A French singer / songwriter, Canadian transplant, and Rwandan genocide survivor, Corneille has always stood between worlds.
Though inspired by the usual R&B legends -- Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Prince, and Michael Jackson -- his music has a universal appeal that has largely kept him from being pigeonholed by race. He fits on the musical spectrum somewhere between Christophe Mae and Tété.
Corneille (pronounced Kor-NAY) launched his career in his adopted home of Montreal, but it was France that first embraced him as one of their own. This platinum-selling artist triumphed over personal tragedy to become one of today's most popular singers in France and French-speaking countries around the world.
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Vanessa Paradis has certainly defied the odds. When an unlikely hit song catapulted her into the international spotlight at age 14, she seemed destined for one-hit wonderdom.
But with luck and and some reinvention, she has parlayed her 15 minutes of fame into a successful career spanning over 25 years. Though her discography boasts work with icons like Serge Gainsbourg and Lenny Kravitz, Paradis has still lacked a certain prestige in the music world, until now.
The award-winning actress, Chanel model, and all around "it" girl is probably best known outside France as Johnny Depp's partner and baby mama. (The Hollywood couple split in 2012 after 14 years.) But much like Quelqu'un m'a dit did for Carla Bruni, Paradis' latest album will make you forget all the other stuff she's famous for -- even that godawful taxi song -- and reconsider her as a serious singer.
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La Fouine is one of the today's top French rap artists. The lanky rapper with the self-deprecating moniker ("la fouine" translates as "weasel") is known for his highly melodic, American-style, French Hip Hop, and a flair for Pop and R&B hooks that appeal to the mainstream.
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Photo by François Rotger
Quirky French heartthrob Julien Dore is known for his playful approach to music, and his penchant for making downright wacky music videos. He gained notoriety during season 5 of Nouvelle Star (French "American Idol"), when his riveting performances quickly became the main draw.
But there's more to him than a pretty face, perfectly tousled locks, and a reality show title.
Born and raised near Nimes in the south of France, Julian Doré is the great-great-great-nephew of the artist Gustave Doré, illustrator for the literary works of Balzac, Victor Hugo, and others. He attended Fine Arts school in Nimes, studying music, acting, drawing, photography and film editing -- which explains the trippy music videos.
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Photo of -M- by Yann Orhan
The innovative French singer M is known for his playful Rock compositions and wildly theatrical live shows.
Born Matthieu Chedid, he chose the pseudonym "-M-" and fashioned a whimsical superhero alter ego (with his wild suits and an "m"-shaped hairdo à la Grandpa Munster) which helped him overcome his shyness on stage.
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