Paul Van Haver is by far the hottest Francophone pop artist in the world today.

His stage name, Stromae is "maestro" in backwards French slang.


Stromae's latest hit, "Papaoutai," swept the French music awards this year and went to the top of the iTunes singles charts in more than a dozen countries. The video has been viewed more than 150 million times. His Album “Racine Carree” is still in the World’s Best selling Albums chart after a Year and in May he won 2 World Music Awards, Best European Solo Artist and Best Belgian Artist to consecrate his international success.

Stromae's father was a Rwandan architect who wasn't around much; he died in that country's genocide in 1994. The singer was raised, along with four siblings, by their Belgian mother in a working-class Brussels neighborhood. "I didn't know him very well," he says. "My suffering is to know that I will never know who he was. It was difficult to know he was dead. But when my mother told me, I said, 'What's a father?' 'Cause I don't really know what a father is." Stromae grew up listening to French and American rappers, and was inspired by the Americans' rhythm and flow, but not their vision of life. "I didn't understand this kind of fake dream," he says. "As if life is about swimming pools, limousines, naked girls and stuff. No, my mother told me that happiness is not that, you know?"


His mother sent him to a Jesuit school at 16, after he failed out of the public system. It was a turning point for the artist: He decided to get serious about his life and his music, which he describes as a mix of Congolese rumba, rap, French ballad and electro-pop. The songs are about the world he grew up in. "I prefer to talk about our problems, to be proud of them, in place of trying to hide them. Because you can't. And I prefer to dance, to smile on it, to laugh on it," he says. Stromae's first hit, "Alors On Danse" ("So We Dance"), took Belgium by storm in late 2009, followed by all of Europe a few months later. It may be about unemployment, divorce and debt, but it makes you want to dance. "I decided to tell a story about the reason why we dance," the singer says. "Because I was in clubs and I love clubs, but there is so much melancholy there."

In the video for "Formidable," a bitter breakup ballad and his second big hit, he emerges from a Brussels subway station in morning rush hour. He staggers through the streets as if drunk. Some help, others ignore him; he calls it a reflection of "our true humanity." The song was inspired by a homeless man who once yelled at the singer and his girlfriend, "So you think you're beautiful!" "I never forgot this sentence, and I put it in my song, actually: Tu te crois beau," Stromae says. "He was so right, even if this guy was drunk or marginal or aggressive. He is just alone, and he needs someone to listen to him."


His fans come in all ages and colors. At a sold-out concert in Brussels, the crowd cheers as he makes inside-the-Brussels-beltway jokes. Forty-five-year-old Philip Parius says Stromae's music has even bridged the country's deep divide between French and Flemish "He's representing Belgium. That's so great," Parius says. "That's the most important thing: not the language, but the Belgian attitudes." Stromae says he feels Belgian, though he didn't always feel that way growing up. Today he considers his diverse background an asset. He never aspired to sing for non-French audiences, but when his first song became a hit in Germany, he realized it didn't matter if people understood all the words. "If we can listen to English music without understanding nothing, and dance on it, and feel the groove, feel the feelings, I'm sure everybody can do exactly the same for each language," he says. "Sometimes it's a trend that everybody wants to sing in English 'cause it's more musical, or more international," Stromae adds. "But I think it's all about offering different visions of the world. When I listen to an American singer, I wanna listen to his music in his language. Because he's more spontaneous, he's more natural, and I need his point of view. And our point of view here in Brussels is French and Flemish."


Belgium's prime minister recently gave President Obama a Stromae CD. Stromae intends to conquer the USA not just Europe!


Rapper Wiz Khalifa is no.1 this week on the World's best-selling Albums chart with his 5th album 'Blacc Hollywood'. The Album sold 105,000 copies its first week (90,400 in the US, 5.300 in Canada, 2.600 in the UK and 2.100 in France). The Soundtrack to 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' is close behind at no.2 for the second week after selling 104,000 copies.


Last week's no.1 Album 'Sekai No Chuushin Wa Osaka Ya (Namba Jichiku)' by NMB 48, slips to no.46. After 325.000 sales the week it was released, the Album sold only 14.000 copies in its second week.

In Japan, Pop Group Dreams Come True is no.1  having sold 90.000 copies, according to Oricon, enough for a no.3 debut globally.

French artist Calogero tops the album chart in France. His seventh Album 'Les Feux D'artifice' sold 56.000 units in France, Belgium and Switzerland and is at no.7 on the Global Chart.

New no.1 in South Korea is idol singer, actor and model Taemin. His album 'Ace: Mini Album Vol.1' starts 53.000 units, according to Hanteo and Oricon and jumps to no.8 globally.

Collabro, winner of the latest sequel of the reality show 'Britain's Got Talent', debuting at no.1 in United Kingdom and at no.11 worldwide with 'Stars' and sales of 49.000.




Taylor Swift's new smash 'Shake It Off', the first Single from her upcoming fifth album '1989', debuts at no.1 this week on the World's Best Singles Chart with huge sales in America and internationally especially in the Anglo-American territories. Billboard reported 544.000 digital sales in the USA and 48.000 in Canada. In United Kingdom the track sold 31.000 copies and in Australia 18.000. 'Shake It Off' has the biggest first week of sales since AKB 48's with 'Labrador Retriever'. 'Kokoro No Placard', the 37th single of this Japanese pop sensation, which was released three days ago, will be no.1 next week. The tune has already sold nearly one million singles in Japan.


Back to this week's charts, Australian New Artist Meghan Trainor stays at no.2 with 'All About That Bass'. Last week's chart-leader, 'Rude' by Magic!, slips to no.3. French-Israeli alternative pop duo Lilly Wood & The Prick reaches the Global Top 10 for the first time. 'Prayer In C', remixed by German producer Robin Schulz, climbs to no.10 this week on the Global chart and is no.1 in the Uk, Ireland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden & Norway. It's the second big success for Robin Schulz after his remix of Mr.Probz' 'Waves' which is still at no.27 this week on the same chart..



A sad new low in the history of the Global Album Chart: this week One Direction returns at no.40 with 'Midnight Memories' and only 14.000 sales! Never before since the start of the weekly hitlist in 2004 an album placed with such low sales. Let's look to the other end of our current Top 40: it seems that the Japanese use almost all their income for the purchase of new recordings from all these countless idol groups. Almost no week goes by, without a new successful single or album. This week NMB 48, a sister group to AKB 48, shoots atop the Global Album Chart with the second effort 'Sekai No Chuushin Wa Osaka Ya (Namba Jichiku)'. The set found 325.000 buyers in its first week at retail, according to Oricon. The first album of NMB 48, 'Teppen Tottande!', started also at the summit with almost the same sales (328.000, in the week 11, 2013). Last week's number one, the soundtrack to 'Guardians Of The Galaxy', slips at no.2 after an 8% sales decline to 133.000. 'Frozen', the other big soundtrack for now, climbs two slots back at no.3, driven by a 12% sales boost to 87.000. Ed Sheeran's 'X' takes the other direction and slides two spots at no.4 (down 7% to 85.000 sales). This week's second highest debut comes from American rock band Gaslight Anthem. Their fifth album 'Get Hurt' starts at no.5 with 66.000 sales. Nearly eight months have passed, so it's time for another interim balance: 'Frozen' leads outstanding with 5.625.000 sales, following by Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' with 2.441.000 sales and Beyoncé's self-titled album with 2.051.000 sales. The complete Top 40 lists for albums and tracks are available on our FACEBOOK - account. Some additional sales stats: 'Whispers' by Passenger sold 11.000 copies last week and reaches a total of 277.000 so far, 'Don't Kill The Magic' by Magic! sold 9.000 units last week, 117.000 so far, 'If You Wait' by London Grammar sold 12.000 units last week and has a total of 895.000 units so far, 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2' by Eminem sold 4.174.000 copies so far, 'Pure Heroine' by Lorde 2.669.000 and 'Prism' by Katy Perry 3.183.000.



'Am I Wrong' by Nico & Vinz spent only one week on the throne of the Global Track Chart and slides currently at no.3 after a 15% points decline to 242.000. Also 'Rude' by Magic! lost 3% in points to 260.000, but that's enough for a return to top position. It's the third non-consecutive week at the summit for that song. The 20 year-old Meghan Trainor is the shooting-star of the season. Her debut smash 'All About That Bass' reached with a record pace the vice-position of the Global Chart (up 21% to 244.000 points). Thematically in the near of Christina Aguilera's 'Beautiful' and musically in the near of Duffy and her blue-eyed soul, 'All About That Bass' will be surely one of the biggest hits in the last third of this year. Pharrell Williams' 'Happy', this week at no.18, reached a total of 13.025.000 points after 36 weeks on the tally. It's enough to overtake 'Gangsta's Paradise' by Coolio feat. L.V. on the ALL TIME CHART. So 'Happy' climbs now at no.9 and next week it will be overtake 'I Gotta Feeling' by the Black Eyed Peas, the biggest hit of the 21st century so far! Back to this week's hitlist, Japanese seven-member boy band Kis-My-Ft2 brings the highest debut, 'Another Future' lands at no.15 with 141.000 points. Outside the Top 40 waiting among other Winner's 'Coloring' at no.41, Kana Nishino's 'Darling' at no.43, Dierks Bentley's Drunk On A Plane' at no.57 and Lady Antebellum's 'Bartender' at no.59 and  for their first appearance on the big list. 

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