Grégory Lemarchal, born Mary 13 1983, came to prominence as a singer in 2004 when he won Star Academy, roughly the French equivalent of American Idol. He had the voice of an angel, which is astounding considering that he suffered from cystic fibrosis (mucoviscidose in French). One of the most debilitating symptoms of this genetically transmitted disability is difficulty even breathing. His début single “Écris l’histoire” (Write the story) went platinum as did his first album Je deviens moi (I’m becoming myself). He had a national tour in 2006 that culminated in a live album. At the beginning of 2007, he announced that he was going to withdraw from live performances in order to focus on his health. He died on April 23, 2007 at the age of 23 while waiting for a lung transplant. Proceeds from his posthumously released albums fund L’Association Grégory Lemarshal, which finances programs for people suffering from cystic fibrosis and their families.
My favorite Lemarchal song is À corps perdu (a core peardoo), literally means “by lost body” but more figuratively means headlong, wholeheartedly, or body and soul. It’s the idea of giving yourself over something completely, in this case, life. Ironically, this song went nowhere when it was released as a single because it was deemed “too sad.” The last few lines go like this: “Et si ma vie n’est qu’une cause perdu/Je partirai libre d’y avoir au moins cru/ À corps perdu.” This basically means “And if my life is only a lost cause / I will leave free to have at least believed in it / Wholeheartedly.” Call me crazy, but wholeheartedly embracing life sounds pretty upbeat for a young man living with a death sentence. It’s also pretty darn good advice for all of us.
- New cystic fibrosis drug approved (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Piper makes music with her donor’s lungs (sfgate.com)
- Les Mis saved me from a double lung transplant: Cystic fibrosis sufferer increases lung capacity 20% by singing (thisismoney.co.uk)