Formidable (song)

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Single by Stromae
from the album Racine Carrée
Released4 June 2013
Stromae singles chronology
"Tous les mêmes"

"Formidable" (lit. Wonderful) is a song by Belgian singer Stromae. The song was released as a digital download in Belgium on 4 June 2013 as the second single from his second studio album Racine Carrée (2013). The song entered at the number 1 spot the week of its release in Belgium and reached number 1 in France. It was his most successful single since "Alors on Danse" in 2009.

Music video[edit]

On 21 May 2013, amateur videos surfaced on YouTube showing Stromae apparently drunk and wandering at the Louise/Louiza tram and metro station in Brussels during the daybreak, which eventually went viral. It was revealed days later that the incident was part of the taping for a music video; this was confirmed during the TV programme Ce soir (ou jamais!) on France 2 in which Stromae discussed and also performed "Formidable", which is about the story of a drunk man just separated from his girlfriend.[1][2]

The video, taken by cameras hidden around the station, appears to show a drunken, disheveled, and distraught Stromae stumbling around the station, shouting snatches of the song's lyrics at passersby, falling down, and on several occasions appearing on the verge of stepping into traffic. Onlookers are shown recording the incident with their cellphones, but only one person intervenes to prevent Stromae from walking in front of an oncoming tram. The music cuts off abruptly as three policemen, unaware that this is a taping, approach Stromae to assess his wellness and to inquire if he has been drinking. Stromae reassures them, and the video resumes. In the video's final scene, Stromae leaves, followed by his camera crew, and displays that his drunkenness was only an act by grinning into the camera, straightening his clothing, and clicking his heels. The video is subtitled "ceci n'est pas une leçon" ("this is not a lesson").

The video won the award for the "Music video of the year" category at the 2014 Victoires de la Musique.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download

Charts and certifications[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Belgium (BEA)[15] 3× Platinum 60,000*
France (SNEP)[16] Diamond 309,800*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[17] Gold 15,000^
Italy (FIMI)[18] Gold 15,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[19] Platinum 20,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Belgium 1 June 2013[20] Digital download Mosaert

Cheyenne Toney cover[edit]

Cheyenne Toney - Formidable.jpg
Single by Cheyenne Toney
Released6 December 2013
FormatDigital download
  • Hip hop
  • R&B
  • Stromae
  • Toney

On 6 December 2013, during the fourth live show of the fourth season of the Dutch television programme The Voice of Holland, Dutch singer Cheyenne Toney performed a cover of "Formidable". She sang her own written cover, with lyrics translated from French to Dutch. Her version of the song reached the peak position in the Mega Single Top 100 (charting higher than the original) and the eighteenth position in the Dutch Top 40.


Chart (2013) Peak
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[21] 18
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 1

Arabic version[edit]

A Maghrebi Arabic version of the song by Moroccan Canadian performer Nadia Essadiqi was an internet hit in October 2015.[23] On 17 November, she went on to perform the song live on the VivaCité radio chart show Tip Top[24] and on Le Petit Journal (Canal+).[25]


  1. ^ "Formidable: le clip de Stromae nous a tous buzzés". (in French). 27 May 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  2. ^ Legge, Jonas (27 May 2013). "Stromae est loin d'être fort minable". La Libre Belgique (in French). Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  3. ^ " – Stromae – Formidable" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b " – Stromae – Formidable" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  5. ^ " – Stromae – Formidable" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  6. ^ " – Stromae – Formidable". Tracklisten. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  7. ^ " – Stromae – Formidable" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  8. ^ " – Stromae Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  9. ^ " – Stromae – Formidable". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Stromae" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  11. ^ " – Stromae – Formidable" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  12. ^ " – Stromae – Formidable". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-02. Retrieved 2015-07-31.
  15. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – singles 2013". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  16. ^ "French single certifications – Stromae – Papaoutai" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Danish single certifications – Stromae – Formidable". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  18. ^ "Italian single certifications – Stromae – Formidable" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  19. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Stromae; 'Formidable')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  20. ^ iTunes - Music - Formidable - Single by Stromae
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Cheyenne Toney" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  22. ^ " – Cheyenne Toney – Formidable" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  23. ^ La "formidable" reprise de Stromae en arabe par une chanteuse québécoise, La Libre Belgique, 30 October 2015. Accessed 14 December 2015.
  24. ^ Eagles of Death Metal, Louise Attaque & La Bronze c'est dans le Tip Top de ce 17/11, VivaCité website, accessed 14 December 2015.
  25. ^ La Bronze « Formidable » - Le Petit Journal du 17/11, Canal+ website, accessed 14 December 2015.

External links[edit]