We first encountered French pop superstar Christine and the Queens when she covered Kanye West’s “Heartless” with an unlikely twist: mixing in bits of 1973 French hit “Les Paradis Perdus.” Knowing that, it should be no surprise that the newly short-haired Christine doesn’t play her Rihanna cover for the BBC straight. Instead, throughout her powerful rendition of Rihanna’s “Kiss It Better,” she sprinkles in lines from Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights.”
Though you may never have heard of her, Christine and the Queens are huge in France. Her debut album went to #2 last year, her music videos have millions of views, and, judging from poking around YouTube, she’s performed on every French TV show there is. Now, like so many artists before her that have to assure doubters “I’m big in [any country that’s not America]”, she’s trying to break stateside. And she’ll probably do it.
A new version of her debut album is being released in the States, with appearances by Perfume Genius and Tunji Ige. And, in an almost too-perfect metaphor for bridging the cultural divide, one track combines a cover of Kanye West‘s “Heartless” with a cover of “Les Paradis Perdus” by an older French star, Christophe.