Tuesday, 17 July 2018

France wins the World Cup: Music stars react

It was a weekend of historic proportions in France. No sooner were the festivities for July 14 out the way than France  picked up the biggest trophy in international sport.

It was an exciting few weeks watching the team's steady progress, knowing full well that any slip up in the later stages would have ended their hopes.

Their victory in 1990 was something special, but with the World Cup actually in France that year the stars seemed aligned in their favour. This time they faced an uphill struggle, and  rose to the challenge magnificently.

Despite not being a big football fan, during the last few World Cup finals I've bought a reproduction France top. Each time the team has crashed out without making much of an impression. This year, needless to say I didn't bother. Obviously that gave them the push they needed to bring the cup back home with them from Moscow.

The France team's win always seems more significant given the number of players with roots outside France, particularly in Africa. It's a reminder that France is at its best when all the country's communities work together and hopefully another step towards eliminating racism from French society.

While the action might have been on the football pitch, France's musicians have been quick to involve themselves in the celebrations. There are so many crossovers between the worlds of sport and music, whether athletes being fans of musicians to artists supporting sports stars, musicians creating songs for events to teams and supporters adopting songs that suit their cause.

Benjamin Biolay, Julien Doré, Jean-Michel Jarre and Jenifer were among the big names who showed their delight across social media.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z wore France tops during their show at the Stade de France.

Meanwhile, iTunes in France had 70s disco anthem I will Survive by Gloria Gaynor in the number one position. Gloria Gaynor herself congratulated the team on their victory. It's a song in France so associated with the National Team than the cover version by Hermes House Band recorded for the 1998 World Cup campaign is at number two.

Also selling significantly are the Queen song We Are The Champions and even La Marseillaise as well as the more obvious Live It Up, the anthem for this year's competition by Nicky Jam, Will Smith and Era Istrefi.

It was an astonishing event for the whole of France, and with sport and music closely entwined it was also a victory for French music as well.

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