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French singer and actress Régine, who claimed to have invented the modern discotheque and once ran a nightclub empire from Paris to Los Angeles, died on Sunday aged 92.
"The queen of the night has left," Regine's friend, the comic Pierre Palmade, said in a statement on behalf of Régine's family.
She "had the stars of the whole world dancing in her nightclubs", he added.
Régine died peacefully at 11:00 local time on Sunday, her granddaughter Daphne Rotcajg told AFP.
The singer opened her first club, "Chez Régine", in Paris's Latin Quarter in the 1950s, replacing the juke-box, ubiquitous in dance venues at the time, with turntables and disc jockeys.
The new format, she often said, justified her claim to "the invention of the discotheque".
She famously told AFP in 2015: "If you can't dance, you can't make love."
The new discos caught on with the jet set and Régine opened several more venues across the world, including "Regine's" in New York in the 1970s, and others in Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles.
At its height, Régine's disco empire comprised 22 establishments, and some 20,000 people owned an exclusive membership card in the 1980s that gave them access to all of them.
Pop artist Andy Warhol, showbiz star Liza Minelli, bankers the Rothschilds, and the Kennedys were among her customers.
Her name "became synonymous with the crazy nights that lasted until the small hours", Palmade said, adding that Régine herself would "hit the dance floor until closing time".
"The night is orphaned, having lost its queen," said veteran French singer Line Renaud, on Twitter.
The singer was born Regina Zylberberg to Polish Jews in Belgium in 1929.
They moved to Paris in 1932 and she and her family were later forced to hide from the Nazis in occupied France.
While most famous internationally as a nightclub entrepreneur, back home Régine was always considered more for her contribution to French songwriting.
French singer Renaud called her the last historic representative of the French chanson, inspiring an entire generation of singer songwriters, including Serge Gainsbourg and Barbara. Her recording of Gainsbourg's "Les p'tits papiers" in 1965 became a huge hit.
After performing in the legendary Olympia venue in the French capital in the 1960s, Regine sang in New York's Carnegie Hall to a warm reception by an American audience, a feat that among French singers only Edith Piaf could match.
"It would make me very happy if people still listened to my songs 50 years from now," she told AFP in 2020, adding that she was "very proud" that some of them had become part of France's standard repertoire.
"My first profession was discotheques," she said. "For a long time, songs were just a hobby. But now I realise that the stage has been the most important part of my life."
She also acted in several films, including by star directors Claude Lelouch and Claude Zidi.
Having sold all of her nightclubs by the late 2000s, Regine – who had boasted that she spent "a fortune" each day – declared herself "ruined".
But she went on to harness her showbiz connections for causes close to her heart, such as the fight against drug abuse, and continued to perform on stage and participate in talk shows.
In 2008 she received the highest French order of merit, the Legion d'Honneur, from then-president Nicolas Sarkozy.
As late as 2016, at 86, she appeared at the Parisian cabaret "Folies-Bergeres", wearing her famous red boa, and sang a French cover of "I will survive", Gloria Gaynor's hit.
"Retire? There's absolutely no rush," she told AFP at the time.