Monday, 15 February 2016

Victoires de la Musique 2016: Winners and performers

So after my predictions last week, how did this year's Victoires de la Musique awards play out at the weekend?

I was - of course - mostly wrong. I did get a few right as well, so at the end of the day much the same as previous years.

Debate will continue about the choices. Too many TV show winners taking the awards? Too many acts that appeared on the show picking up trophies? Too much Johnny Hallyday? Not enough? 

There were of course some memorable performances during the evening, from emerging acts to some of the biggest established names.

So who won what, and how did this compare to my predictions?

Male Artist 


I did suspect it might have gone to Dominique A, but a memorable performance by Monsieur A more than made up for my prediction being off the mark.

Female Artist 

Yael Naim

A worthy winner without a doubt, given the event's focus on the November terrorism attack victims. Naim's singing Brel's Quand on n'a que l'amour alongside Nolwenn Leroy and Camelia Jordana at the commemorative event following the attack was an appropriate tribute. I went for Zaz in my predicion, her collection of songs in praise of Paris taking on a new dimension in light of last year's tragic events.

Breakthrough album

Louane: Chambre 12

Another feather in the cap of an artist who has had an incredible time over the last 18 months, the biggest selling album of the year and a César award being previous steps leading to this. It would have been churlish at the end of the day to overlook France's biggest young pop star for a breakthrough album award.

I called this one right, although with the comment that my personal choice would have been for Jeanne Added. However, a performance by Jeanne Added was probably one of the highlights of the evening.

Breakthrough Act 

Hyphen Hyphen

No strangers to this blog, an infectious and modern-edged act who have delivered a first class album, and who exude the confidence of an act who will be around for a while.

My choice was Feu! Chatterton, an act who ticked this blog's critical boxes last year with their debut album receiving this blog's best release of 2015 accolade. Again, a dazzling performance on the night was some compensation for my malfunctioning crystal ball.

Chanson album

Johnny Hallyday - De l'amour

I was pretty sure Johnny would not be going home empty handed this year, the album - his 50th - which dropped in the middle of the tour he was undertaking for its predecessor catching both critics and fans by surprise. A quality release, with everything from a sprightly rockabilly title track to appropriately reflective work commemorating the Charlie Hebdo attack in January.

With the caveat that it was a difficult award to call, I did go for Frero Delavega in this category, reckoning Johnny for a different award.

Rock album 

Les Innocents - Mandarine

Les Innocents seem to have set the trend for bands who have been absent from the scene making a sccessful reappearance, with Louise Attaque and Téléphone both re-emerging in 2016 for major tours and releases.

My pick for winner was Lou Doillon, but again noting that it was going to be a difficult choice to select the winner in this section.

Urban album 

Nekfeu - Feu


I called this one right, with the new(ish) voice of the three on the shortlist taking the prize. Again, an artist who has made a significant impact in a short period of time, an award that suggests he'll be around as long as the likes of Booba.

World Music Album

Hindi Zahra: Homeland

Always a difficult category to make any kind of predicion in, but Hindi Zahra just seemed to be the right album at the right time. I called this one right as it just seemed to have the outlook that critics and listeners were looking for in difficult times.

Urban/Electronic album

The Avener - The Wanderings of The Avener

A correct prediction for this win, but to be honest not a surprise at all. The album has been a massive commercial success, as well as being the kind of release that has endured repeaetd listening since it came out.

Original Song

Maitre Gims: Sapés Comme Jamais

Some surprise at this choice, but a reminder at the massive popularity of rap in France cannot be underrated. A public vote for this winner, so a reminder that what the public like isn't always what the critics (this one included) reckon. I went for Johnny Hallyday in this category, reckoning the vote for a rap act might be spilt between Gims and Nekfeu.

Musical show/Tour/Concert 

Christine and the Queens

Another victory for Christine and the Queens, following on from their overwhelming success at the awards last year. Looks like the success she enjoyed in 2015 will be continuing for the forseeable future.

I suggested it would go to Louis, Matthieu, Joseph and Anna Chedid, but Christine and the Queens are still the act of the moment.

Video clip

Christine and the Queens: Christine

Again, a close category, and again one I called wrongly suggesting it would go to Stromae. It was to be Christine again, another win for an act going from success to success.

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