British singer Peter Sarstedt dies aged 75
British singer Peter Sarstedt who penned the hit Where Do You Go To My Lovely has died at the age of 75, the BBC reported.
Sarstedt died peacefully after a lengthy battle with a rare medical condition, according to a family statement. Relatives were “with him to the last”, added the statement which also said Sarstedt’s music will be missed by many.
The Delhi born songwriter was most well-known for the 1969 chart-topping hit Where Do You Go To My Lovely, which won him an Ivor Novello Award.
The song about a fictional girl named Marie-Claire, who rises from the back streets of Naples to join the European jet-set, spent four weeks at number one in the British charts in 1969.
In the sleeve notes for his self-titled debut album, he explained the origins of the song: “This was written in 1966 for a girl I’d met the year before in Vienna. We’d fallen madly in love. “Everything looked beautiful for us, until, in the summer of ‘65 she tragically died in a hotel fire. It took me a year to recover and I found myself in Copenhagen waiting for her.”
It was more recently used in the 2007 Wes Anderson films Hotel Chevalier and The Darjeeling Limited. Over a 20 year period to 1987 Sarstedt released at least two singles a year, including Beirut and I’m A Cathedral, and brought out 14 albums.
Sarstedt’s final album came in 2013 with Restless Heart, although by the time of its release he was already suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy. He had the rare and incurable condition, which is caused by brain cells becoming damaged, for six years until his death.
An undated note on the singer’s website said Sarstedt had retired due to ill health in 2010 and had no longer been able to reply to fans messages.
His two brothers were also musicians, with older brother Richard releasing a string of hits in the ‘60s and younger brother Robin Sarstedt (born Clive) releasing pop successes in the 1970s. “We were born in India and we came to England in 1954, just prior to the Rock ‘n’ Roll explosion,” Sarstedt said of his family’s story on his website.
“Our story is, we started off as a skiffle group, then got into Rock ‘n’ Roll and then split up and had our individual successes in the charts.”
Sarstedt, who retired from show business in 2010 because of ill health, released more than a dozen albums but never repeated the success of his number one hit. His final album, released in 2013, was entitled Restless Heart.