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Alizée Jacotey (French pronunciation: ​[a.li.ze]; born 21 August 1984) is a French recording artist, known professionally as Alizée,[1] a registered name referring to the trade winds. Born and raised in Ajaccio, Corsica. She is considered one of the top "100 Sexiest Women in the World" by FHM magazine,[2] and being an influential figure in music. Critics have praised her diverse musical productions which have also been known to cause controversy.

She was discovered by Mylène Farmer, following her winning performance in the talent show, Graines de Star,[3] in 1999. While collaborating with Mylène Farmer and Laurent Boutonnat, she followed it with a series of albums that attained immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on NRJEurope 1, MTV, Virgin, and many others. Throughout her career, many of her songs have been in top 25 hit lists on the record charts, including "Moi... Lolita", "L'Alizé", "J'en ai marre!" "Gourmandises", "Mademoiselle Juliette", her cover version of "La Isla Bonita", "Parler Tout Bas", "Les collines (never leave you)" and "À cause de l'automne".

According to the SACEM and SNEP, Alizée is one of the best-selling female French artist of the 21st century[4] also is the singer with most exports out of France.[5] Alizée entered the music business in 2000. She has since released five studio albums, the first two of which were composed by Laurent Boutonnat and written by Mylène Farmer. Her first album was Gourmandises, which received Platinum certification within three months of release. After its international launch in 2001, Gourmandises was a success both in France and abroad, earning Alizée the distinction of being the highest selling female French singer in 2001.[6] The album featured her most successful single "Moi... Lolita" which reached number one in several countries in Europe and East Asia, in the UK the song was acclaimed by the New Musical Express who recognised it with a "Single of the Week" award. It became a rare example of a foreign-language song to chart highly in the UK, peaking at number 9.

Gourmandises was followed by a second studio album, Mes Courants Électriques, in 2003. Following its release, Alizée toured during the fall of 2003, performing in 43 concerts throughout France, Belgium and Switzerland.[7]

Alizée married fellow French singer Jérémy Chatelain in late 2003. Following her marriage, she took a hiatus from singing before returning with a new album, Psychédélices on 3 December 2007, which became most popular in Mexico.[8] Her fourth album titled Une Enfant Du Siècle was released on 29 March 2010 this one of the most acclaimed by the critics. In early 2011 she recorded a duet with Alain Chamfort for his new album Elle & lui. Alizée's fifth and the newest album, titled 5, was released on 25 March 2013.

Biography[edit source | editbeta]Edit

1984–1999: Early life and beginnings career[edit source | editbeta]Edit

[1][2]Alizée grew up in Ajaccio, Corsica.

Also known by her nickname "Lili", Alizée started dancing early in her life,[9] and by age four was already proficient. A year later, she was enrolled in Ajaccio's Ecole de Danse Monique Mufraggidance school, and trained there until she was 15.[10] In 1995, at the age of eleven, she won a coloring competition organized by the (now defunct) French airline Air Outre Mer. Her design won first prize and was reproduced on the cabin of one of the airline's aircraft. The aircraft was subsequently named after her, and Alizée won a trip to the Maldives for her efforts.

In 1999, she appeared on the TV talent show Graines de Star, broadcast on Métropole 6.[3] She initially intended to sign up for the programme's dance contest, but that category was reserved for groups only. Alizée therefore joined the singing category instead, performing the song Waiting for Tonight by Jennifer Lopez and Ma Prière (a single released by Axelle Red in 1997). She went on to win the Meilleure Graine award for most promising young singing star of tomorrow.

2000–2002: GourmandisesMoi... LolitaL'Alizé and the international successEdit

Her winning performance was seen by veteran songwriters Mylène Farmer and Laurent Boutonnat, who were looking for a young, fresh voice to partake in their new project. They approached Alizée, and she was selected after studio auditions. The duo arranged her debut with a meticulously orchestrated launch, controlling her image and public appearances. In 2000, they produced her maiden album, Gourmandises which was a great success in France, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. The first single, Moi... Lolita, resurrected the rich French musical tradition pioneered by Serge Gainsbourg in 1964 with the song Pauvre Lola, inspired by the celebrated novel Lolita, creating the image which defined Alizée in the early years of her career. She won an M6 award in 2000 and returned with a follow-up album, Mes Courants Électriques, in 2003. This second album was also quite successful, though less so than her first album. A video album shot during her European concert tour soon followed.

Alizée made her debut with the single Moi... Lolita, her most successful to date. It enjoyed success throughout most of Europe and parts of East Asia, reaching number one in several countries. The associated music video portrayed Alizée as an impoverished rustic teen visiting a dance club in the city with her little sister, pursued by a young man who had lent them the bus fare to get there, but whose romantic interest in her she never returned.[11] The song was later used in the UK trailer of the 2006 film, A Good Year, and was a part of the film's soundtrack.

The single was from her debut album, Gourmandises ("Delicacies"), released in 2000.[12] The album, written by Farmer and composed by Boutonnat, sold over 788,000 copies in France – it reached Platinum status in just three months. In 2001, the album was launched internationally and Alizée became the highest-selling female French singer ever.[6][13] The album went on to sell over two million copies worldwide.[14] Farmer and Boutonnat kept a tight rein how the album was marketed and controlled the image in which Alizée was portrayed. In the meantime, Alizée gave very few interviews, and even when she did, they did not stretch beyond 20 minutes per journalist. Neither did she agree to any photoshoots.[6]

Her second single L'Alizé (2000), also from the same album, followed soon. It also hit number one in France, and gained some international success. The video of the "sexily alliterative"[6] song (compare its title to "Lola," a variant on "Lolita") shows a miraculously acrobatic (even airborne) Alizée frolicing amidst popping bubbles in front of a pink backdrop, erotically singing about her cautious search for a true love. The video was shot in a studio in Brussels, which had a 25-metre by 10-metre painted canvas to serve as the background, with real bubbles.[11] This single was followed up with another single from the same album – the title song, "Gourmandises". The video, which shows a group of teenage boys and girls on a picnic, was shot in a day.[11] The last single from the album was "Parler tout bas", about coming of age, and was illustrated with a surreal music video. In France, "Parler tout bas" was the third single, then followed by the release of Gourmandises.

2003–2004: Mes Courants ÉlectriquesEn Concert and Asia recognizanceEdit

In 2003, Alizée returned with her second album Mes Courants Électriques (My Electric Currents).[15] With the release of this album, she changed her image from a "Lolita" to that of a more toned-down teenager. This album was also written by Farmer and Boutonnat. While it had some success in and outside France, this second album, featuring English versions of four tracks, it sold 400,000 copies in France.

[3][4]Alizée's logo used from 2000 to 2007.

The first single from this album, "J'en ai marre!" (also known as "Mon bain de mousse" in Japan) was released in 2003. The music video for this shows Alizée in a glass cage, singing while having water splashed on her. The plexiglass cage, 3 by 3 meters in dimension, was constructed in a Parisian studio, and the shooting of the video took two days.[11] An English-language version of this song, titled "I'm Fed Up!", was also released, and featured similar visuals for the music video.

The other singles from this album were "J'ai pas vingt ans" and "À contre-courant". Like "J'en ai marre!", "J'ai pas vingt ans", "Youpidou" and "Amélie m'a dit" also had English versions. The video for "J'ai pas vingt ans" ("I'm Not Twenty") resembles the ambience of a concert with Alizée dancing in the midst of several other dancers.[11] "À contre-courant", the last single from this album, was shot in an abandoned coal factory.[11]

Following the release of Mes Courants Électriques, Alizée went on a countrywide tour of France, along with a performance each in Belgium and Switzerland, during the second half of 2003. The tour started off with a performance on 26 August 2003 in Paris.[7][16] It concluded with her performance on the prestigious l'Olympia hall in Paris and  eve of 17 January 2004 at the Le Zénith concert hall in the same city and had covered major cities including LyonRouenLilleGrenoble and Dijon.[7] A live CD and DVD, titled Alizée En Concert, composed of selected performances from her tour, was launched a year later in the fall of 2004.[17] The audio CD contained tracks, taken from her two studio albums. The DVD featured video footage of the same performances as on the CD, along with bonus footage of her rehearsals.

The compilation was re-released in early 2007 in Mexico by Universal Music as a CD+DVD release,[18] following the featuring of the songs in local radio stations. With the re-release and renewed interest, the songs climbed up the music charts in the country. The album became a hit, peaking at number four in the International Chart on 28 May 2007,[19] and number eight on the main albums chart. En concert has a Gold certification for shipments over 50,000 copies only in Mexico.[20]

2007–2009: PsychédélicesTout Alizée, the years of silence and the Latinamerican market conquestEdit

After a four-year hiatus, a time spent out of the media limelight, Alizée returned in December 2007 with a new album, Psychédélices, the first one to be made without the creative supervision of her former mentor, Mylène Farmer. The album, which features 11 tracks,[21] was made available for digital downloads 26 November 2007,[22] with a full release on 3 December 2007[23][24] on the RCA label.[25] The album includes collaborations with Bertrand Burgalat, Daniel Darc, Oxmo Puccino, Jérémy Chatelain,[26] Michel-Yves Kochmann, and Jean Fauque.[27]

The first single from the album was "Mademoiselle Juliette",[28][29] officially released on 30 September 2007.[29] It was accidentally released early on the Virgin Megastore website on 23 September 2007,[30][31] but was taken down later citing an error on the part of Virgin Music, France. The single was later made available in online music stores as well as radio stations,[27][29] and went on to capture the No. 13 spot on the legal music downloads charts.[8][24] To promote the single, Alizée appeared on the French radio station, NRJ, on 27 September 2007.[28][29] The video for the single was released for broadcast on 19 November 2007,[32] though it was made available on MSN France on 16 November 2007. It was released on physical media, both CD and vinyl, on 21 January 2008.

[5][6]Alizée in concert in 2008.

Another track from the album, "Fifty-Sixty", was leaked two months before the album was released. Though the song was not mentioned by name, the leak was confirmed in a press release which revealed the title and release schedule of the album.[33] "Fifty-Sixty" later launched as the second single from the album in February 2008. The lyric of "Fifty-Sixty" tells, in personal and metaphorical manner, of a young model under the guidance of Andy Warhol, possibly inspired by real-life story of Edie Sedgwick. The song ends with a reiteration of how she foolishly believed Andy thought her the most beautiful model of all. Three music videos were released for the single[34] – one for the album version of the song and the other two for two remixes.[35] An Alizée website, Psychedeclips.com,[36] was dedicated to the video series,[35]the first of which was released on 5 May 2008.[37]

Coinciding with the new album, a new official website was created,[38]  which, despite being announced on 11 September 2007, was kept under wraps until 28 November 2007.[39] The album was also promoted via an official artist profile at MySpace.[40] Advertising and marketing campaigns for the album began 22 November 2007 with ad campaigns on NRJ Radio, TF1-TV, and the web.

In March 2008 Alizée visited Mexico for the first time in a short promotional tour. On 5 March she was supposed to hold the second-ever public autograph session of her career but it was cancelled due to problems with the store's security. Alizée held an improvised press conference to apologise to all her Mexican fans and to explain that it was not her fault.[41] Sony BMG Mexico also released a statement saying it was not Alizée's fault, that it was the store who had problems with the security, and that they did not expect so many people in attendance; fences had been broken and kids were in danger. Alizée also promised to make amends by having another autograph session when she returned to the country on the following tour.[42] She also stated that her tour would start on 18 May in Moscow, followed by concerts in Mexico and then France.[43][44] She also commented that piracy in music has two sides "one good" and "one bad" saying that sometimes it's good because her music reaches places that she never thought to reach.[45] After the success of Alizée's tour in Mexico, and in an attempt to mitigate the damage caused during her first promotional visit, Alizée announced an autograph session with fans on 26 June 2008 in Mexico City, over 300 CDs were signed and the record label executives of Sony BMG Mexico presented a Gold certification for shipments over 50,000 copies of Psychédélices – Mexican Tour Edition.[46] A new cover singing in Mexico was Madonna's cover, "La Isla Bonita"; it went on to become Alizée's first top ten on the airplay chart.[47]

Following the success of Alizée En Concert and Psychédélices in Mexico, Alizée's former music label, Universal Music released a compilation album, titled Tout Alizée.[48] The compilation, which is a Mexico-only release, consists of 15 tracks (with 4 remixes) from her first two studio albums. It is augmented with a bonus DVD featuring some of her music videos. The compilation debuted at No. 62 on the Mexican Top 100 Albums Chart and No. 20 on the Mexican International Top 20 Albums Chart.[49][50]

2010–2011: Une Enfant du Siècle, new style and critical succesEdit

Alizée participated for the sixth time in the Les Enfoirés show in "L'œil des Enfoirés" edition at the Arena in Montpellier. Alizée took part in the single "Des ricochets" with more than 44 artists, the title of the single lacing by the Collectif Paris-Africa group founded by UNICEF in the fight against malnutrition similar to "We Are the World" by USA for Africa. It is also part of the artists who recorded a duet with Alain Chamfort, the best of the latter, whose release of her collaboration single Clara veut la Lune was released 29 April in 2012. Alizée appeared in several shows on French television. From 1 to 6 February 2012, Alizée participated in Enfoirés with the new show "Le bal des Enfoirés" in the Halle Tony Garnier auditorium in Lyon, which sold out. She announced that a new album was scheduled for spring 2012, marking a return to roots music which will be released on the Sony Music label. Sony announced that the album was be delayed till the fall of 2012.[58] 27 June 2012 Alizée announced on live chat that the first single of the new album was to be released 28 June 2012. The first music video was shot on 15 July 2012[59] but this was only released in VidZoneplatform for PS3. The name of the single was "À cause de l'automne" (English: "because of the autumn"). Alizée also revealed that for the new album she was working with Jean-Jacques GoldmanBB Brunes and Thomas Boulard (singer and guitarist of French rockband "Luke"). 12 July, a limited Collector's Edition of the fifth album became available for pre-order.

[7][8]Alizée's logo used in 2012 for her fifth studio album, called 5, released with her new single À cause de l'automne.

The original release date was scheduled to be 1 October 2012 but on 3 September Alizée and her team announced a few weeks' delay.[60] On 14 September Alizée announced on Facebook that the album had been delayed till early 2013.[61] "Collector's Box" pre-order page states 23 January 2013 as for the release. In September 2012 she did a DJ Set in a famous Parisian night club called Complexe Kes West, in 26 October 2012 she had other set in Carré Rouge night club in Avignon and another on 23 November at Le Chat Noir night club in Dijon

In November 2012, a rumour started in social media that Alizée would perform at the NRJ Awards 2013 which she has not denied. On 5 December the official video of À cause de l'automne was published on Alizée's VEVO channel but only available in France for a short period before being available for the rest of the world; also Sony sent out newsletter to subscribed fans saying that the album release would be in February 2013. The first public performance of her last single was on RFM radio on 21 December 2012 where she sang the song in a live broadcast.[62]

Alizée acknowledges[63] Alexandre Azaria as her "artistic director" for her album 5.

On 3 January 2013 the name[64] and the cover of the album was shown on a Star Academy show hommage to the singer where Alizée made an appearance.

Released in late December, the January/February 2013 issue of the French edition of Inked magazine featured a photo shoot, including on the cover, a picture of Alizée as a manacled and bloodied punk princess by the French photographer Julien Lachaussée.

From January she performed on many shows including the Soccer Beach Show of Monaco on 9 February; her participation in Alain Chamfort's En Concert at Le Grand Rex and her new participation in Les Enfoirés 2013 concert at theParis-Bercy hall.

On 15 April 2013, it was confirmed who would participate in the upcoming fourth season of the popular reality show Danse avec les stars (the French version of Dancing with the Stars[65]) for the promotion of her album 5.

On 16 June the TF1 confirmed that Alizée would participate on 29 June at Le Tour de France 2013 opening ceremony in Porto-Vecchio.[66]

Personal life[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Though described as a very shy and a reserved person, she likes performing in front of audiences.[67] Although she is most famous as a singer, Alizée prefers dancing,[67] and is quite proficient in classical dance, jazzItalian style ballettap and flamenco.[68]

Alizée is actively involved in charity work through Les Enfoirés, a group of French celebrities who organize fundraising concerts every year. The proceeds from these concerts go to Les Restaurants du Coeur. The organization, set up by French comedian Coluche, helps feed the poor. Alizée participated in these concerts in 2001, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Alizée married fellow French singer Jeremy Chatelain on 6 November 2003, with whom she has a daughter, Annily, born to them 27 April 2005. The public found out about their marriage around February 2004 when Voici (#850) magazine released their marriage certification on their article. She was quiet about her private and family life and kept her baby out of the press to the best of her ability but recently (since 2011) she has been much more open about her private life, showing photos of herself and even of Annily.'

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