Alizée Jacotey (born August 21,
1984) is a French singer. Born in Ajaccio, Corsica, she goes by the stage
name Alizée—the feminine form of alizé, the trade wind. She was discovered
by Mylène Farmer, following her winning performance in the talent show,
Graines de Star, in 1999. While collaborating with Mylène Farmer and
Laurent Boutonnat, Alizée released two albums—both of which were hits
inside and outside of France.
Alizée entered the music business in 2000. She has since released three
studio albums - 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. Gourmandises was a
success both in France and abroad—after it had its international launch in
2001—earning Alizée the distinction of being the highest selling female
French singer in 2001. The album featured her most successful single
"Moi... Lolita" which reached number one in several countries in Europe
and East Asia. Gourmandises was followed by a second studio album, Mes
Courants Électriques in 2003, which was also quite successful, though not
as big a hit as Alizée's debut album. Following its release, Alizée toured
France during the fall of 2003, performing in 43 concerts throughout
France, along with Belgium and Switzerland.
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, titled Psychédélices on December 3, 2007.
Also known by her nickname "Lili", Alizée started dancing early in her
life, and by age four was already proficient. A year later, she was
enrolled in Corsica's renowned dance school, École du Spectacle de Monique
Mufraggi, and trained there until she was 15. In 1995, at the age of
eleven, she won a coloring competition organized by Air Outre Mer, a
former French airline now partly acquired by Swissair. 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. She initially intended to sign up for the programme's
dance contest. However, the dance category was reserved for groups only.
Alizée therefore participated in the singing category instead, performing
the song 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
Her winning performance was seen by veteran Canadian-born French pop diva
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 was "Moi... Lolita", which some say portrayed
Alizée as a Lolita who was capable of "melting the hearts of the local
male population". Others recognized her great variation in tone and
artistic talent. Alizée won the M6 award in 2000. She returned with a
follow up album, Mes Courants Électriques, in 2003. This second album was
also quite successful, though not to the same extent as Gourmandises. It
was followed up with a live album of her countrywide tour.
Even though the albums have portrayed her in a sexy, Lolita-like image,
Alizée had a "squeaky-clean public image as the perfect teenager" during
her teens. Though described as a very shy and a reserved person, she likes
performing in front of audiences. Although she has a singing career,
Alizée prefers dancing, and is quite proficient in classical dance, jazz,
Italy style ballet, tapand flamenco. Alizée also likes football. She is a
supporter of AC Ajaccio (Corsica), and was once invited to kick off one of
Alizée is actively involved in charity work through Les Enfoirés, a group
of French celebrities who organize fund-raising 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 and 2010.
Alizée married fellow French singer Jérémy Chatelain in late 2003. She
also has a child, Annily.
Alizée debuted in 2000 with the album Gourmandises. It went on to become a
hit both in Europe and outside. The album reached top five in charts in
France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Mexico, India and others. It was followed
up with a studio album in 2003, Mes Courants Électriques, and a live album
Alizée En Concert in 2004.
She has sold nearly five million albums and singles around the globe. She
has taken part in various stage shows and live performances throughout
Europe, everywhere from France to Russia. She also starred in a Japanese
commercial. More recently, she has been becoming just as popular in North
America as she is in much of Europe; the latest concert tours together
with earlier promotion leading to a very strong fan base in mainly the
United States and in Mexico. In addition, she is also very popular in
parts of Asia including India, China and Japan.
Following her marriage in late 2003, Alizée had taken a hiatus from
singing and had avoided appearing in the media since, with her older
official site being offline since summer of 2005. Her first television
appearance since then was on MTV France on February 18, 2006. She has
since resumed media appearances beginning in the second half of 2007 for
promotion of her third studio album titled Psychédélices.
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 video for the single,
which incidentally was the first to be filmed on her, showed Alizée as a
village girl visiting a night-club. The song was later used in the UK
trailer of the 2006 film, A Good Year, and was a part of the film's
The single was from her debut album, Gourmandises ("Delicacies"), released
in 2000. The album, written by Farmer and composed by Boutonnat, sold over
788,100 copies in France. It went Platinum in just three months. In 2001,
the album, most of whose songs featured "risqué lyrics", was launched
internationally, and she became the highest-selling female French singer
in 2001. The album went on to sell over 2 million copies worldwide. Farmer
and Boutonnat kept a tight rein how the album was marketed and controlled
the image in which Alizée was portrayed. In the mean time, 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.
Her second single "L'Alizé" (2000), also from the same album, followed
soon after. It was also successful in hitting number one in France, and
gained some success internationally. The video of the "sexily
alliterative" song shows Alizée amidst soap bubbles against a pink
backdrop singing about herself. 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. This single was followed up with another
single from the same album - the title song, "Gourmandises". The video,
which shows a group of young boys and girls out on a picnic, was shot in a
day. The last single from this album was "Parler Tout Bas", which deals
with the theme of dreams and a loss of innocence. In France, "Parler tout
bas" was the third single, then followed by the release of "Gourmandises".
In 2003, Alizée returned with her second album Mes Courants Électriques
("My Electric Currents"). 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—was not as well-received as her first one, Gourmandises. It sold
200,000 copies in France.
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. 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. À Contre-courant,
the last single from this album, was shot in an abandoned coal factory.
Unlike the other two singles, there was no English-language rendition of
Following the release of her second studio album, 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 the
year 2003. The tour started off with a performance on August 26, 2003 in
Paris, France. It concluded with her performance on the eve of January 17,
2004 at the Le Zénith concert hall in Paris and had covered major cities
including Lyon, Rouen, Lille, Grenoble and Dijon, among others.
A live CD and DVD, titled "Alizée En Concert"—comprising of selected
performances from her tour—was launched a year later in the fall of 2004.
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, 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 May 28, 2007, and number eight on the
main albums chart. En concert has a Gold certification for shipments over
50,000 copies only in Mexico.
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, was made available for
digital downloads November 26, 2007, with a full release on December 3,
2007 under the RCA Records label. The album includes collaborations with
Bertrand Burgalat, Daniel Darc, Oxmo Puccino, Jérémy Chatelain,
Michel-Yves Kochmann, and Jean Fauque.
The first single from the album was Mademoiselle Juliette. It was released
on September 30, 2007. It was accidentally released early on the Virgin
Megastore website on September 23, 2007, 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, and went on to
capture the #13 spot on the legal music downloads charts. To promote the
single, Alizée appeared on the French radio station, NRJ, on September 27,
2007. The video for the single was released for broadcast on November 19,
2007, though it was made available on MSN France on November 16, 2007. It
was released on physical media, available as a CD or Vinyl, on January 21,
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. Fifty-Sixty later launched as the second single
from the album in February 2008. The lyrics to Fifty-Sixty tell, 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 that she
was the most beautiful model of all. Three music videos were released for
the single - one for the album version of the song and the other two for
two remixes. The first of the videos was released on May 5, 2008. For the
purposes of promotion of the single and the music videos, a website
(www.psychedeclips.com) and a MySpace page (www.myspace.com/psychedeclips)
Coinciding with the new album, a new official website was created, which,
despite being announced on September 11, 2007, was kept under wraps until
November 28, 2007. The album was also promoted via an official artist
profile at MySpace. Advertising and marketing campaigns for the album
began November 22, 2007 with ad campaigns on NRJ National Radio in France,
as well as TF1 TV, and the web.
In March 2008 Alizée visited Mexico for the first time in a short
promotional tour. On March 5 she was supposed to hold her 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 as well as stating it was
not her fault. 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 mend this by
having another autograph session when she returns to the country later
this year. She also stated that her tour will start on May 18 in Moscow,
followed by concerts in México and then France. 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. After the success of Alizée's tour in Mexico and in an
attempt to amend 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". A new cover singing in Mexico was
Madonna's cover, "La Isla Bonita"; it has gone on to become Alizée's first
top ten on the airplay chart.
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". 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 to number sixty-two on the Mexican Top 100 Albums
Chart and number-twenty on the Mexican International Top 20 Albums Chart.
In the beginning of 2009, Alizée had to cancel a concert in France. She
announced then that she was already working on her future album, which
would sound very different from all of her previous recordings. The album
is called Une Enfant du Siècle and it is expected for March 2010. A teaser
can be shown on the Internet, called "Une enfant du siècle" ("A child of
the century"). According to British website Popjustice, the first single
is in English and it is called Limelight. On 15 February 2010 they
uploaded the full version of the song and a clip from the music video. The
Special Collector Edition of the upcoming album was made available for
pre-orders on February 4, 2010. However, it was later confirmed by
Popjustice itself that "Limelight" was a teaser single, and the official
single from Alizée's fourth album is "Les Collines (Never Leave You)".
Despite marketing hype and commercial success, there were mixed critical
responses to the launch of Moi... Lolita, Alizée's first single. The
critics felt that the similarity in style to that of Mylène Farmer was too
striking. Some felt that her Lolita image overshadowed her singing
prowess—describing her as "desperately trying to be sexy", and many were
ready to write her off. Some of her songs have been described as
"sweeping, atmospheric ballads" whose "melodies are so sparkling and
beguiling", and from which Alizée manages to "squeeze more emotion than
the usual pop package". Alizée's three albums include a wide range of
songs, from catchy pop tunes to soulful ballads. Radio France
Internationale featured Gourmandises as their CD of the week, stating:
“The ten songs on Alizée's debut album, Gourmandises (Goodies), have all
been expertly manufactured by the Farmer hit-machine. Sweet syrupy pop
ditties are wrapped in silky synths, violins and catchy techno beats and
judging by the success of Alizée's sexily alliterative second single,
L’Alizé, the Farmer team have hit upon a winning formula.”