Héloïse Adelaïde Letissier (French pronunciation: [elɔiz adəlaid lətisje]; born 1 June 1988), performing first as Christine and the Queens, then from 2018 as Chris, is a French singer, songwriter and producer.
Her debut album, Chaleur humaine (2014), was named one of the best albums of the year by The Guardian, The Independent, Mojo, and NME.
In 2018, she released her second album, Chris, which was named “Album of the Year” by The Guardian, with its first single “Girlfriend” ranked “Song of the Year” by Time.
In 2016, she was ranked number 1 in Vanity Fair’s list of the most powerful and influential French people (far ahead of the president of France), who noticed her “radiance of French genius”. In 2017, she was chosen as the headline for Time’s list of the 10 leaders of the next generation, in addition to Forbes ranking her one of the most influential and talented people under 30 in the same year.
In 2020, she, in reaction to her mother’s death, released an EP called La Vita Nuova, coupled with a short film shot at the famed Opéra Garnier. Its first single “People, I’ve Been Sad” was named “Song of the Year” by Time.
Letissier studied theatre at École normale supérieure de Lyon (ENS Lyon), moving to Paris in 2010, where she concluded her studies. When she visited London in 2010, she was inspired by the work of local drag queen musicians, including Russella, who accompanied her in one of their early concerts. The queens then became her “Queens” as a backing band. She dedicated many of her creations to them and to all transgender individuals, describing their genre as “freakpop”.
She adopted the name Christine and the Queens releasing her debut EP Miséricorde independently followed by another EP in 2012 called Mac Abbey with the minor hits “Narcissus Is Back” and “Christine”. In 2012, she was the opening act for Lykke Li, The Dø and Woodkid as well as for Lilly Wood and the Prick in 2013. Her third release was an EP titled Nuit 17 à 52 which garnered her first charting on the official French Albums Chart SNEP with the help of its title track.
In 2012, Christine and the Queens won the Best Discovered Act known as Découverte du Printemps de Bourges and also the Adami Premières Francos 2012 award.
The single “Tilted”, translated from “Christine”, was released in February 2015 in the United States as an introduction to her first English EP Saint Claude. Edited by Neon Gold Records, the band toured North America with Marina and the Diamonds as promotion for the release. The song was released in the UK in 2016 and charted on the UK Singles Chart. In 2016, Christine and the Queens put together a cover of Beyoncé’s “Sorry” in the BBC Live Lounge, the cover was named as one of the “6 Best New Songs of the Week.”
She appeared on Jools’ Annual Hootenanny on 31 December 2016 and 1 January 2017 and on The Daily Show on 12 November 2015.
“iT” was used as the soundtrack for the closing scenes and credits on the episode “Old Loves” during season 5 of Girls shown on 13 March 2016.
In 2016, she was chosen as one of BBC’s 100 Women.
In the season two finale of Better Things on the FX Network, Sam, her younger daughters, and mother recreate the video of “Tilted” as a graduation gift to oldest daughter Max. The episode aired on 16 November 2017.
In 2018, she announced a new tour planned for autumn and a new album. Two versions of the first single were released: “Damn, dis-moi” (French version) and “Girlfriend” (English version) on 17 May 2018. The album, titled Chris, was released on 21 September 2018.
In 2019, Christine and the Queens headlined All Points East festival in London marking their first UK headline festival appearance. The performance was well received, with The Independent giving them five stars.
In May 2019, she performed during the season finale for the eleventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race held in the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.
On 17 July 2019, Charli XCX released the song and video for “Gone”, featuring Christine and the Queens. Pitchfork listed the song at number 4 on its list of the 100 best songs of 2019 and at number 145 for the 200 best songs of the 2010s. The track was also shortlisted by BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac for Hottest Record of The Year, voted for by the public, and ended up scoring third place.
On February 27, 2020, she released an EP, La Vita Nuova (‘The New Life’). The EP had five tracks and one bonus track. She simultaneously released a conceptual short film, directed by their longtime collaborator Colin Solal Cardo. The film takes place at the historical Parisian landmark Palais Garnier and features Letissier and a group of dancers dancing to the songs from the EP. The video concludes with a guest appearance from featured artist Caroline Polachek.