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Johnny Marr, Iggy Pop, Tim Burgess lead tributes for late English-French icon Jane Birkin

17 July 2023, 11:00 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Singer and actress Jane Birkin has died at the age of 76. The English-French icon was found at home in Paris by her caregiver, French media has reported.

The icon was found dead at her home in Paris, having cancelled a string of concerts scheduled for last month in her home city due to health reasons. She had previously been diagnosed with leukaemia in 2002.

Birkin was an influential figure across music, film and fashion, most notably for her collaboration with the late Serge Gainsbourg and lending her name to Hermes for one of their designer handbags.

She first emerged during the 1960s through an uncredited role in The Knack and How to Get It. Birkin went on to have a bigger role in 1966's Kaleidoscope and starred as a fantasy-like model in 1968 film Wonderwall. Gainsbourg and Birkin's song "Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus" was widely kept from the airwaves because of its adult content, but had reached number one in the UK.

Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, paid tribute to Birkin, calling her "the most Parisian of Englishwomen". "We will never forget her songs, her laughter or her incomparable accent which have always accompanied us," she wrote on Twitter.

Other tributes have come from the likes of Johnny Marr, who said Birkin is "a sweet and kind person with heart for art". Marr features on her 2006 album, Fictions. Tim Burgess called her an "icon of coolness and so much more", whilst Iggy Pop described Birkin as a "unique lady".

Mia Farrow posted a tribute on Twitter which read: "Jane Birkin was one of the kindest, dearest, funniest, most generous, original and interesting people I’ve ever known".

French president Emmanuel Macron said: “Because she embodied freedom, because she sang the most beautiful words of our language, Jane Birkin was a French icon. A complete artist, her voice was as sweet as her engagements were fiery. She bequeaths us tunes and images that will never leave us.”

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