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Christine and the Queens

The project of singer, songwriter, choreographer, and dancer Chris, Christine and the Queens skillfully plays with gender, sexuality, and identity in his poignant, thought-provoking electronic pop. Influenced by the theatrical style of David Bowie and Laurie Anderson, as well as the choreography of Michael Jackson, he often combines atmospheric music with multimedia experiences. Christine's 2014 debut album, Chaleur Humaine, which explored his turbulent adolescence, announced him as a distinctively vulnerable talent on the strength of the singles "St. Claude" and "Tilted." He delved even deeper on 2018's Chris, an examination of gender stereotypes set to '80s R&B sounds that underscored his commitment to making listeners think, feel, and move. Born Héloïse Létissier in Nantes in 1988 to a teacher and English professor, Chris grew up in an artistic, literary household and took piano and dance lessons at an early age. Later, Létissier studied theater at École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS Lyon) and moved to Paris in 2010. Following a bad breakup, Létissier created the persona of Christine and embarked on a music career, taking the Christine and the Queens moniker as an homage to the drag queens who danced with him while he performed. He released his debut EP, Miséricorde, in 2011, and followed it with 2012's Mac Abbey. That year, Christine and the Queens' dynamic stage shows won the Best Discovered Act award at Le Printemps de Bourges Festival and the Premières Francos award at another festival, Les Francofolies de La Rochelle. With 2013's Nuit 17 à 52 EP, Létissier made his debut on the French albums chart SNEP. In 2014, Létissier delivered Christine and the Queens' debut full-length album, Chaleur Humaine, a set of songs inspired by his teenage years that featured the single "Saint Claude." Early in 2015, Létissier won the Victoires de la Musique in 2014; later that year, Chaleur Humaine was reissued on Atlantic in the United States as Christine and the Queens, and featured the English-language single "Tilted." The album was also reissued as a deluxe edition in the U.K. in 2016, a year that saw Christine and the Queens cover Beyoncé's "Sorry." Létissier wrote, arranged, and produced the project's second album, Chris, a set of songs that incorporated tougher, '80s funk and R&B influences and lyrics that questioned traditional gender roles. Featuring the Dâm-Funk collaboration "Girlfriend," the album arrived in French and English versions in September 2018. Chris reached number three on the U.K. Albums chart and earned a silver sales certification. Létissier spent a year and a half touring in support of the album; during that time, he also collaborated with Charli XCX on the 2019 single "Gone" and earned accolades including a GLAAD Media Awards nomination and a Brit Awards nomination. In February 2020, Christine and the Queens returned with La Vita Nuova, an EP whose title track featured a collaboration with Caroline Polachek. The release was accompanied by a short film with choreography by award-winning choreographer Ryan Heffington, whose work includes the video for Sia's smash hit "Chandelier." Following the EP's release, Létissier shortened his performing name to Chris and expanded the project's moniker to Christine & the Queens Presents Redcar. November 2022 saw the release of Redcar les adorables étoiles, an album of ambitious pop that introduced the character of Redcar.
© Heather Phares & Matt Collar /TiVo
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