MIREILLE MATHIEU (63)
Her voice is like a miracle. This energy, this power, this desire for love and life! The elegant, elegant Mireille Mathieu. She was the "Sparrow of Avignon". Not only because it is 1.53 meters tall, shoe size 33 has. The petite "sparrow" - he showed endurance in his childhood.
Because success, fame and money were not planned. Her life as a little girl - it was full of duties and renunciations. "Living in poverty - I know what that means, " says Mireille Mathieu. With "Behind the Scenes of Paris" (1969) she has conquered the whole world.
She was the modern Edith Piaf, she made an estate in the fine suburb of Neuilly. But she has never forgotten where she comes from. She says: "One must not deny his origin."
Every day was a challenge. Mireille Mathieu grew up with 13 younger siblings. Papa Roger was a stonemason, "Maman" Marcelle cared for the family. Already at 14 Mireille went from school. She suffered from dyslexia, a form of reading and writing difficulties. She was also left-handed, but should write with her right hand. Her teacher "often hit her with the ruler."
She became a relief worker in a paper mill. Get up at five o'clock! In winter, the hall was freezing cold. And at home it went on.
"My mother was cooking, and I often looked after my brothers and sisters, " says Mireille. "We did not have a shower. We had to pump the water from a fountain in the garden and make it hot on the stove. "
At six, she washed laundry, scrubbed floors. The hut in which they lived was barren. The roof was leaking, it was raining. No heater! "It was a barracks made of cement slabs, " she says. "We girls sleep five in a single bed - two in one, three in the other direction. My mother put warm bricks in our bed. "
The first tour was lonely: "I missed my siblings." The bitter poverty - she "never let go". Although she could turn her destiny with her great talent. But the ground for success was more than talent. It was the values of her parents, the "greatest wealth" of her life. There was a big heart formation.
"You learn to share, " she says. Of course, she passed on her clothes to the smaller siblings. The family is the most important thing.
Mireille: "I felt safe." And: "We were rich in love. And that's all that matters. "And there was the sense of art, for a nice sound. Papa Roger had a tenor voice. He was a very "gifted singer". Often the family heard opera music. At 16 Mireille got singing lessons.
At 19, she won a young talent show on television. She signed her first five-year contract. Over forty years, Mireille Mathieu sold more than 125 million recordings. She bought houses from her family. The best part: The family love has never suffered from the career and the big blessing.
They celebrate Christmas together in Avignon. 40 people! The secret for so much luck? She says, "I submit, but I will not give up."