French pop-rock legend Alain Bashung died aged 61 of lung cancer on March 14 in Paris, his agent Garance Productions said in a statement.

The multi-platinum artist received three awards at the Victoires de la Musique ceremony, which was televised live on Feb. 28. He was the most awarded artist of the French music industry's main awards ceremony with 11 trophies overall.

Often described as a rocker, Bashung explored a repertoire mixing rock, pop or chanson and managed to touch a massive audience despite a sometimes complex musical approach.

His last album, "Bleu Petrole" (Barclay/Universal), reached platinum sales (200,000 units) following its release last year. He released his first album "Romans Photos," a commercial failure, in 1977.

Bashung, who had been suffering cancer for the past two years, was currently touring. He had postponed several dates lately and was due to perform at the Printemps de Bourges festival on April 24.

He received tributes from French artists, music executives and politicians. "A prince left us," declared French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Pascal Nègre, Universal Music France president, said on French radio RTL, "Alain Bashung was one of the last French chanson giants. He reaches [Jacques] Brel, Barbara, [Georges] Brassens and [Leo] Ferré in the firmament."

Bashung will be buried on March 20.

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