It’s interesting to see the way North American media is spinning the marriage of French president Nicolas Sarkozy to supermodel Carla Bruni. The couple’s unlikely romance — he’s the recently divorced right-wing politician, she’s one of the biggest stars in Europe — has been splashed all over the papers back home for months, but the take over here seems to be “Whatever is he doing with her?” In France, it’s the reverse situation. Imagine Nelly Furtado running off with Stockwell Day.
Marginalized in the press as a supermodel turned singer a la Naomi Campbell et al, Bruni is one of the most photographed women on the planet. Unquestionably beautiful, she’s also extremely intelligent, independently wealthy and a talented musician. No wonder Sarkozy’s head over heels.
Heiress to the Pirelli tire fortune, she’s also the grand-daughter of classical composer Alberto Bruni Tedescho. Studying architecture in Paris, young Carla fell into modeling and was soon one of the highest paid on the catwalk, reportedly as much as $7.5 million per year.
She’s probably best known for her affairs with Eric Clapton, Donald Trump — well, nobody’s perfect — and Mick Jagger, whom she dumped when she found out his other mistress Luciana Giminez was having his baby. Didn’t bother Jerry Hall, mind.
Bruni ditched her modeling career in ’97 for music. Other than Grace Jones, the track record for models turned singers hasn’t been that great — Kate Moss? Claudia Schiffer? — but Bruni’s first album of acoustic chansons Quelqu’un M’a Dit (Something You Said To Me) was a big critical hit in France and Germany in 2002. You’ve probably heard it in a trendy restaurant. She’s also contributed to the Serge Gainsbourg tribute disc Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited and has just released her second solo set No Promises, 12 poems by Emily Dickenson, W.H. Auden, and Dorothy Parker that Bruni has set to music.
Here’s Bruni’s new promo video for Those Dancing Days Are Gone with lyrics by William Butler Yeats. Ever wondered where Feist gets her ideas?