In memory of
1950 - 2008
Tribute from the artistic world
- Listed in alphabetical order -
01/26/2020 - New testimonies have been added and other tributes will be added gradually.
When I think of Daniel Hétu, somewhere, I see a certain similarity with the great André Mathieu, because both have been underestimated and their great talents ignored by many. In the case of André Mathieu, it will have taken an Alain Lefebvre to make him known at its true value. In a completely different measure, I too wanted to make Daniel's immense talent known by offering him to make a Christmas album with a large orchestra. I can still see the sparkle in his eyes when I told him about the oboe (a magnificent instrument for which he hadn't written for so long ...), clarinet, flute, cellos, etc. He then said to me: "Finally, an album with real instruments! I'm going to have to bring out my pencil! ” Fate wanted it to be the last record he made before he left us. However, this same fate will give us great recognition: this disc won a Félix for the best instrumental album of the year. If my interpretation has anything to do with it, I am convinced that Daniel’s magnificent musical arrangements have greatly contributed to this recognition of the Industry. I would also add that the more beautiful the arrangements, the better the interpretation ... I continued to pay tribute to him at each of my Christmas concerts.
I got to know Daniel Hétu when he was a young conductor, considered a prodigy even, his musical studies had been so brilliant. He studied piano at the age of four and was named best organist in the world, in Japan, at 21 years old! He worked alongside me with René Simard and I used his talent thereafter on numerous occasions, notably for Ginette Reno, whose career I managed at the time.
So when I was presented with a Céline cassette singing "Ce n'était qu'un rêve (It was only a dream)", it was obvious to me that Daniel was the ideal musician to arrange and direct it. I have always had confidence in his immense talent, I knew that it needed a master to orchestrate this ballad which was going to serve me as a key to open the doors of the trade to a 13 year old girl with a unique voice.
Céline and Daniel had in common the fact that they had music in their skin from a very young age. He learned it from the greatest classical musicians here and she, gifted with a musicality from elsewhere.
Daniel left us too soon and no one replaced him in the hearts of Quebecers who loved his voice, his soft music and his natural romanticism.
Quebec has just lost a Great Talent. You have received an invaluable gift from God and you have been able to make it bear fruit.You have shown this gift as a musical arranger for the greatest Quebec artists and also as a singer, because you had an exceptional voice.You have had success in several television series and you have been able to get through difficult moments in this artistic environment.
On behalf of all these artists, I thank you for all that you have given us.
Thank you !! We will never forget you.
Charlotte et Hervé
What a musician, what an orchestrator, it is not because the circumstances lend themselves to it that the brilliant composer André Mathieu had qualified him as his best student. (Very young Daniel Hétu was the pupil of André Mathieu) musically speaking he is by far the most gifted pupil to have laid his fingers on the keys of this piano which however has already welcomed and heard many others he had said of him. How not to believe in his exceptional talent when the compliment is addressed by such a monument.
No doubt that up there in the section reserved for musicians Daniel Hétu was chosen by his peers to conduct the Divine Sound Symphony Orchestra .
Charlotte and Hervé (Singers and friends)
RIn the early 1980s, I spent the summer with my grandparents. I loved it because my grandma is the best cook in the world !! She was a good cook, a good grandmother, but especially the number 1 fan of Daniel Hétu !!! She didn't miss a Tannants show (show in which Daniel was the conductor) so every evening at supper time it was sacred… we ate while watching the Tannants. And if someone had the misfortune to speak while HER Daniel was singing, he would be reprimanded for sure !!! "We don't say a word when my Daniel sings chutttt" Many years later, at least once a month I still had this melody that came back to my mind "Je t'attendais (I was waiting for you)" and it reminded me of beautiful memories childhood! This song was so good to me that I decided to share it with the others ... .. and I interpreted it in my own way in one of my shows. Each time I saw lots of people singing it with me !! A hit is a hit !! When I went to do the Special Request program, I was asked if I wanted to do a duet… immediately I proposed a duet with Daniel Hétu, I thought that he probably wouldn't accept, but at my surprise I was confirmed the next day that it would be done !!!! I immediately thought of my grandmother who would be so proud to see her grandson sing with her idol 25 years later !!! It was an unforgettable moment…. And since that day Daniel I am your number 1 fan… .sorry number 2 after my Grandmother !!
Your friend Marc xx
My friend Daniel is gone but he leaves us his music which will remain magic, so many memories you have on his songs, the television shows where he was, who does not remember him? Nobody, I really had a great privilege in my life apart from having had Johnny Farago as father, I worked with the best pianist and good guy in the middle of Quebec artists, why should I forget it? Like my father, he sank into despair in this life of a great man forgotten because the media decided so! On television and on the radio, we don't make you hear what YOU want to hear ..... we make you hear what THEY want you to hear !!! And all this is managed by a small group of 6 people called THE HEARING COMMITTEE and it is they who decide what goes and what doesn't! When a big party ..... do they have no remorse? .... In the USA and in Europe it is different, we hear them still and always ... the big ones who marked the music, and Daniel was one of those and who was in addition THE musicians who allowed good artists to be able to perform in a show with the best musical arrangements made by a Great ..... Daniel Hétu, my friend rest in peace, I will continue to spread your music through my shows my friend, Word of Farago. ..
Sincerely Maxime Farago ... your friend
The unforgettable Daniel Hétu,
How many pianist musicians, polyinstrumentists, arrangers and composers can boast of having studied composition and pianistic interpretation with the great André Mathieu, nicknamed the "Quebec Mozart", one of the most important associated composers, like Rachmaninov, in postromantic school? How many accompanists of popular singers, with the known exception of my friend Scott Price the current conductor of Céline Dion, have pursued high level university studies in music? How many of all these musicians in the service of the glory and fortune of others have themselves tasted the success of having composed and performed at least one song that reached the highest peaks of French-speaking popular music scores in Quebec like in Canada?
THE PRODIGE CHILD
Daniel Hétu was a child prodigy in every sense of the word. At the age of four he started piano lessons with the renowned concert pianist and composer, André Mathieu, which could have influenced his choice to go later on to the "popular" rather than the "classical". Despite his international notoriety, this important creator who fell into oblivion was not doing much and had to give private lessons to survive decently. At the age of eleven, Daniel recorded his first 45rpm from one of his original compositions entitled: The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, which earned him the CKAC Grand Prize for Canadian disc children's section. At 21, Daniel represented Canada at the Yamaha International Organ Competition in Japan, while 28 countries were represented. He won first place and received the grand prize for "the best organist in the world". This is not surprising given that Daniel is the son of Lucien Hétu, famous songwriter and organist who sold more than a million albums during his Quebec, Canadian and international career.
A HARD WIN
Although he was recognized and highly appreciated for his work as an accompanist and conductor at Télé-Métropole (TVA) for major programs, although he was sought after by all the major international French-speaking artists coming to shoot in Quebec, although he has largely earned his living from his notorious musical virtuosity, and although he has managed to reach the top of notoriety with several of his famous successful ballads, Daniel bore in him cruel disappointment, to the Like his first master, André Mathieu, for not having been loved, admired, and recognized in Quebec for the depth of his genius as a composer and pianist in the field of great music called "classical". Like so many other Quebec artists who have received advanced training, possessing innate talents that would have called the greatest roles, the most prestigious exhibitions, the most important concerts, all over the world, Daniel Hétu had no other choice than to retain this ambitious dream to earn a living in a Quebec so large geographically and at the same time so small. His master André Mathieu, despite his precious talent and an important international notoriety having placed him among the greatest composers of the 21st century, did he not live an almost miserable life when they met?
FROM CLASSIC TO POPULAR
What he was able to sacrifice from great art to popular music was not in vain. He wrote the lyrics and composed the music for numerous songs that have made the happiness and pleasure of tens of thousands of Quebecers, and continue to do so. These days we often hear in a commercial ad at TVA an extract from the famous song which gave him a double gold record in 1977-78: I was waiting for you. I invite you to go to YouTube, to type "Daniel Hétu" in search, and you will be able to listen with pleasure to some of his beautiful songs today almost forgotten. "Everything goes by, everything gets tired", they say, especially when it comes to artistic popularity, isn't it? Poets and creators, whoever they are, have never had it easy ...
Pierre Harel Column on Canoe.ca Tuesday August 9, 2016 10:23 am
I met Daniel Hetu when I was a teenager living in Montreal. One out of a million other young kids with a dream of being a famous singer-songwriter one day.
Daniel would listen to my melodies carefully as I would perform them live for him on the piano. Those Demos with Daniel were some of my first ever recorded. He was a gifted pianist. His ability to interpret my songs with positive feedback gave me much needed confidence, I remember him fondly as a kind, dedicated musician. I consider myself fortunate to have had the chance to work with Daniel at such an impressionable age.
Hello, I am not a great writer but I can surely say a few words for my friend, I should say, our friend Daniel, I worked with him several times when he sang it was perfect and when he accompanied us it was still perfect first Daniel was lucky, the gift of having an absolute ear, in addition he could compose it is not given to everyone else, on God is a Woman.
I had the honor of working with him and also the sisters of Céline Dion as well as Guylaine Tanguay and of course my son Pierre, what a great adventure, unfortunately it did not end for Daniel's taste and you have why ... what more can a pianist make jealous, we can say that we lost.
The pianist of Quebec …… .where you are Daniel there must surely be very beautiful melodies
Surely one day I will sing one or two with you.
Like so many people, I first knew Daniel as a pianist and then as an excellent musical arranger, composer and singer. A person with an unwavering zest for life.
I am grateful for the friendship, the artistic complicity, the laughs, the anxieties of the profession and the musical knowledge that we shared.
He has often been a great help to me in carrying out my career plans. When Daniel was composing music for me, the lyrics of my songs really made sense, he always knew how to match music and lyrics to make my songs unforgettable. He was an extraordinary artist, a genius, a professional capable of writing music with his heart as well as with his head.
Unfortunately he didn’t have time to leave a legacy because of a ruthless illness that struck him down but he will still be alive in my heart.
A forever friend Evan Joanness.
From one friend to another ... who is no longer,
It is always easy to praise a missing person with compliments. What is less easy is to say the real things as they were perceived and what one could have told him while he was alive.
It is with this deep friendship, that I am about to give you the depths of my thoughts without low flattery and without interest other than that of describing to you, in short for obvious, the artist and the person I have known.
Like all of you from the public and the artistic colony who have followed Daniel Hétu's career since his beginnings, I have always recognized the artist's great talent. I unfortunately knew the person, only 11 years before his death.
Our friendship was brief, but intense. He told me almost everything about him and so did I, almost ... everything. So I can tell you bluntly that he had already decided for a long time to enjoy life, without limits. It was his right, his choice and it was his life after all. He probably paid the price. Wasn't he the son of the great artist who was his father Lucien Hétu? However, the artistic performances, both vocal and musical, were never in doubt, because Daniel was a great professional.
I was fortunate enough to meet him at a cocktail party in the fall of 1996. He was, I must say, going throuw a rought phase. You should know immediately that Daniel with his great sensitivity and exceptional talent could only live very big "high" and very big "down". Isn't it also very often the mark of the great artists of this world, These are characteristics which do not generally lie. So it was let's say his case. At that time work was scarce and he was aware that his star had turned pale, but his passion was intact, the conversation that we had at that time started a friendly relationship of the type "when it clicks, it clicks", which ultimately lasted 11 years. It was on this occasion that suddenly and humbly he offered me his services as musicians, voice, orchestrator and accompanist. He took the opportunity to introduce me to the woman of his life, his partner and manager Diane Juteau.
I took a few days to think about it and that's when we agreed to collaborate. From a first project, to an evening engagement, to another project and another engagement, we have come to know each other better and become inseparable. Our friendship only grew even if we had diametrically opposed styles, visions and personalities. This surely confirms that opposites attract each other.
So I learned who the being and the artist was ... probably him too. I therefore had respect for his talent and our amusing complicity at the level of the artist and I loved the individual for his generosity, his availability, sometimes even for an uneasiness that appeared on the horizon from time to time . Beneath the appearance of a mature man, in control of his emotions, hid a child's heart that made him move., Dear Daniel ..., that’s also friendship: listening and understanding. I knew I could count on him and he on me.
In November 2007, we had just completed a fabulous tour of shows in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, following a tour across Quebec a few months earlier. Like every year, I call Daniel the day before his birthday to offer him my wishes, December 1 being his date of birth and everything seemed to be going very well. Two days later or a few days later his wife Diane calls me to let me know that Daniel has just been hospitalized in an emergency and that this seems to be serious. At these times, communications are always difficult and the why and how are not always answered. This is often due to panic and the lack of information that is offered to loved ones themselves. So I don't insist and wait for the news.
A few days later, he is still under analysis, but I am informed that I can visit him around December 15. I find a friend in his bed, a little in disagreement, but still jovial. With his very particular humor, he tells me that he appreciates my visit and that he has plans. It's a good sign. The best clue he’s going to recover is from my point of view that he’s joking with the nurses (I won’t surprise you by saying that Mr. Hétu has always been very successful with the fairer sex). From one nurse to another he would say "Je t'attendais (I was waiting for you)" ... you know the song. Ladykiller and funny with that!
We all hoped that life would spare him, but unfortunately I could not pay him a second visit scheduled for Christmas Eve. He left us gently in the first week of January 2008. It was a great loss for all.
I will therefore keep an unforgettable memory of the gift that life gave me by rubbing shoulders during the last 11 years of his life, one of the best musicians of his generation, author, composer and performer and a being fundamentally in love with life, I will certainly never be ashamed to remember Daniel Hétu as a very talented friend who is sincere, sensitive, funny and human. I hope that his last dreams will be realized in recognition of a being and an artist who has left an indelible mark on Quebec culture.
We can reserve a "standing ovation" for his stay with us.
Sincerely, your old friend Serge Laprade
Daniel Hétu ... A man, a genius, a musician, an arranger, a virtuoso, an accompanist, a composer, a concert artist, a performer, a singer, an artist, a pianist, Daniel Hétu was all that and much more .
Above all, Daniel was my friend, whom I regret having lost too soon. There are, and there will always be artists, but never more, there will be no Daniel Hétu.
Mario Lirette (sincere friend)
Denis S. Pantis
We know that Daniel is the son of Lucien Hétu and that he was a child prodigy. From a young age until the end of his life, music was his passion. What impressed me most about him was his preparation and professionalism, whether for television shows such as "Les Tannants", "De bon humeur" and "Un air d'été" as well as his arrangements for artists such as Michel Louvain (La dame en bleu), himself (Je t'attendais) and many others. He touched on all aspects of show business, from organizing shows to his own "Visa" label.
I will always remember his humility and generosity with his work mates, and especially his patience to complete his obligations at work. The Quebec musical world owes him great recognition.
Thank you, Daniel, for your talent as a musician, composer and arranger, thank you for the good person that you were, you left early, and I hope that your works will survive, your friend Pierre Perpall who enjoyed working with you.
Guy Rhéaume (Studio GR)
Animated by the desire to meet the best musicians of Quebec one day I was introduced to DANIEL HÉTU a young musician who works with his father LUCIEN. This project, intended to be a Christmas mic, showed me how talented Quebec is. Daniel played just about every instrument on the record, from piano to percussion. Some time later DANIEL came to the studio with the first synthesizer of the time, very innovative… .. it is in 1969. All the projects that we touched afterwards were successful, even the disc “ JE T'ATTENDAIS ”that we made together won a gold record. Hard worker our last project won a Felix for the instrumental album of the year and DANIEL was sick during the recording it was our last project together. Not only is Quebec losing a great talent, but I am losing a friend.
The passion that united me to Daniel is music.
Because for me better than anyone could savor his talent, could savor the arrangements he was refining for me and could savor the pleasures of life that I always have and he doesn't.
He was extravagant as I know it, he was intelligent as I would like to be and sensitive as I happen to be.
A very great artist and my evenings with him looked like an hour, his music that floated in the air at home he has always been and will always be irreplaceable.
I knew him when he was 5 years old, he can't remember. When I found him, 15 years later, he was already a great pianist that all the conductors tore himself away from. A little later, we went up on the same stage, Salle Wilfrid Pelletier to accompany Ginette Reno.
It was him, the youngest, whom she had entrusted with writing his arrangements and directing the large orchestra and the choristers of which I was a part. It was fascinating the mastery he had. I was blissful in admiration. He never knew. However, we often worked together.
Today Daniel, I tell you. You know the rest. Daniel became a star. But that’s not what matters. Daniel is part of this very rare race, that of true artists. And I weigh my words. I would always be proud to tell people that just like him, I was born on December 1st. It's reassuring.
My dear Daniel, I renew my friendship to you.
Happy 25th and BRAVO
Personally when I think of Daniel, the first thing that comes to my mind is that he was someone very positive, with him there was never a problem everything was possible.
We have traveled a lot together on tour in Quebec and the United States and I always felt confident and very proud to present him because he had an exceptional talent.
In addition, Daniel was extremely generous and his friends could count on him.
Michel R Tessier
It is always sad to learn the death of a good musician with whom we played. Personally, as a drummer, I have only a good memory of Daniel's professionalism and talent when I played with him and his father for a brief period in the 1970s.
These documents has been translated from french to english with Google translate
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