Thursday, May 7, 2015

Connie Fredericks-Malone: Passion and Talent in Paris

In 2001, at age 49, singer Carole Denise Fredericks died of a massive heart attack following a benefit concert at Club Med World in Dakar. She was buried in Montmartre Cemetery in Paris (in perpetuity, upon the invitation of the French Minister of Culture and Communication of the Chirac administration). Her legacy consists not only of a long list of enormously popular music recordings, but also a body of work that has been transformed into innovative French lessons for American and Canadian students of all ages, from kindergarten to college.

Screenshot from CDF Foundation Web site

The work of preserving Carole’s legacy has fallen largely to her sister, Connie Fredericks-Malone.

Connie Fredericks-Malone
© Discover Paris!

Connie has served as the director for Carole D. Fredericks Foundation Inc. and the official spokesperson for the Fredericks family since 2006. On behalf of the estate, she has successfully negotiated with SONY Music/France, BMG/France, M6 Interaction, and JRG Editions Musicales to bring French language music videos, recordings, and materials to the United States for educational purposes. In 2013, she negotiated license agreements with French producers and publishers for the entire catalog of French-language and English-language songs Carole recorded between 1989 and 1999. She frequently speaks about Carole’s life and legacy at international, national, and regional foreign language conferences.

Because of the work that she does for the foundation, Connie and her husband, James Malone, come to France every year. They spend part of their time in Carole’s apartment at 91bis, rue du Mont Cenis in the 18th arrondissement, where they organized the installation of a plaque in Carole's honor.

Crowd gathered for plaque installation ceremony - June 2012
© Discover Paris!

Connie speaking at the ceremony
© Discover Paris!

Taj Mahal (brother of Connie and Carole) and Connie standing beneath the plaque
Photo of Carole D. Fredericks in the foreground
© Discover Paris!

Carole D. Fredericks memorial plaque
© Discover Paris!

In June 2014, Connie spoke about the foundation in an exclusive interview with Femmes au Pluriel, a magazine for and about women around the world.

Connie is not a stranger to the stage and screen. She spent 20 years performing in musical theater, day-time and prime-time television, commercials and cabaret/night club venues. She also knows her way around behind the scenes, having served as a television writer and producer for KGO-TV in San Francisco, CA. She competed in the AARP Boomer singing competition in 2014 and made it to the Top 30 Semifinalist level out of 1200 participants.

Connie has made forays into singing on this side of the Atlantic during her last two visits to France. Last year, she sang gospel at the Journée Histoire et Renaissance (Day of History and Rebirth), a festival of African culture that was held in the Paris suburb of Achères.

This year, Connie made her professional singing debut in Paris at Club Rayé, an ultra chic New York-style piano bar in the 2nd arrondissement, on May 1, 2015.

Club Rayé
© Discover Paris!

A packed house was enraptured as she sang renditions of classics such as “Crazy He Calls Me” and “God Bless the Child.” She even included a few French language classics such as “La Vie en Rose” by Edith Piaf and “J’ai Deux Amours” by Josephine Baker.

Connie sings at Club Rayé
© Discover Paris!

The performance was such a success that Connie and Club Rayé proprietor, Kein Cross, are discussing having her headline at the club each time that she returns to Paris. Indeed, Connie is considering coming back to Paris more frequently precisely for that reason.

To learn more about the Carole D. Fredericks Foundation, visit


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