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Single by Stromae
from the album Racine Carrée
Released May 13, 2013
Format Digital download
Recorded 2012
Genre House
Length 3:53
Label Mosaert
Writer(s) Stromae
Stromae singles chronology
"Je cours"

"Papaoutai" (Papa où t'es, meaning "Dad, where are you?") is a song written and performed by Belgian singer Stromae. The song was released as a digital download in Belgium on May 13, 2013 as the lead single from his second studio album Racine Carrée (2013). The song hit the number 1 spot in Belgium and France and the best selling single of 2013 in Belgium. A remix of the song featuring Angel Haze also appears on the album.[1]


The music video accompanying the release of "Papaoutai" was directed by Raf Reyntjens and released on YouTube on June 6, 2013 at a total length of three minutes and fifty-two seconds. The video shows a young boy trying to interact with his unresponsive father (played by Stromae), who sits motionless, his expression and body resembling that of a mannequin, while outside, other fathers and sons dance together. In the end, the son joins Stromae on the sofa, assuming a rigid, lifeless position identical to his father's. It refers to the absence of Stromae's father, who was killed in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.[2] The video has received around 200 million views.[3]
In the video, the boy's father is represented as a lifeless mannequin, so he is present physically, but not emotionally. As the boy looks outside, he sees that the other parents always do something together with their sons, while his remains motionless. The boy reproaches his father with the words of the song about how a parent should raise their son, and the boy then works to involve his father in dancing, like the parent-son couples he had seen before. First, the boy dances at home in front of the father; then, both of them are seen dancing in the square, but that vision is actually just an imagination of the boy, who in reality is dancing alone while his father stays motionless in the car. In the end, the boy surrenders and also becomes an empty mannequin like his father, as that is the only thing his father has taught him. Ceasare "Tight Eyez" Willis, one of the creators of Krumping, appears in the music video as a parent dancing together with his son.

Covers and parody[edit]

A translated English language cover by CUT_ titled "Papaoutai (Stromae Cover)"[4] was released in April 2014 charting in SNEP French Singles Chart.[5]

The a cappella group Pentatonix made a cover of the song in their album PTX Vol. 3, featuring Lindsey Stirling, which was released on 23 September 2014.[6]

A spoof on Papaoutai was created in November 2013, by the name of Lamaoutai (Llama, where are you?), because of the kidnapping of Serge the Llama from a circus in Bordeaux.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Papaoutai"   3:51
2. "Papaoutai (Extended)"   6:18
3. "Papaoutai (Mystique Remix)"   5:01
4. "Papaoutai (Nicolaz Remix)"   5:52
5. "Papaoutai (Liam Summers Remix)"   4:04

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2013-2014) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 3
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders Dance)[9] 7
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders Urban)[9] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[10] 1
Belgium (Ultratop Wallonia Dance)[10] 1
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[11] 70
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[12] 10
Europe (Euro Digital Songs)[13] 12
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[14] 4
France (SNEP)[15] 1
Germany (Media Control Charts)[16] 6
Israel (Media Forest)[17] 8
Italy (FIMI)[18] 10
Luxembourg Digital Songs (Billboard)[19] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[20] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[21] 2
Romania (Romanian Top 100)[22] 83
Russia (NFPP)[23] 3
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[24] 36
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 4
US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs (Billboard)[26] 25

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Position
Dutch Singles Chart[27] 6

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Belgium May 13, 2013[28] Digital download Mosaert


  1. ^ "Racine Carrée by Stromae". iTunes Store (US). Apple Inc. July 26, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ [ New York Times, October 15, 2013
  3. ^ Stromae - Papaoutai. YouTube
  4. ^ Music video of the CUT_ cover
  5. ^ CUT_ "Papaoutai" page
  6. ^ Papadatos, Markos (13 August 2014). "Pentatonix to release first single and video from 'PTX Vol. 3'". Digital Journal. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Pour tourner le clip de "Lamaoutai", Serge le lama est amené en boîte de nuit à Cannes, Le Huffington Post, 23 November 2013
  8. ^ "Stromae – Papaoutai –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  9. ^ a b c " – Stromae – Papaoutai" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ a b " – Stromae – Papaoutai" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "Stromae Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Stromae.
  12. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201343 into search.
  13. ^ "Stromae Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Euro Digital Songs for Stromae.
  14. ^ "Stromae: Papaoutai" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  15. ^ " – Stromae – Papaoutai" (in French). Les classement single.
  16. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche –" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  17. ^ "{{{artist}}} – Papaoutai Media Forest". Israeli Airplay Chart. Media Forest.
  18. ^ "Top Digital Download - Classifica settimanale WK 27 (dal 30-06-2014 al 06-07-2014)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Luxembourg Digital Songs - August 31, 2013". Billboard. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Stromae search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  21. ^ " – Stromae – Papaoutai" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  22. ^ "Airplay 100" (in Romanian). Kiss FM (Romania). 
  23. ^ "Проект Земфиры возглавил чарт iTunes". November 25, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  24. ^ " – Stromae – Papaoutai" Canciones Top 50.
  25. ^ "Stromae – Papaoutai –". Swiss Singles Chart.
  26. ^ "Stromae Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs for Stromae. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  27. ^
  28. ^ iTunes - Music - Papaoutai - Single by Stromae

External links[edit]