Sunday, October 1, 2023

“A little piece of Belgium that is leaving”: singer Lou Deprijck died at 77

Lou Deprijck died at the age of 77, DH announced on Tuesday, citing the family of the Belgian singer and songwriter. The latter’s partner confirmed the information on Facebook. Known for having been the author of Plastic Bertrand’s hit “ça plan pour moi” in the 1970s, Lou Deprijck was suffering from health problems and had recently been admitted to a hospital in Brussels.

Francis “Lou” Deprijck was born on January 11, 1946 in Lessines, a town in the province of Hainaut where, among others, René Magritte was born. Sometimes a performer, sometimes a composer and producer, the career of this official of the Régie des Télégraphes et Telephones (RTT) will have marked decades.

Lou Deprijck set foot in Brussels for the first time in 1964, as part of his work as a civil servant. He ultimately lived in the capital for 25 years, where he enjoyed spending time in the musical bistros of the Bourse district, before leaving Belgium for Thailand in the early 2000s, only to return to the country again.

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Serge Jonckers, music specialist at bel RTL, spoke about the death of Lou Deprijck and, in particular, about the hit “Ca plane pour moi”. “Today we know that it was Lou Deprijck who sang and that the legal performer was Plastic Bertrand“, he said. “What I like is the definition he gave of himself: “semi-surrealist acrobat.” Around me, the reactions are unanimous: it is one more piece of Belgium that is leaving. After Big Jojo, Annie Cordy. Lou embodied Belgian surrealism. He was a very good musician, he is still a very popular singer who leaves us. His songs will remain, they are part of the collective memory of Belgian music.

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In the 70s, the trio Two man sound appeared, which he formed with Sylvain Van Holmen and Yvan Lacomblez. We owe the group the hits “Disco samba” and “Charlie Brown”. In 1978, he released Lou and the Hollywood Bananas (“Kingston Kingston”), with two backing dancers.

This ball lover previously produced the worldwide hit “It’s a plane for me” in 1977. A milestone in his career, which would later create controversy about his interpreter, taking the matter to court. This is how a ruling from the Brussels Court of Appeal from 2006 mentions that only Plastic Bertrand legally has the status of artist who performs the song. An expert report later named Lou Deprijck in 2010 as the sole performer of the hit due to his Picardy accent, something Plastic Bertrand has always questioned. Lou Deprijck also claims to have sung on the singer’s first four albums.

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Francis Lou Deprijck also appeared on the MR-Ensemble list in Lessines during the 2012 municipal elections and was a city councilor until 2021. In 2016, on the occasion of the European football championship in France, he launched “Vamos Belgium”, to support the Red Devils.

His biography, “It’s High for Me,” was published in 2008. The singer gave one of his last concerts in July 2022, during the National Ball in Brussels. The man had been dating his partner Vanessa, 26 years younger than him, for approximately a year. The couple planned to get married.

Lou Deprijck

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