Who: The mastermind behind Christine And The Queens
Why: Just a few short years ago, Héloïse Letissier was lost and unsure of her place in the world. In 2016, she basically conquered it. The rise of Christine And The Queens was as atypical as it was irresistible – we Brits have historically given short shrift to French pop stars, and there was a delicious irony in her breakthrough Glastonbury performance coming mere hours after the Brexit vote was tallied – but no one who listened to her re-recorded debut album, or caught one of her extraordinary live shows, could fail to be converted. In writing about subjects like queerness and gender identity from a perennial outsiders’ perspective, she struck a strangely universal chord – who couldn’t root for, or relate to, a ferociously talented young woman celebrating her own individuality? While politicians sought to drive wedges between us, she preached a doctrine of acceptance and inclusivity, of otherness being a virtue. She was the pop star we needed, but scarcely deserved. Long may she reign.
What she said: “I want to keep Christine and grow old with her. I’m kind of obsessed with growing old in this industry. I want people to see my wrinkled face everywhere, like a female Keith Richards.”
What people say about her: “I saw her at The Roundhouse in the spring and she was amazing, and she’s huge in England now. I hope it spreads to the rest of the world, and I think it will because once you see her live you’re mesmerised” – Elton John
How she made the world a better place: By reminding us that it doesn’t have to be a terrible one.