Kendji Girac: The Voice France star seriously hurt after shooting

Kendji Girac
Kendji Girac first rose to fame in 2013, after covering a song by rapper Gims [Getty Images]

A winner of the French series of The Voice is in serious condition after being shot in the chest.

Authorities say Kendji Girac's life is no longer considered in danger.

Police were called at about 05:30 local time (04:30 GMT) to a traveller site in Biscarrosse, around 50km (31 miles) from Bordeaux.

French media reported that in initial talks with investigators, the 27-year-old linked the incident to his own mishandling of a firearm.

According to the reports, Mr Girac - who has sold millions of albums since his appearance on The Voice - told first responders he had shot himself accidentally while handling a pistol he had purchased from a junk shop.

He was transported to a hospital in Bordeaux following the shooting.

A source close to the investigation told the AFP news agency that police had not ruled anything out in their probe.

The shooting took place near the reception area of a traveller community camp in Biscarosse, where Mr Girac had been for several days.

"This isn't a gangland shooting. It's an accident. He was playing with the thing and 'bam'," a man called Emilio, who said he was Mr Girac's uncle, told AFP at the camp.

The singer was due to perform in Marseille on Friday to celebrate the approach of the Olympic flame. The event's organiser said he will no longer take part in light of his injury.

Kendji Girac is the stage name of Kendji Maille, 27, who grew up in the Catalan Gypsy community.

He first rose to fame in 2013, after covering a song by Congolese-French rapper Gims. The following year, he won The Voice France. He has released five studio albums, most recently L'École de la Vie (The School of Life) in 2022.

His hits Color Gitano and Andalouse have hundreds of millions of views on YouTube.

Around half a million people make up the Gypsy community in France. Many live in the south-west of the country, where Mr Girac was brought up. Like many French Gypsies, Mr Girac has Spanish roots and several of his songs are in Spanish.

But Mr Girac's popularity extends well beyond his own community. With his good looks, modern Gypsy and rumba pop music and clean-cut image he has become a "poster boy" for the French Gypsy community.

Reacting to the news, French TV host Cyril Hanouna said: "We are all shocked. We love him, he's a great guy, incredibly kind, always smiling, always ready to help."