Belgian music stars who deceased at age 39

Here are 3 famous musicians from Belgium died at 39:

Johnny Claes

Johnny Claes (August 11, 1916 London-February 3, 1956 Brussels) also known as Claes, Johnny was a Belgian race car driver.

He competed in Formula One between 1950 and 1954, starting a total of 25 races and achieving two podium finishes. Outside of racing, Claes was also a jazz musician and bandleader, playing the trumpet and leading his own band, the Johnny Claes Orchestra. He was among the first jazz musicians in Belgium to adopt bebop style in the 1940s. Claes was also known for being a skilled aviator and had flown during World War II as a member of the Belgian Air Force. He died in a plane crash while on a business trip in 1956.

Claes was born in London, but spent much of his childhood in Belgium. His father was a wealthy Belgian businessman, which allowed him to pursue his passions for both music and motorsports. Claes began racing in the late 1930s, and continued to race even after the outbreak of World War II. He competed in a variety of events, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, where he finished second overall in 1950. In addition to his podium finishes in Formula One, Claes also achieved success in sports car races, winning the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in 1952.

As a musician, Claes was well-respected in the Belgian jazz scene of the 1940s and 1950s, and played with many notable musicians, including Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. He was also a skilled arranger and composer, and wrote several original pieces for his band. Claes was known for his charismatic stage presence and energetic performances, which made him a popular figure both on and off the racetrack.

When he wasn't racing or performing, Claes was an avid aviator, and flew his own planes for pleasure and travel. He often used his aviation skills to aid the Belgian resistance during World War II, ferrying supplies and personnel across enemy lines. Unfortunately, his love of flying ultimately led to his tragic death, when the plane he was piloting crashed near Brussels in 1956. Despite his relatively short career, Johnny Claes left a lasting impact on both music and motorsports, and remains a beloved figure in Belgian cultural history.

Claes' love for cars and music began at an early age. He started playing the trumpet at the age of 12 and quickly became proficient in the instrument. Meanwhile, he was fascinated by the speed and excitement of auto racing and began racing in local events at the age of 20.

Claes' talent in both music and racing eventually led him to become a notable figure in both fields. His racing career took off in the 1950s when he was invited to join the HWM racing team, which allowed him to compete in Formula One races. Despite not having the fastest car, Claes' skill and determination allowed him to secure two podium finishes during his F1 career.

In addition to racing and music, Claes also had a love for aviation. He served as a pilot during World War II, flying combat missions for the Belgian Air Force. After the war, he continued to fly and owned several planes, which he used for personal travel and to transport his racing team's equipment to different race locations.

Claes' life ended tragically when the plane he was piloting crashed during a business trip in 1956. However, his legacy lives on as a talented musician and race car driver who had a passion for adventure and a love for life.

Claes was also known for his love of women and his flamboyant lifestyle. He was married three times and had many affairs throughout his life. His charm and charisma made him a desired companion among women, and he was often seen at social events with beautiful women by his side. Claes was also known to throw extravagant parties, where his love of jazz music and racing converged into a unique and unforgettable experience for his guests. His larger-than-life personality and adventurous spirit made him a beloved figure among his fans and peers. Despite his many passions and pursuits, Claes remained humble and down-to-earth, and was always willing to help and mentor young musicians and drivers who wanted to follow in his footsteps. His legacy continues to inspire and entertain people around the world, and his impact on Belgian culture and history cannot be overstated.

Read more about Johnny Claes on Wikipedia »

Rémy Belvaux

Rémy Belvaux (November 10, 1966 Namur, Belgium-September 4, 2006 Orry-la-Ville) a.k.a. Remy Belvaux or Rémy Nicolas Lucien Belvaux was a Belgian film producer, film director, actor, screenwriter and film editor.

Belvaux was best known for his work on the mockumentary film "Man Bites Dog" (1992), which he co-wrote, directed, and starred in. The film follows a team of documentary filmmakers who follow a charismatic and charming serial killer as he goes about his daily life of murder and mayhem. It was a critical success and gained a cult following.

In addition to "Man Bites Dog," Belvaux also directed and acted in the films "The Right of the Weakest" (1999) and "La Raison du Plus Faible" (2006), which were both well received by critics.

Belvaux's suicide was a shock to the Belgian film industry and his fans. His death was attributed to depression and other personal issues. He is remembered as a talented filmmaker who pushed the boundaries of cinema, and his work continues to be celebrated and studied by film scholars and fans around the world.

Prior to his success with "Man Bites Dog," Belvaux worked on several short films and documentaries, including "Les Convoyeurs attendent" which was co-directed with his frequent collaborator André Bonzel. In addition to his film work, Belvaux also acted in several Belgian TV shows and films, including "Le Bal Masqué" (1998) and "Le Signaleur" (1996).

Belvaux was a graduate of the Institut des Arts de Diffusion (IAD) in Belgium, where he studied filmmaking. He also taught at the school as a professor of film editing.

Despite his success, Belvaux remained humble and committed to his craft. In an interview with The Guardian in 1993, he said, "I have no ambition to be a star. I don't want to be in front of the camera. I want to make films."

Belvaux's legacy continues to inspire aspiring filmmakers and fans of alternative and independent cinema.

In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Rémy Belvaux was also a talented musician. He played guitar and sang in a punk band called "Les Snuls" with his brother, Bruno Belvaux, and friend, Benoît Poelvoorde. The band gained a following in Belgium in the 1980s and even appeared on TV. Belvaux's experience as a musician and performer likely contributed to his ability to create realistic and engaging characters in his films.

Belvaux's impact on the film industry was significant, as he was part of a group of Belgian filmmakers known as the "cinéma du corps" or "body cinema." These filmmakers, including the Dardenne brothers and Jaco Van Dormael, focused on gritty, realistic portrayals of everyday life and people. Belvaux's work in "Man Bites Dog" reflected this style with its dark humor and unflinching portrayal of violence.

Belvaux's death in 2006 was a loss to the film industry and his fans, but his contributions continue to be celebrated. In 2012, a documentary about the making of "Man Bites Dog," called "C'est Arrivé Près de Chez Vous: Le Making Of," was released in France. The film featured interviews with Belvaux's collaborators and friends and provided insight into his creative process.

Despite his untimely death, Rémy Belvaux's legacy continues to live on as his work continues to inspire new generations of filmmakers. His unique vision and commitment to producing thought-provoking and unconventional films has made him a celebrated figure in Belgian and European cinema. His dedication to the craft of filmmaking and his commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is considered conventional has continued to influence contemporary filmmakers. In particular, his exploration of the intersection between the real and the fictitious, as seen in "Man Bites Dog," has led to a new wave of mockumentary-style films. Belvaux remains a symbol of independent cinema and his contribution to the film industry is an inspiration to any aspiring filmmaker.

He died in suicide.

Read more about Rémy Belvaux on Wikipedia »

Albert Huybrechts

Albert Huybrechts (February 12, 1899 Dinant-February 21, 1938) was a Belgian personality.

His discography includes: .

Read more about Albert Huybrechts on Wikipedia »

Related articles