Mika wrote this 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.
This was only the second single ever to top the UK chart without selling a physical copy. "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley was the first.
Mika was born in Beirut, Lebanon and is London-based. He is a former jingle writer who wrote the theme for an Orbit chewing gum TV ad.
Mika has been compared with Freddie Mercury. He says in an interview with the BBC that "The comparisons to Freddie Mercury are fine. They started long before I made the record - I've even referred to it in Grace Kelly." In the same interview he says, "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."
The melody is based on the aria "Largo al Factotum" in the opera The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini.
At the 2007 World Music Awards, Mika won for Best Selling British Artist, Best Selling New Artist, Best Selling Male Entertainer, and World's Best Selling Pop Rock Male Artist.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France
The December 2007 Observer Music Monthly asked Mika how it felt getting to #1 in the UK with this song. The Lebanon born singer 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."
This went to #1 on the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Turkey singles charts.
Speaking to BBC 1 Radio 1's Reggie Yates on his May 7, 2012 breakfast show, Mika explained why he ends the song with 'kerching!' "I was so desperate to get signed," he said, "not because I wanted to have a big record just because I wanted to Able to do this for a living, so I was taking my music around and I went to one record company person and he was 'listen, this is never going to sell, you're not weird enough , you're not indie enough, not pop enough, what are you? You're like a strange thing." I went home and I was so angry, I thought I was going to get signed this is nonsense, so I wrote out the song saying "I can be any color you want, what the hell do you want me to be, should I look older, should I bend over just to be put on your shelf. What is it that you want? You don't know what you want so I can be every color of the rainbow.' And at the end I was like, 'all you think about is money so kerching! take that.' And that was the song.
In the demos it went 'kerching' and there was a little swear word at the end, which I turned off. And that's why it went in."
The extracts of Grace Kelly speaking are from her Academy Award-winning performance in the 1954 film The Country Girl.
The video, directed by Sophie Muller (Gwen Stefani, Beyonce), features Mika singing to a young girl (played by the director's daughter Holly Muller) who mouths the bits of Grace Kelly dialogue used in the song.
Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesI got here after researching for Bananarama's song Robert De Niro's Waiting and I clicked on the category more songs with popular people in the title. I clicked this song because I'm a Grace Kelly fan and I wonder what this song tells about her.
I wonder if he ever read about Grace. Actually, Grace Kelly is someone like him, stubborn and wouldn't give in to her management's (MGM's) wishes that she change herself to be like her bombshell contemporaries e.g. Marilyn Monroe so that she'd become more famous. Grace never did the too much skin exposure her contemporary sultry actresses did. I wonder if Mika ever knew about this fact! For him to say that he can be like anyone he wants to be, and in this song, to be Grace Kelly, is kinda ironic as she herself is one of the examples of celebrities who disagree to be like somebody else. (8-17-2015)
Charlie from Binghamton, NyI don't think I've ever heard it in the states. But its a great song. First heard it on Absolute radio from London UK.
Sc from Anchorage, AkThis is such a great song :) I agree with krys from GA. I wish more people in the US knew about Mika, he's so creative and talented.
Alyssa from Spring Lake, MiEmma, it is not about a girl. He's talking about Grace Kelly the actress from the 1940s. He's talking about how these people want him to change himself to be more commercial and he could do it, but he would much rather stay true to himself and just be Mika. Not Freddie and not Grace Kelly. And thank goodness for that or we would not have his amazing songs. :)
Tara from Petoskey, MiLonely_1, I don't think your crazy. I agree that it reminds me of "Got to get you into my life." Especially the beginning, the way the lyrics are being sung or something.
Lonely_1 from Fresno, Caeveryone's gonna think i'm crazy, but for some reason the rhythm of this song reminds me of the beatles' "got to get you into my life"(NOTHING ELSE! i'm not saying the songs are in any way similar, related, etc...)
that said, i love this song!
Krys from Warner Robins, Gai love mika! sad that he doesn't get as much popularity in the US as i would like him to. grace kelly is an awesome song and the color references is basically him saying that he can be anything you want him to be but he'd rather be like freddie than act like somethings he's not
Martin from Elkhart, InAnd it's not quite Mozart's The marriage of Figaro. It's from the aria Largo al Factotum in the opera The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini. Songfacts? Really... Also, as a gay man... I feel that Mika's either using the gay card to attract attention, but seeing as though he's too awesome for that, it just isn't open for discussion...`
Martin from Elkhart, InExcuse me... I could be Brown, I could be Blue, I could be violet sky...
Richel from Santa Ana, Cato all you haters ....mika is NOT gay nevertheless, that kind of talent isn't to be judged...
Caitlin from Upper Township, Njreally cool song. nice beat, and really cool vocals by mika. 2 thumbs up.
Emma from Dorset, Vtthis is probably wrong but its how i interpreted Grace Kelly. so mika is in luv with this girl named grace kelly and he tries to take on all these different personalities to impress her but none work. "gotta be mean...green...violet sky," etc...and he tries to be like her but realizes its better to be himself becuase he cant pull the Grace Kelly off.
Terry from Northampton, EnglandFantastic! The best song for six years.It's way up there with the best of them.
Alexandra from Belgrade, EuropeThis dude rocks,people Freddie is alive!!!!There are still some cool and original freaks in this world
Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, EnglandI must love this song. It is over played on my staion and I STILL enjoy it!