Eddy Marnay, 82, a French lyricist who wrote for legendary singers such as Edith Piaf and contributed the lyrics for Celine Dion's first album, died Friday at the American hospital in Neuilly, outside Paris. The cause of death was not reported.
In a six-decade career, Marnay wrote lyrics for about 4,000 songs, mostly for French singers. He often collaborated with composer Emil Stern and pianist Michel Legrand. He was also well-regarded abroad. When Barbra Streisand recorded her hit "Evergreen" in French, Marnay supplied the lyrics.
Marnay was born in 1920 in France's former colony of Algeria, and he moved to Paris in 1937. With the singer Leo Ferre, he wrote lyrics for "Les Amants de Paris" (The Lovers of Paris), which was recorded by Piaf.
Marnay met Dion when she was 13 and quickly recognized her talent. He called her "the divine voice" and wrote the lyrics for her breakthrough album in 1981.
Marnay also held several top posts at France's Society of Authors, Composers and Music Editors.