A child starlet who became a French icon, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld once said of Vanessa Paradis "the key thing about Vanessa is not what she does but how she does it. She could make singing the telephone directory beautiful." Raised in the suburbs of Paris, Paradis first came to attention as an eight-year-old contestant on TV talent show L'Ecole des Fans and released her first single, La Magie Des Surprise-Parties, two years later. Her big breakthrough came in 1987 with the huge hit Joe Le Taxi, which spent 11 weeks at Number 1 in France and reached Number 3 in the UK, followed by album M&J (1988) (short for Marilyn and John). She worked with Serge Gainsbourg on Variations Sur Le T'Aime (1990) which included a cover of Lou Reed's Walk On The Wild Side before collaborating with then boyfriend Lenny Kravitz, who produced her self-titled third album and the single Be My Baby - which reached Number 6 in the UK in 1992. Her hushed vocals and elegant innocence have made Paradis every inch the classic French chanteuse, she has gone on to model for Chanel and act in a series of European films, and she is also well-known outside France as the long-time partner of actor Johnny Depp.