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Monday, 28 July 2008

Carla's number 1 - France's first lady really is tops

It has only been out a couple of weeks but already Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's new album is riding high in the charts here in France.

The model-turned singer-turned first lady confounded critics (and cynics alike) by notching up sales of more than 14,000 of her latest musical offering "Comme si de rien n'etait" (As if nothing had happened) in just the first couple of days according to her record company - perhaps not exactly the most objective of sources.

But now the Syndicat national de l'édition phonographique (SNEP), the music industry group that tracks record sales here in France has confirmed that Bruni-Sarkozy has actually made it all the way to the number 1 spot. And in the process she has knocked off the new album from the British band, Coldplay.

Not bad going by anyone's standards, even if SNEP didn't actually release official sales figures.

The album is Bruni-Sarkozy's third and it hit the stores on July 11, accompanied by a blaze of publicity as the first lady took to the promotional trail giving "exclusive" interviews virtually left right and centre (not politically-speaking of course) - at least here in France.

Of course interest was especially high in how this album would fare in light of her whirlwind romance and marriage to the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, which made all the international headlines earlier this year.

But that aside, Bruni-Sarkozy does have a musical track record - whether you're a fan or not.

She released her first album "Quelqu'un m'a dit,” back in 2002 to largely critical acclaim here in France and abroad - selling around 2 million copies.

Her 2007 follow-up, “No promises”, didn't go down well, but so far her third album seems to have caught the public's imagination.

It was launched simultaneously in France, Britain and Germany earlier this month and is now available elsewhere in Europe.

The official release date in the United States has been set for August 5.

Clearly Bruni-Sarkozy has taken to heart her husband's oft-repeated mantra of "work more to earn more" but at least she won't be pocketing any of the proceeds from the sale of the album herself.

They will be going to charity.

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