Rain of artists and tributes to celebrate Annie Cordy, queen of the longest tunnel in Belgium

Salvatore Adamo, Hervé Vilard, Gilbert Montagné, Michel Blanc, Frédéric François gathered on Sunday to celebrate the singer who died at the age of 92 on September 4, 2020.

Sunday May 22, under a bright sun, Salvatore AdamoHerve Vilard, Gilbert Montagne, Michel Blanc, Frédéric François and many friends of Annie Cordy met in Brussels. Even Dave, whose state of health had raised fears in January, traveled from Paris. “I have lost my sense of smell and taste but I can go on stage and I dream of resuming my shows“, confides the singer of Davina in an impeccable voice. This party, I really wanted to because the last time we met for Annie, it was at her funeral near Cannes in September 2020 and inevitably it was a little sad. »

Although busy with the rereading of his first novel to be published by Fayard, Hervé Vilard also would not have missed this day for anything in the world. “ Annie was our Shirley McLaine, he grew bolder. When I started, she and Dalida were my bosses. Annie taught me the demands of the job, she was uncompromising, nothing was a hair’s breadth. She was an exquisite woman, a fairy, who, when she entered a room, transformed the world with the wave of a magic wand.For this great tribute to this immense singer-actress and magazine leader who died at the age of 92 on September 4, 2020, all that was ultimately missing was Sheila.

To start the day, the merry troop led by Michèle Lebon Cooreman, known as “Mimi”, niece of Annie Cordy, inaugurated the Leopold II tunnel now renamed Annie Cordy. During the Covid, the inhabitants of Brussels had voted massively by referendum to dedicate the road work to the interpreter of It will be better tomorrow, rather than to the former king, a figure of Belgian colonialism. In a nod to the queen of the Music Hall, the ribbon this time was a giant pink boa. “ The Mayors and the elected officials of the government had prepared a box full of scissors, says Mimi. We lined up the full width of the pedestrianized tunnel and everyone left with a piece of pink boa. Annie would have loved it. »

big gig

Then, to the sound of his songs including Auntie Yoyo and Jeanne la Tarzaneguests and spectators strolled through this tunnel, the longest in Belgium (2.5 kilometers). The opportunity to discover the frescoes of young Brussels women drawn by the artist Charlotte Baudry and lit with pastel lights. In the afternoon, the tribute continued with a big concert in Elisabeth Park. “More than 4500 spectators were installed on the lawns, relates Mimi. With the perspective of the Koekelberg basilica behind the stage, it was magnificent“. The party started with a video by director Cyrille Gallais, to whom we owe the very sensitive and intimate documentary Anne broadcast at the end of 2020 on France 3. Then each artist chose a song from Annie Cordy’s repertoire. Despite his international tour, Salvatore Adamo had taken the time to adapt Hello the sun is shining of River Kwai Bridge by modifying the lyrics and the rhythm.

The Belgian comedians Vincent Taloche and Virginie Hocq had chosen The little stroke of luck, also a way of paying homage to Bourvil, of whom Taloche is a big fan. “We dance and we don’t sing very well but from up there, you will forgive us launched the duo. David Alexis, the Prince of Musical Comedy (Mad Priscilla of the Desert, Gulliver’s Voyage) resumed Laugh. “ Me, I sang butterfly flowera childhood song composed in 1950 by Jean Constantin, the one to whom we also owe My feather thing and My own merry-go-round,” says Hervé Vilard. Gilbert Montagné, he chose The coffee machine, a song he wrote for Annie Cordy’s latest album. Leaping onto the stage, Dave continued with his legendary humor: “ It’s not time for coffee but for Hot Cocoa.»

“A day full of emotions between laughter and tears”

Giant sombreros on their heads, the merry troupe found themselves on stage for a joyful finale, singing with the public standing “rikiki your little kiwis, the babas of my baobabs… “. Then all these acrobats stepped back to watch on video, Annie Cordy singing The Artist : “ who said I was sad, Ladies and gentlemen, It wasn’t serious, A little bravo for the artist! “.

Giant sombrero on the head, Dave (in the center) found himself on stage for a joyful finale. Municipality of Brussels

It was great, a day full of emotions between laughter and tears “, welcomes Mimi. In a few months, they will all return to Brussels. As a tunnel, however symbolic, is not as glamorous as an avenue or a boulevard, it is understood “ that a surface square with a statue will be inaugurated in a few months in Brussels reveals Mimi.

VIDEO – Improvised end backstage

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Rain of artists and tributes to celebrate Annie Cordy, queen of the longest tunnel in Belgium

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