The rocker had been suffering from pancreatic cancer since 2019. He died on Saturday at the age of 72.

Belgian singer Arno died on Saturday at the age of 72. The artist, who had suffered from pancreatic cancer since 2019, had stopped his treatment at the start of the year. This is reported The evening who quotes a statement from his agent Filip De Groote:

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“He will be missed by all of us, his family, his friends and his musicians. He will always be with us thanks to the music that kept him alive until the end,” he said.

Born in Ostend on May 21, 1949, Arnold Hintjens began his career with the rock group TC Matic in the 1980s, notably with the song Damn, damn. He then made a name for himself as a soloist on the Belgian rock scene. His more than thirty-year career has been dotted with emblematic titles, such as My mother’s eyes Where I want to swimcarried by a character with a broken voice mixed with a Flemish accent, often compared to Alain Bashung and Tom Waits.

Rich discography

His 13 studio albums testify to an eclectic discography, made up of English, French and Flemish, where piano-voices have as much place as rock orchestrations, and where original songs rub shoulders with a good number of covers.

Because it’s one of the rocker’s specialties: revisiting standards from all musical horizons. He attacked Salvatore Adamo (Girls by the sea) and Serge Gainsbourg (Eliza) as well as the Rolling Stones (Mother’s Little Helper) or Queen (I Want To Break Free). As many rereadings as he had gathered in 2008 in the compilation Cocktail covers.

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For the past twenty years, Arno had been interested in the young French-speaking scene. He collaborated with Julien Doré on the title Of wordsand signed the album last year Live in collaboration with the young pianist Sofiane Pamart. Barely a few weeks ago, on February 22, he was on stage with Stromae so that they would sing his hit together whore whore.

The announcement of his illness came while he was promoting an album (Healthboutique, released in September 2019). He had to interrupt his tour to undergo an operation.

On stage until the end

The coronavirus pandemic and the impossibility of holding concerts then postponed the prospect of going back on stage several times throughout 2020. He still recorded the album. Livewhich he was unable to promote upon his release due to being hospitalized again for chemotherapy treatment.

He finally got back on stage in February 2022, scheduling half a dozen dates in Brussels and Ostend, his hometown, after a first meeting in a small committee in the studios of Flemish public radio on January 12. During his last shows, the artist, seated in front of a microphone, with an emaciated face, regularly alluded in front of his public to his state of health.

On February 21, in his usual black stage costume, he was received under the golds of the royal palace in Brussels for an interview with King Philippe, who had hailed “an icon of the Belgian music scene”.

“We will no longer see his silhouette in the Sainte-Catherine district. Damn damn, we already miss him”, he said sorry on Twitter Philippe Close, the mayor of Brussels, a city of which he was an honorary citizen.