Sebastien Tellier Under Fire For English-Heavy Eurovision Song

Sebastien Tellier Under Fire For English-Heavy Eurovision Song
Electro pop maestro Sebastien Tellier has found himself in the centre of a political controversy in his native France, and not for his overt sexuality and pubic-hair-illustrated album art, but for his choice of language. The French government and language purists are upset that Tellier has chosen to represent France at next month’s Eurovision song contest with a track sung mostly in English, urging him not to perform it at the annual competition.

On Wednesday, France’s minister responsible for upholding the French language, Alain Joyandet, asked Tellier to try to honour the French language at Eurovision and advised the artist to ditch the English-sung tune, "Divine.” The official requested the change of the song, which only has two lines sung in French, because, like many politicians in the country, Joyandet is wary of the intrusion of the English language in France, which he sees as a wider threat to French culture as a whole.

"When one has the honour of being selected to represent France, one sings in French,” he said in a statement to Tellier.

And while Tellier has said he doesn’t agree with the critics who suggest the tune insults France and its language, he has decided to add French lyrics to "Divine” to calm the controversy. "If I had been asked to do a song expressly for Eurovision, I clearly would have done something in French," Tellier told the Associated Press. "If it makes everyone happy, of course I'll make an effort. I'm not dense."

However, Tellier says the whole uproar over the track, which is also on his latest album Sexuality, has become way overblown. "The baguette won't taste any worse tomorrow morning if I sing in English," he said. "I'm not going to fight it. I just want to please people."

Sebastien Tellier "Divine”