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Coeur de Pirate, The Fearless French-Canadian Singer You Need to Know

Coeur de Pirate, The Fearless French-Canadian Singer You Need to Know

"I don't regret coming out. You live and you learn."

Courtesy of Etienne St-Denis.

Beatrice Martin never expected to come out this summer. "You don't plan on coming out," she says. "It's something that happens because it has to happen."

The 27-year-old Montreal singer -- better known by her stage name, Coeur de Pirate -- admits that the tragedy in Orlando, where 49 people at the LGBT club Pulse lost their lives, forced her to open up to her loved ones. "I realized a lot of the people that died that day had not come out to their families," she says. "I needed to be straightforward. I wasn't being honest in my marriage. I wasn't being honest with my daughter. I didn't want her to look at me as somebody who is miserable and who is not honest about her true life."

With that candor came a fair share of pain, including a split with Alex Peyrat, her partner and the father of her child. "At this point I've seen it all," she says. "I don't regret coming out. You live and you learn."

Martin's 4-year-old daughter, Romy, appears in her video for "Drapeau Blanc," a track that she says marks a shift in her music. "I didn't want to do something too complicated," she explains. "This was the first song in which I really didn't talk about love or broken love. It was about motherhood, and I wanted to go in a sophisticated, clean, new direction."

A celebrated pop sensation in her homeland and in France -- she sings primarily in French, but her recent single "Carry On" spent 11 consecutive weeks at number one on the Canadian top 40 -- Martin now finds herself at a crossroads. She describes recording Roses, her acclaimed third studio album (and U.S. debut), as her "growing up," and looks forward to telling more personal stories with her songwriting.

"I get to draw a narrative that's not so heteronormative," she says. (Upon closer reading, her 2009 hit "Commes des Enfants" could be interpreted as a tale of a woman's crush on another woman while in a relationship with a man.)

Her newfound frankness has also proved a boon for her fans. "I'm always happy when artists come out as queer -- that means there are more of these stories out there," she says. "Fans will write me and say, 'I got to talk to my parents, and I mentioned you, and it was important because they knew you -- that helped,' " she says. "It gives another sense of purpose to what you do."

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