Christine and the Queens

Christine and the Queens

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About Christine and the Queens

When Christine and the Queens arrived in 2014, it was with one of the most compelling origin stories pop had seen in some time. Fleeing Paris to escape heartbreak, the depressed, erstwhile theater student (he was expelled, he says, for defying sexist professors) wound up in a London gay club watching drag queens make their way through a shambolic act onstage. The art of DIY performance presented him with an outlet for his conflicted identity and censured creativity: Christine and the Queens was born, named in tribute to his inspirations. He returned to Paris and worked feverishly on his debut album, 2014’s Chaleur Humaine, which caused a sensation in France—and later internationally—with its elegant synth-pop and lyrics about not fitting in. His songs felt subtle and sincere compared to other, more mainstream outsider anthems; he was capable of capturing the masquerade (“I’m a man now,” he declared on “iT”) as well as total desolation (“Saint Claude”) of life and art. (The artist, born Héloïse Letissier, began using he/him pronouns in 2022.) His highly choreographed performances—most notably at Glastonbury in 2016, hours after Brexit had become a reality—have cemented his fame. That same physicality and confidence powered his second album, 2018’s Chris, a name he adopted as his own. Although he drew from Erotica-era Madonna and Velvet Rope-era Janet Jackson, Chris’ portrayal of queer sexuality was unprecedented: sizzling, horny, and hungry. In 2022, he assumed another creative persona, Redcar, for his third album, Redcar les adorables étoiles (prologue): a high-concept collection of ’80s-style synth-pop and funk inspired by artists such as The Cure and Fad Gadget, and sung almost entirely in French.

Nantes, France
June 1, 1988
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