Far from giving up her guitar to play the discreet presidential consort, Nicolas Sarkozy's girlfriend Carla Bruni is working on a new album of love songs to be released next year and is already booking dates for a world tour.
The Italian singer and former supermodel spent last week in Egypt with the French president, who was photographed strolling with one hand in the pocket of his jeans and the other on her hip.
A source at Naive records, Bruni's Paris label, said she would release a new album in August. "Carla isn't the kind to give up on her music career because she's in love with Sarkozy or because of anything else. Singing is the biggest thing in her life now, private life excluded," the source said.
Since the spring Bruni has written six of the planned dozen songs, with the lyrics in French and Italian drawing on poems in her native tongue.
The French media, which have run unconfirmed reports that Sarkozy has asked Bruni to marry him, last week called the prospect of an artist living in the president's Elysee Palace "a revolution", given the tradition of dutiful and often dull first ladies.
"It's not certain that Bruni would accept the job. She wouldn't be the star any more; she'd become 'the wife of' and she'd have to represent France," Christine Clerc, a political analyst, said. "The French would expect her to be more than the most beautiful and elegant woman on show."