Daphne and Celeste

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Daphne and Celeste
Origin New Jersey, United States
Genres Dance-pop, teen pop, bubblegum pop, pop rap
Years active 1999–2002
Labels Perfect Noise Limited
Past members Celeste Cruz
Karen DiConcetto

Daphne and Celeste were an American pop duo composed of Celeste Cruz and Karen DiConcetto. They are best known for their songs "Ooh Stick You" and "U.G.L.Y.".

Success and album reaction[edit]

They released three singles in the UK: "Ooh Stick You!", "U.G.L.Y." and a cover version of Alice Cooper's "School's Out". A full-length album, We Didn't Say That!, was released in Autumn 2000 to generally positive reviews (Melody Maker awarded it four out of five stars). Another single, "Party", was due in November 2000, but was never released.

The music of Daphne and Celeste could be described as pure pop marketed at a teen or pre-teen audience. The kitsch Asian-themed "I Love Your Sushi" features a Japanese rapper extolling the virtues of Daphne and Celeste in his native tongue. On "Peek-a-Boo", the girls find themselves at a monsters' ball attended by the bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, and Tom Cruise. Notwithstanding the presence of such novelty tracks, "Roll Call" is a conventional pop song, "Star Club" is a disco track, and "Hey Boy" is a slow ballad.

Despite the album's positive reviews, there were a lot of negative feelings towards Daphne and Celeste, with some dismissing them as a 'teeny-bopper' act (although others felt that such a judgement ignored the apparent irony with which they performed). This discontent culminated in the duo being bottled off the stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in 2000 in one of the festival's most iconic moments (the bottles in some cases would have contained urine).[citation needed] Reading and Leeds are primarily rock festivals, and Daphne and Celeste's negative reception there stemmed from their being an unabashed pop act. It was stated by the band before their appearance at Reading and Leeds Festivals that they had hounded their manager to get them on the bill so that they could meet Eminem. Eminem pulled out of his appearance[1] and when Daphne and Celeste tried to do the same, the organisers refused to let them. This was later confirmed to be a rumor.[2]

Many pop fans were also vociferous in their dislike for Daphne and Celeste. "U.G.L.Y." in particular was criticised, many feeling that it promoted bullying. Daphne and Celeste countered this by saying their lyrics were meant to be tongue in cheek. In an interview included on the "U.G.L.Y." single, Daphne noted: "Everyone is indeed ugly in their own special way." Daphne and Celeste made an appearance at Feet First.[3] Daphne and Celeste even managed to score a TV and movie deal.[4]

Soon the duo found themselves the subject of rumors regarding their true identities. Some claimed they were teenagers, while others claimed they were much older than reported and that they were discovered while working as receptionists at their record label.[citation needed]

Following relatively low album sales, and the backlash against them, Daphne and Celeste soon dropped out of the public eye. Their official website closed down in October 2001, and their management company, Perfect Noise Limited, was dissolved in November 2002. After the girls record label dropped them Celeste went back to school.[5]

Later activities[edit]

In a "Where Are They Now?" interview with Q magazine in 2005, Karen DiConcetto admitted that the whole project was "100% manufactured", and that the girls auditioned for it in New York in 1998: "I just talked about shoes for an hour." She considered the Reading Festival to be the highlight of the whole experience, and mentioned her work in theatre afterwards, specifically a play called Tourrettaville, written by a boy with Tourette's syndrome. DiConcetto received positive reviews[6] for her portrayal of "CB's Sister" in the FringeNYC award-winning Peanuts spoof Dog Sees God. That production was adapted for an Off-Broadway debut featuring a number of big-name celebrities, including Eliza Dushku and America Ferrera.

In the same interview, Celeste Cruz said that she had also worked in theatre and that the duo were planning to break into television. In 2004, Celeste also took the role of "Maria" in the movie Brooklyn Bound. Although not a main character, she is involved in a pivotal scene which fuels the tragedy of the denouement. She also features quite prominently on the DVD cover. In 2009 she appeared in an Emmy-nominated episode of 30 Rock entitled "Generalissimo". Celeste can also be found on Twitter. Unlike DiConcetto, she considered the Reading Festival incident the "end of the party for us".[citation needed]

Daphne and Celeste were also interviewed by Bad Horsey towards the end of 2005, with the questions coming from the B3ta web community. The interview was posted on the Estudio Caballito Malo website and featured in the Popbitch newsletter. An edited version was published in the January 2006 edition of the UK publication Fused Magazine.

DiConcetto has a role in Holger Ernst's The House Is Burning, which premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival on 26 May.[7] The film was produced by Wim Wenders, and is considered a German production, despite being filmed around New Jersey. In 2005 Daphne and Celeste had a mini reunion tour in the UK with Lolly.[8]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
NZ
[9]
UK
[10]
We Didn't Say That! 4 140
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Album
AUS
[11]
CAN
[12]
NZ
[13]
UK
[14]
1999 "Ooh Stick You" 54 5 8 We Didn't Say That!
2000 "U.G.L.Y." 40 18 7 18
"School's Out" 96
[15]
12
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

References[edit]

  1. ^ OOH! STICK YOU, READING
  2. ^ DAPHNE & CELESTE READING-BOUND AFTER ALL
  3. ^ DAPHNE AND CELESTE JUMP IN FEET FIRST
  4. ^ TV AND MOVIE FOR D&C
  5. ^ 'OOH STICK YOU' 2002!
  6. ^ David Ng (7 September 2004). "Good Grief! - Page 1 - Theater - New York". Village Voice. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  7. ^ James, Alison (27 April 2006). "More competish at Cannes". Variety. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  8. ^ Whatever Happened To... Daphne And Celeste
  9. ^ Chart placings for 'We Didn't Say That!' in the New Zealand Top 40 Albums Chart
  10. ^ Whatever Happened To... Daphne And Celeste. Femalefirst.co.uk (1 October 2008). Retrieved on 2012-05-08.
  11. ^ Steffen Hung (13 August 2000). "Australian charts portal". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  12. ^ Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.ca. 30 September 2000. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  13. ^ Steffen Hung (19 March 2000). "New Zealand charts portal". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  14. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  15. ^ "ARIA Report Issue 568". 

External links[edit]