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'Please do not leave me': the tragic fate of Delilah, whose songs the whole world sang



Delilah is one of the brightest singers of the 20th century, who still remains an icon of the French chanson. Her work is subject to neither time nor borders. Her music is loved by millions of fans around the world. Despite the fact that Dalida died in the last century, she still lives in her songs.

Delilah's grave in Paris. Photo: Shutterstock

Deal with Nefertiti

Delilah often told such a story from her biography, writes In 16 years, she went on an excursion to Luxor, in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings. While the group was listening to the guide, she suddenly heard the voice of Queen Nefertiti, who asked the girl what she wanted more than anything. Then Delilah was not taken aback and answered: “I want to be beautiful, just like you! And I also want to become a star. " “So be it,” the voice answered. “You will become beautiful, but in return you will lose all your men.” And the girl agreed without hesitation.

Of course, no one knows if this mysterious story was true or a figment of the singer’s rich imagination, but the subsequent tragic circumstances in the fate of Dalida can be explained only by evil rock.

From Yolanda to Delilah

The real name of the star is Yolanda Cristina Giglotti. She was born in Egypt in the family of a violinist and seamstress in the year 1933. Parents came from Italy, but moved to Cairo in search of a better life.

Yolanda had an 2 brother, one of whom, Orlando, subsequently became her manager.

When baby Yolanda was 10 months old, she caught a severe infection that hit her eyes. The girl had 2 operations, but her vision was not completely restored. In addition, due to a medical error, she developed strabismus and severe headaches. Subsequently, her life’s eyes became the singer’s weak point - she could not be in the dark for a long time and always slept with the light on.

At a school that was too tall and large, Yolanda, who also wore huge glasses, had to endure the ridicule of her classmates, who called her Four-Eyed. In 13 years, the girl decided to radically change her appearance: she threw glasses out of the window and went home with a blindfold in one eye to correct strabismus. Gradually, from a clumsy teenager, young Yolanda turned into a beautiful girl.

A few years later, on the advice of a friend, she took part in a beauty contest, where she took 2 place.

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The next day, Yolanda's candid photo in a leopard swimsuit was on the covers of all the country's glossy magazines. However, instead of fame in her hometown, a flurry of criticism and conviction fell upon her. At that time, she was engaged to a neighbor's boyfriend, but after such a daring act, his family canceled the wedding. But this did not greatly upset the future star - she already knew the taste of fame and the light of spotlights. She realized that her real vocation was the scene. Then Yolanda decided to start a new life and got a job as a fashion model, then she did another operation to completely correct strabismus. After 3 years, the girl won the title of "Miss Egypt."

The new status opened her doors to the world of cinema. She began her acting career by taking the pseudonym Delilah in honor of the seductive heroine from the famous biblical parable "Samson and Delilah."

Soon, the girl appeared on the screen in episodic roles in several films. However, Delilah quickly realized that in a Muslim country with her strict morals, it would be difficult for her to build a creative career, therefore, having received the consent of her mother, she went to conquer Paris.

Music and Paris

At first, Paris received the future singer not at all friendly - there were no new proposals for filming in the movie, and it was completely unclear who she should work with. True, one girl was lucky: her neighbor was Alain Delon, with whom she immediately became friends. Later, in his book “Women of My Life”, the actor wrote about his neighbor as follows: “On the same floor, in another attic, there lived a certain Yolanda Giglotti. We dreamed of glory and light. 10 years later, she became Delilah, and I became Delon. ”

Delilah decided to make music. At first, her teacher saw her as simply a “pretty girl,” but when she heard her voice, he was shocked and realized that the girl had a great future. Soon, luck smiled at the young singer - her special beauty and rare vocal abilities were noted in the club "Villa d'Este", where her first performance took place. There she met the famous writer Alfred Mashar, who advised her to replace the letter in the last syllable of her creative pseudonym - so the singer became Delilah.

Then she took part in a competition organized by the Europe-1 radio station, after which she was noticed by the director of the radio station and the owner of a recording company. The singer was asked to record several songs, one of which, "Bambino", became a real hit. The success was tremendous. Delilah signed a contract with a record company, "Bambino" was in the top ten of the French hit parade and lasted there 45 weeks. A year later, 300 000 copies of the records were sold, and about Dalid they learned abroad. The singer’s career abruptly went uphill.

This was followed by other hits and numerous music competitions, where Delilah received various awards. Her name did not leave the covers of newspapers and magazines, she toured France and then all over Europe. By the way, various newspaper myths often appeared around the singer. For example, it was rumored that dwarfs lived in her house, which helped her with the housework. But in fact, Delilah kept pugs, and the myth arose because of the incorrect translation of the French word carlin - "pug".

Soon, the singer was invited to perform in America, where the producer of the famous jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald offered Dalida to sign a contract and make a career in the United States, but she refused. A year later, the star returned with triumph to her native Cairo and moved her family to Paris. The singer’s fame was immense, and in 1963 she received the honorary title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Literature in France.

To keep up with the times, Dalida was constantly experimenting: she began to perform songs in a new twist style and turned each of her appearance on the stage into a real show. For that time it was very progressive. Also, the pop diva was the first in France to sing disco songs. By the middle of the 1960's, more than 10 million of its records were sold.

On stage, Delilah spent more than 30 years and performed many songs in a variety of languages ​​- from Italian and Greek to Japanese and Hebrew. The singer became the owner of a diamond disc for 80 million albums sold worldwide. And at the beginning of the 1980's, she took the 2 place in the list of the most influential women in France. In the 1 place was the wife of the President of the Republic, Danielle Mitterrand.

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"Goodbye love, goodbye"

Unlike a brilliant career, the personal life of pop divas was unsuccessful. At the beginning of the 1960's, the girl married Lucien Moriss, director of the Europe-1 radio station, whom she had met for 5 years. However, their life together did not last long - the temperamental Dalida often went on tour, where she was surrounded by crowds of admiring fans. Soon she met a young Polish artist, Jean Sobieski, and passion flared up between them. Of course, Lucien did not forgive the betrayal, and the couple divorced. However, soon Jean began to be weighed down by the success of his beloved, he could no longer play the role of "Monsieur Dalida", so he left the singer.

Later, Dalida meets the Italian singer Luigi Tenko - it seems to her that she found her happiness, but in fact it was a fateful meeting. A year later, at the festival in San Remo, he and Luigi duet performed his song “Farewell, love, goodbye”, but it did not reach the final. Tenko's vanity was hurt, he could not bear this failure and shot himself in a hotel room. It was Delilah who discovered the body of her lover - it shocked her so much that she also decided to commit suicide by taking a lethal dose of sleeping pills. Fortunately, the singer was saved. She spent hours in an 90 coma and lost her voice for a while. Then for a long time she was haunted by memory lapses and bouts of deafness.

After these tragic events, serious philosophical songs appeared in the repertoire of Dalida, and her success with the audience became even greater. She returned to the stage with the song “I Will Live,” and instead of the usual red carpet in the concert hall, she was waiting for a carpet of thousands of living roses. However, the success and adoration of the fans could not fill the void - Delilah dreamed of finding her soul mate.

Soon, the singer met with the French writer and traveler Arnaud Desjardins, but the romance was not successful: Arno was married, and Delilah did not want to destroy the family. However, with him she went to Tibet, Nepal and India in search of peace of mind. In India, one sage told her that her mission was to sing and bring joy to people. This inspires Dalida, and she headlong goes to work.

But here comes new tragic news: the ex-husband of the diva Lucien Moriss, suffering from depression, shot himself with a pistol. On the day of Dalida’s funeral, a concert in Athens was planned, she begged the organizers to cancel everything, but they refused - the hall was full, and the performance took place. Then the diva took the stage and told the audience that today she would not sing for them, but for her Lucien. The concert was so angry that the audience could not hold back the tears. After the performance, the singer became very ill and, being in a temperature delirium, often repeated: “I am the real Delilah. They are all dying. I am to blame for their deaths ... "

As you know, time is the best doctor. After 3 of the year, Delilah was able to recover from a heavy blow, and together with her friend, the French actor Alain Delon, she recorded the famous song “Words, Words”. Very soon she became a real hit in Europe, Canada and even in Japan.

At the same time, the singer falls in love again. This time, her chosen one was the artist Richard Chanfre, who called himself "the reincarnation of Count Saint-Germain" - a famous adventurer. I must say that Chanfre had a rather dubious reputation - it was said about him that he was an Alphonse and a card player, but, despite this, Delilah was happy and lived with him for 9 years. Then, for some unknown reason, the couple broke up, and the singer was seriously worried about their breakup. After 2 years, she found out the terrible news: Richard had committed suicide because of debts. It was the 3-th man in her destiny who brought to an end life.

This event finally broke the star. She underwent 2 operations on her eyes as the bright spotlights began to cause unbearable pain and it became difficult for her to perform on stage. Delilah released her last album in 1986 and called it “The Face of Love”. In the same year, she played a major role in the film Sixth Day.

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Beautiful care

Despite the most severe depression, for some time the pop diva continued to perform and go on tour, but in all this there was a strong internal breakdown. In 1987, Delilah gave her last concert in Turkey, which was sold out, and even considered the script of the musical Cleopatra, where she was to play the main role.

However, the star began to feel her loneliness more sharply - she could not accept the fact that, having achieved tremendous success in her work, she could not find personal happiness. According to the recollections of friends and relatives, Delilah could call in the middle of the night and say to the receiver: “I haven’t slept for the third day ... I’m scared ... Please do not leave me.”

On 2 of May 1987 of the year, Delilah put on a magnificent white peignoir, carefully made up and drank a lethal dose of sleeping pills from whiskey. Her suicide note was very concise: “Life has become unbearable for me. Excuse me".

In the morning, the body of the 54-year-old diva was discovered by relatives who were amazed at how calmly and peacefully one of the best singers of that time looked in her last hour.

The singer was buried in the cemetery of Montmartre. Thousands of Parisians came to say goodbye to her. Delilah became the 4 woman after Joan of Arc, Sarah Bernhardt and Edith Piaf, who erected a monument in the capital of France. Also named after her is the square in Paris.

In 2016, a feature film about the life of the great singer - “Delilah. Love and passion".

Are you familiar with the work of Dalida? Did you know about her tragic fate?

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