'The Carla Effect': France's Fascinating First Lady

"I don't expect people to separate them because I believe that it's impossible," said Bruni-Sarkozy. "What I hope is that if people like it, they like it; and if they don't like it, it doesn't have much to do with my husband, but much more to do with my music."

But some of her lyrics have been controversial particularly because she is married to a head of state. One song has the lyrics, "You are my junk, more deadly than Afghan heroin, more dangerous than Colombian white powder."

Carla explains that the words were a metaphor for how addictive and destructive a passionate love can be. The Colombian government, however, thought it was in poor taste for the wife of the French president to make what it termed as "a painful statement" about their country.

Such missteps, Carla admits, do take some getting used to as she settles into her new role.

"I am afraid of making mistakes," she said. "I'm afraid and shy, you know, I'm observing things and try to hold my place."

If the "Carla Effect," as it's known in Paris, is any indication, then she is holding her place just fine. Bruni-Sarkozy has charmed the French as well as the rest of the world on her state visits and at times upstages her husband.

The singing first lady now hopes to charm America when she releases her album here next week and visits New York in September.

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