Exceptional songwriter Patrick Bourgeois passes away at 55

Patrick Bourgeois earned four SOCAN Classic Awards at the 2009 SOCAN Gala in Montréal. (SOCAN)
November 27, 2017

It is with tremendous sadness that SOCAN learned about the death of singer-songwriter Patrick Bourgeois, ate age 55, after battling cancer for months. This SOCAN member was the idol of an entire generation of children, teens and adults, thanks to his immense songwriting talent as a member of the legendary band Les BB. He founded the trio in 1989 with his buddies Alain Lapointe and François Jean, after a stint with the comedy collective Rock et Belles Oreilles, during which he wrote their theme song.

From Les BB’s first three studio albums (eponymous, 1989; Snob, 1991; and 3, 1994) came four SOCAN Classics: “Donne-moi ma chance,” “Parfums du passé,” “T’es dans la lune,” and “Tu ne sauras jamais.” Many more, including “Loulou,” “Seul au combat” and “Fais attention,” ensured that the BB’s sold more than half a million albums, and became the indisputable idols of Québec youth in the ’90s.

Many SOCAN members who’ve known, or simply been touched by, Patrick Bourgeois’s magnificent pop sensibilities have reacted to his passing. Among them, Stéphanie Boulay, of Les soeurs Boulay, who published, on Sunday night, a touching family video where one can see the young Boulay sisters dancing in front of their TV where a BB song is playing.

“Countless times we found ourselves looking for a melody, and start writing, only to find that we’re actually writing a Patrick Bourgeois melody,” said Boulay. “It goes to show how important he was to us as children, but also how he had a knack for writing killer melodies, the melodies we all seek as songwriters.”

Matt Laurent, a close friend of Bourgeois, played at his last concert, on Aug. 5, 2017, in St-Pascal-de-Kamouraska. “He was my buddy, an incredibly cool guy!” said Laurent.  “A simple man, funny, authentic, generous, talented like you wouldn’t believe, and incredibly motivated. I sang his songs in bars, and opened for Les BB when I was 19, and I’ve been a fan of his work ever since! All he wanted was to write songs, all the time. He constantly had melodies bouncing around in his head. He really left us way too soon. I already miss him…”

Michel Rivard of beau Dommage also shared his admiration for the artist, saying “RIP Great pop composer: Patrick Bourgeois, respect…” As for Mario Pelchat, he focused on Bourgeois’ human qualities, saying “You kept your dignity while you faced your opponent. You were strong and solid for your loved ones, especially your son, who was just starting his own music career. You were always present for him, supporting him, encouraging him, as any self-respecting, proud dad must do, in my opinion. You will forever live in my mind and in my heart! Bon voyage, Patrick. My deepest, heartfelt condolences to your spouse, children, parents and friends.”

Bourgeois’ son Ludovick announced, on the Facebook page he shared with his father, that “a ceremony will be held soon where members of the public and friends will gather to remember this singer, songwriter and producer who was active on Québec’s music scene during the last 30 years.”

On behalf of its author, composer and publisher members, SOCAN offers its sincerest condolences to Patrick Bourgeois’ family and loved ones.