- Category : Singer - Popular
- Type : GE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Consciousness 1
Bertrand Lucien Bruno Cantat (born 5 March 1964) is a French singer and songwriter. He was the frontman for the rock band Noir Désir.
Cantat was born in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The son of a Navy officer, he spent his childhood in Le Havre. His family moved when he was an adolescent to Bordeaux and at the lycée Saint-Genès he met Denis Barthe, Serge Teyssot-Gay, and Frédéric Vidalenc, who would soon become members of his band. At the end of Cantat's first performance in March 1981, when he was still 16, he threw himself into the crowd and suffered cranial trauma. In 1991 he suffered a black out, and in 1993 he had to undergo an operation on his vocal cords and then follow a series of vocal classes. Self destructive behaviour, cigarettes and alcohol, had taken a toll.
At the height of Noir Désir's success in the 1990s, he was one of the most prominent figures of French music. His left-wing political views caused him to take a position against globalisation, fascism, desertification of urban areas in Bordeaux and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, among other topics.
Death of Marie Trintignant, conviction and imprisonment
In 2003, following an argument related to a text message, Cantat repeatedly assaulted his girlfriend Marie Trintignant in a hotel room in Vilnius, Lithuania. She died several days later in hospital in a deep coma, and a post-mortem examination showed she had suffered multiple head injuries. At his 2004 trial, prosecutors said he had hit her 19 times, causing irreversible brain damage, whereas Cantat admitted hitting Trintignant four times, but told the court her death was a tragic accident. He was said to have flown into a jealous rage after she received an affectionate text message from her former husband. The death of Marie caused considerable emotion in France. Nadine Trintignant, Marie's mother, actively sought a heavy sentence; Cantat's friends claimed he had been out of his mind and had not intended to cause harm. On 29 March 2004, Cantat was sentenced by Vilnius Regional Court under Article 129 of the Lithuanian Criminal Code to 8 years in prison for murder committed with indirect intent (dolus eventualis), i.e. it was acknowledged by the court that he didn't want to kill the victim, but foresaw her death as a probable consequence of his acts and was indifferent with regard to such a consequence. The verdict was at first appealed by Marie's family (who wanted to toughen the sentence), then by Bertrand Cantat (who wanted the higher court to reclassify his crime as a manslaughter and lessen his sentence), but both parties ultimately decided to cancel their appeals, which rendered the first 8 years judgment final. While in Lukišk?s prison of Vilnius, Cantat performed on 11 August 2004 a concert for prison's inmates and administration.
At the request of his lawyers, Cantat was moved from a Lithuanian prison to a prison near Muret, France on 28 September 2004.
Cantat was released on parole on 16 October 2007, after serving half of his sentence. His early release aroused the anger of feminist campaigners and the victim’s mother, who had failed to persuade President Sarkozy and judges to block the early release.
His house in Landes was burned down on 11 September 2003.
Ex-wife Krisztina Rády committed suicide on 10 January 2010, while he was sleeping in the same house.
In October 2010 Cantat resumed his musical career with a gig in Bordeaux. The overwhelmingly positive reception he has received has infuriated feminist and victim support groups. On 30 November 2010, the group announced that it would split up for good and that the era of Noir Désir was over.
In early 2011 he was poised to sing in his friend's, Wajdi Mouawad, Montreal production of a Sophocles play. However, once the media reported on his role there was outrage - with politicians proposing to ban his entry into the country (despite the fact that he should have already been prohibited entry under Canadian law due to his conviction). In April 2011 the artistic director of TNM, Lorraine Pintal, announced that he would not be performing.
Post Noir Desir Solo Career
In November of 2011, Cantat released the album Chœurs with musicians Pascal Humbert, Bernard Falaise and Alexander MacSween. The music was composed for Wajdi Mouawad's production of a Sophocles play. He's planning a new album in 2013, with Pascal Humbert.