“Sheila, all those lives”

“You friends, I will never forget you”, “The Three Kings” or even “Spacer”, all generations have already hummed one of these memorable hits at least once… On the occasion of his sixty-year career, Annie Chancel alias Sheila tells her story like never before in a new film to discover on Friday January 6 from 21.10 on France 3.

Sheila © Electron Libre Productions

She has known the worst, like the best, faced the craziest rumours, but, motivated by the love of her profession and her public, Sheila knew how to get up each time with strength and dignity. With seventy million records sold worldwide, she has, above all, succeeded in crossing the ages, reinventing herself and becoming a true popular icon.

All the children of France sang “The school is finished” at the exit of the school. And we said to ourselves: but this little one, will it last?

Michael Drucker

She also has the gift of perfectly marrying the myths of her time…

Andre Manoukian

Daughter of confectionery merchants, Sheila, whose first passion is dance, has had a taste for the spectacle since a very young age. Putting on a show is what she loves! In the 1970s, once the yéyé style was over, its producer, Claude Carrère, created a surprise and took it on other paths. Don’t just call her Sheila anymore, but add “B. Devotion” to name her because she is no longer alone during her TV appearances. Accompanied by three African-American dancers: Arthur Wilkins, Freddy Stracham and Dany Mac Farlane, the “little average French girl” also sings in English. Disco is the new musical style that is all the rage in the United States, especially in gay nightclubs in New York and Philadelphia. We must therefore surf on this new wave. His mentor solicits the American groupChic, very fashionable, known for titles such as The freak or good times. Nile Rodgers, founding member of the band, writes and composes a bespoke track for Sheila. spacersold in thousands of copies, will mark a major turning point in his career and above all open the doors of the international charts to him.
But, despite this phenomenal success, the new disco-queen made in France will not only make people happy…

What do you mean, a white woman in shorts with black people around? In those years, it was something… In the 1970s, it was a political act.

Rachel Khan

At the time, I experienced what is called racism. Doors closing, TVs struggling. Some newspapers that closed doors to me because it wasn’t done.


What does it matter to Sheila… From her album King of the Worldthis cult piece will forever link her to the one she now calls her soul mate…

We are convinced that there is a certain law of attraction between us… To understand the importance that Sheila has in my life, observe the reactions of the public when we play the intro of “Spacer”…

Nile Rodgers

Posted by Fanta TRAORE on January 04, 2023

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“Sheila, all those lives”

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