One of the greatest Francophone artists of her generation passed away from heart failure at the age of 91, early on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. Monique Leyrac sang songs penned by the greatest songwriters: Charles Aznavour, Gilles Vigneault, Claude Léveillée, Michel Conte, Émile Nelligan, Félix Leclerc, Luc Plamondon, and many more. The grande dame of Québec music was the first Québecoise artist to shine internationally, which paved the way for many of our local creators.
Whether it was on the Radio-Canada show Pleins Feux, or when she was on The Ed Sullivan Show, onstage in Québec or at Toronto’s Massey Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Paris Olympia, and even in Russia, Monique Leyrac’s immense talent as a singer was always at the service of her writer and composer colleagues.
On Oct. 16, 2017, she was honoured at the SOCAN Gala in Montréal with the Special Achievement Award, for her entire body of work. She received the award from one of her biggest fans, and one of the greatest Francophone lyricists of his generation, Luc Plamondon.
“I am privileged to have met her when SOCAN presented her with the Special Achievement Award in 2017,” said Geneviève Côté, SOCAN Chief of Québec Affairs and Visual Arts. “We had to honour this artist, who chose to put her immense talent at the service of our songwriters. She made us laugh and stole the show that night. I think she actually did that every time she walked onto a stage.”
Below is a video of her charming speech, one of the highlights of the 28th SOCAN Gala in Montréal.
SOCAN pays homage to this great lady of song, and offers our sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones.