Christine and the Queens

Family tree of Christine and the Queens

Singer & Musician

FrenchBorn Héloïse LETISSIER

French singer, songwriter, and record producer

Born on June 1, 1988 in Nantes, Loire-Atlantique , France (32 years)

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Héloïse Adélaïde Letissier (French: [elɔiz adəlaid lətisje]; born 1 June 1988), known professionally as Christine and the Queens or occasionally simply Chris, is a French singer, songwriter, and record producer.
Her debut album, Chaleur humaine (2014), was met with critical acclaim and was named one of the best albums of the year by The Guardian, The Independent, NME, and Mojo. In 2018, she released her second album Chris to further critical acclaim. It was named "Album of the Year" by The Guardian with its first single "Girlfriend" ranked "Song of the Year" by Time. In 2020, she released in reaction to her mother's death an EP called La Vita Nuova coupled with a short film shot at the famed Opéra Garnier, with some critics calling it her strongest work up to that point. Its first single "People, I've Been Sad" was named "Song of the Year" by Time.In 2016, Letissier was ranked number 1 in Vanity Fair's list of the most powerful and influential French people who “promote French genius” (ahead of the president of France). In 2017, she was chosen as the headline for Time's list of the 10 leaders of the next generation, the same year Forbes ranked her as one of the most influential and talented people under 30. She won four French Victories of Music awarded by Ministry of Culture, among others.
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Early life
Héloïse Adélaïde Letissier was born on 1 June 1988 in Nantes, France. Her father, Georges Letissier, teaches English at the University of Nantes and specializes in Victorian era literature. Her mother, Martine Letissier, taught both French and Latin at a local middle school. She began learning to play the piano at the age of four, classical dance at five, and then modern-jazz. Her parents recommended her writers such as Sarah Waters and Judith Butler whose works served both as inspiration and reference in Letissier's youth. She studied theatre at Lycée Georges Clemenceau in Nantes and continued her education in Lycée Fénelon secondary schoold in Paris. She later started learning in the Department of Arts at École normale supérieure de Lyon (ENS Lyon) and also attended Conservatoire à rayonnement régional de Lyon (fr).When she visited London in 2010, she was inspired by the work of local drag queen musicians, including Russella, in Madame Jojo's club. The queens then became 'the Queens' in her stage name as a tribute. As soon as she returned to France she left the ENSL grande école in the middle of the second year to devote herself fully to the musical project now called "Christine and the Queens". She dedicated many of her creations to them and to all transgender individuals, describing her genre as "freakpop".


Career


2011–2013: EP releases and early live appearances
Christine and the Queens released her debut EP Miséricorde in 2011 independently followed by another EP called Mac Abbey in 2012 with the minor hits "Narcissus Is Back" and "Cripple". The same year she was also the opening act for Lykke Li, The Dø, and Woodkid. She won the Best Discovered Act award, known as "Découverte", at the music festival Printemps de Bourges and also won the "Première Francos" award at the Les Francofolies de La Rochelle festival. Then she signed with independent label Because Music for 5 songs EP.In 2013 she was the opening act for Lilly Wood and the Prick. On 3 June 2013 she released single and also EP of the same name titled "Nuit 17 à 52", which garnered her first charting on the official French Albums Chart SNEP. It was the first single of her forthcoming first album.


2014–2017: Christine and the Queens

Her debut studio album, Chaleur humaine, was first released in France on 2 June 2014. There were three additional singles from this album edition released: "Saint Claude", "Christine", and "Paradis perdus". "Christine" is a French version of "Cripple" earlier released in 2012. The album was certified diamond in France.For the American market single "Tilted", English version of "Cripple" / "Christine", was released on 3 March 2015 with the Neon Gold Records label. Letissier then toured North America for promotion with Marina and the Diamonds. Exclusively for this market EP Saint Claude was released on 14 April 2015, it includes five songs from Chaleur humaine in English versions. On 16 October 2015 full album was also released for this market as Christine and the Queens via Because Music. For its American release, many the tracks were reworked with English lyrics and revamped beats by producer Ash Workman. Two tracks were replaced with three new songs and two of these new songs were collaborations – "Jonathan" with Perfume Genius, and "No Harm Is Done" with rapper Tunji Ige. For this edition of the album these two new collaborations were released as additional singles, the latter on 11 September 2015, and the former on 16 October. "Tilted" was named one of the ten best songs of 2015 by Time magazine.The American version of the album was also released in the UK in 2016 but reverted to its original French title. The album received universal critical acclaim and was featured on many year-end lists of 2016. "Tilted" was also released in the UK on 15 January 2016 and the song peaked at number twenty on the UK Singles Chart.
In the meantime the singer appeared on The Daily Show in 12 November 2015 and twice on Jools' Annual Hootenanny, in 31 December 2016 and 1 January 2017. Her song "iT" was licensed for the closing scenes and credits on the episode "Old Loves" of the Girls series 5th season, which aired on 13 March 2016. In September, she put together a cover of Beyoncé's "Sorry" in the BBC Live Lounge, for arrangement and rendition she was included in the "6 Best New Songs of the Week" list by Vulture. The same year Letissier was chosen as one of BBC's 100 Women.In the season 2 finale of Better Things series, Sam, her younger daughters, and mother recreate the video of "Tilted" as a graduation gift to oldest daughter Max. The episode aired on 16 November 2017.


2018–present: Chris

In 2018, she announced a new tour planned for the autumn and a new album. It was preceded by the release of two singles, each of which was released in both English and French version: "Girlfriend" / "Damn, dis-moi" on 17 May, "Doesn't Matter" / "Doesn't Matter (Voleur de soleil)" on 5 July, and later also "5 Dollars" on 16 August and "La Marcheuse" on 23 August.
The album Chris was released on 21 September 2018 and received widespread critical acclaim. Robert Steiner of The Boston Globe called the album a "refreshing, empowering record" and complimented its "stellar production and contagiously danceable jams", as well as Letissier's "engrossing lyricism". Although he felt that the album "loses steam" in its second half, Steiner named "The Walker" as a highlight for its "poignant" portrayal of a victim of domestic violence. Chris was featured in top of many 2018 year-end lists finishing at number one in Clash, The Independent, and The Guardian lists and in top-five of five other lists.
In May 2019, Christine and the Queens performed during the season finale for the eleventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race held in the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. The same month she headlined All Points East festival in London marking her first UK headline festival appearance. Her performance was very well received, The Independent gave it five stars.On 17 July 2019, Charli XCX released the song and video for "Gone" featuring Christine and the Queens. Pitchfork listed the song at number 4 on its list of the 2019 100 best songs, and at number 145 for the 200 best songs of the 2010s. The track was also shortlisted by BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac for Hottest Record of The Year, voted for by the public, and ended up scoring third place. In the 2019 Pitchfork's 2010s summary list “Tilted” is ranked number 106.Letissier released an EP La Vita Nuova ('The New Life') containing five tracks and one bonus track on 27 February 2020. It was met with widespread critical acclaim upon its release. Variety called the EP "arguably [her] best work to date". She simultaneously released a conceptual short film directed by their longtime collaborator Colin Solal Cardo. The film takes place at the historical Parisian landmark Palais Garnier and features Letissier and a group of dancers dancing to the songs from the EP. The video concludes with a guest appearance from featured artist Caroline Polachek.


Artistry


Influences
Letissier has said that she "does not want to choose between French music and English pop music" and takes influence from both. In a November 2013 interview with Brain Magazine, she cited artists David Bowie, T. Rex, Christophe, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Philip Glass as well as the Soul Train soundtracks as musical influences. She also named Michael Jackson as her favourite male singer and "either Patti Smith or Kate Bush" as her favourite female singer. Other influences include Mylène Farmer, Björk, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson, Lou Reed, Joe Jackson, and Serge Gainsbourg.She said of the London drag clubs: "These drag artists have become my friends, they've inspired my creativity. They gave me the idea of creating a character, inventing another silhouette, another way of being in this world. Before it was a musical project, Christine was for me the answer to how to live properly. The Queens in Christine and the Queens is my tribute to them. Without the queens, I wouldn't be here".


Lyrical and musical style
Christine and the Queens claims lyrics that are not immediately understandable. She explained that she enjoys "authors with difficult lyrics", such as Alain Bashung. Her music has been labelled by music critics as pop, synthpop, electropop, indie pop, experimental pop, and art pop, while she described her own work as "freakpop".


Personal life
Letissier is pansexual. In an October 2019 interview with the magazine Attitude, she explained how she is genderqueer.


Discography

Chaleur humaine (2014)
Chris (2018)Christine and the Queens has been signed to the independent record label Because Music since 2012.


See also

List of French singers
List of French singer-songwriters


References


External links
Official website
Christine and the Queens – Because Music
Christine and the Queens – Discogs



Biography from Wikipedia (see original) under licence CC BY-SA 3.0


 

Geographical origins

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