Michel Fugain, Catherine Lara, Céline Dion, Lara Fabian, Hélène Segara and Christophe Willem.

"I am devastated to hear this news. It's terrible. We were friends for forty years,” the singer Catherine Lara said on the French radio Europe 1, adding that she thought Maurane appeared “tired” at their last meeting just three weeks ago.

“[At the time] she spoke to me about the future, she told me that she was preparing an album of music by Jacques Brel, which she was listening to, and she seemed to be much better from that point of view,” Lara added.

Voice problems

Born in Ixelles in Brussels, her father was a director of the Académie de Musique de Verviers. When she was just a teenager she took part in several musical contests. In 1979, after taking part in a show entitled Brel en mille temps with Philippe Lafontaine, she was ‘discovered’ by the French songwriter, Pierre Barouh.

She later got small contracts singing backing vocals in musical cafés for Jo Lemaire and Philippe Lafontaine, until she released her first album in 1986.

In 2012, she became a member of the Jury in Nouvelle Star broadcast on television station D8.

She was forced to put her career on hold in 2016, because of problems with her vocal cords.

However, last week she announced on her Facebook page that she was returning to the stage. She wrote:

“Today, I officially set foot on a stage after more than 2 years of absence. I will not tell you in what state I am in”.

She was best known in recent years for her role in a TV talent show for young singers, Nouvelle Star (New Star).

On Saturday and Sunday, she took to the stage with other artists for a mini concert dedicated to Brel and then appeared in an outdoor festival in front of thousands of people.

She released her first single in 1980 followed by eleven albums since then and was preparing a tour scheduled for the spring of 2019, to promote a new album devoted to the music of Brel.