"Grace Kelly" is a song by the British singerMika, released for download on 9 January 2007. It also appears on Mika's 2007 album Life in Cartoon Motion. Produced and mixed by Greg Wells, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number three and the UK Official Download Chart at number one. One week later, it jumped to the top of the UK Singles Chart. The track was number one on the UK Singles Chart for five weeks, and ended 2007 as the year's third biggest-selling single in that country. In the U.S., "Grace Kelly" was made available for digital download on 16 January 2007. This song was also #89 on MTV Asia's list of Top 100 Hits of 2007. It was designed to be a mocking satire of musicians who try to reinvent themselves to be popular.
"The comparisons to Freddie Mercury are fine. They started long before I made the record - I've even referred to it in Grace Kelly." "Grace Kelly was written after these musicians were trying to mold me into what I should be. I was really angry and so I wrote the song and mailed them the lyrics. They didn't call me back, but two years later it's come full circle."
Mika wrote the song after he felt frustrated with record label executives that wanted him to change his sound to fit the common pop mold. In the song, Mika points out how he can pretend to be anyone he likes to win approval - in this case the glamorous actress Grace Kelly. He wrote the song after the record company told him that they wanted to model his look and sound on Craig David, who was popular at the time in the UK. Mika rejected this idea and wrote "Grace Kelly" as a way of expressing his individuality. The song's melody is based on the aria "Largo al factotum" in the opera The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini.
The song received positive reviews from music critics. Heather Phares from AllMusic wrote a positive review for the song, stating that "Mika's singles are his most charming moments, including the instant sunshine of "Grace Kelly," which crams tap-dancing rhythms, filmic dialogue, Elton's pianos, Freddie's vocal harmonies, and Brian May's guitars into just over three minutes." Christian John Wikane from PopMatters wrote an extensive article about the comparisons between Mika and Freddie Mercury, writing that "he sounds a lot like Mercury and wears the influence like a badge of honor, even name-checking the late front man of Queen in the first verse. Mika vacillates between the affected theatricality of Mercury’s full-throttled voice and his own strong falsetto, where he earnestly implores "Why don’t you like me?" no less than 12 times.
Beth Johnson from Entertainment Weekly wrote that "Nothing quite matches the crystal-shattering exuberance of hit Grace Kelly." John Murphy from musicOMH wrote that "It's big, joyous, dumb pop, and the only danger with it is that you'll be utterly sick of it fast." Lizzie Enever from BBC Music was direct, writing that "Grace Kelly is a great pop song - it's catchy, you can't help singing along and it grates on you after a few days when you can't get it out of your head but you still go back for more - flawless credentials." Graham Griffith, also from About.com, wrote that the song "is an outrageously irresistible and infectious pop gem." Dom Passantino from Stylus Magazine criticized the track, writing that "it seems to suggest the boy has some level for musicals, being as it is all Broadway flittering and hackneyed attempts at conveying a story with its lyrics. But here’s the problem: he's got no tales to tell, just a tab at his local make-up supplier. "Am I too dirty, am I too flirty?" he sings at one point."
The music video for the song "Grace Kelly" was directed by Sophie Muller and starred Mika and Holly Muller. The video was filmed in early November 2006 and has been nominated for numerous worldwide awards. The instrumental introduction in the video is an extract of the acoustic version of the song found on certain releases of the album.
It reached number one in the United Kingdom and in Ireland. The song was only the second single ever to top the UK chart without selling a physical copy ("Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley was the first). In the U.S. market, it peaked at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100. The December 2007 Observer Music Monthly asked Mika how it felt getting to #1 in the UK with this song. He replied: "Very unreal. It still feels unreal. It's just a song I wrote in my room. By the time I'd written 'Grace Kelly' everything in my life had been called into question. Trying to find out what I was going to do with my life, trying to be a musician, to be independent, to give myself the remote chance of any kind of a relationship. I was just sorting every thing out in my head. That song sums it all up." It went to #1 on the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Turkey singles charts.