Stromae Is Ready to Take Over the U.S. -- Get to Know the Belgian Superstar!
By Sophie Schillaci
Meet Stromae, the Belgian superstar ready to take the U.S. by storm.
The catch? He doesn't sing a word of English.
And while American audiences may not know his name (yet), the 30-year-old is already a huge phenomenon in Europe. He's sold more than 3.5 million albums worldwide while his breakout single "Papaoutai" has more than 250 million views on YouTube/VEVO. Among his A-list fans: Madonna, Sam Smith and Kanye West, who remixed Stromae's single "Alors on Dance" back in 2009.
Just last year, Stromae was hand-picked by Lorde to contribute to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 soundtrack. His song "Meltdown" was selected to be the first track on the album, featuring HAIM, Q-Tip, Pusha T and Lorde, herself.
"I was surprised to see how simple she is," Stromae says of Lorde. "I love the way she's a bit weird, like I could be. And I am, actually. I don't know if you understand what I mean when I say weird, but she's not conventional. She's a bit bizarre, and I love bizarre."
Stromae (aka Paul Van Haver) performs all his music in his native tongue, French, and just last month made his U.S. festival debut at Coachella with Kanye West in tow.
Getting candid with ET, Stromae admits: "To be completely honest, I did not have enough time to have fun, actually, because I was so much focused on the performance -- on the fact that it was 50 minutes on stage."
But the crowd made him feel right at home. "Coachella is one of the most famous festivals... I think that the crowd was really nice with me, so it was OK," he added.
Of course, it didn't hurt that Stromae had been dubbed one of the fest's "25 Must-See Acts" by Rolling Stone, and as one of the "Top 10 Concerts" of 2014 by the New York Times.
Stromae's album Racine Carree is out now, and he'll wrap his current U.S. tour at New York's legendary Madison Square Garden on Oct. 1. In the meantime, you can find Stromae's current list of tour dates on his website, and see more from ET's sitdown at Hollywood hotspot Golden Box in the video above. (And, yes, he tells us the story behind his unique stage name.)