Carla Bruni: I don't miss being first lady of France

Carla Bruni first grabbed global attention as a supermodel. She then walked a completely different world stage when she became the first lady of France. Today, she hopes her singing and songwriting skills will be what grabs the spotlight.

Bruni is currently touring the United States for the first time, promoting her fourth album, "Little French Songs," which was released last year.

“To be on the road is fantastic,” she told TODAY's Matt Lauer from New York. "I like to change place. I like to discover new places."

One place she’s glad to leave behind is the political world, where she was constantly under the microscope as first lady to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Bruni said she hasn’t missed that period of her life at all. In the two years since her husband left office, she has instead focused her energy on her music.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sits on a bench with his wife after voting in the French mayoral elections in Paris, March 23, 2014. BENOIT TESSIER / Reuters
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sits on a bench with his wife after voting in the French mayoral elections in Paris, March 23, 2014.

"My songs are about life. They're like little postcards of life, you know? Desire, loneliness, but also maybe joy and fun,” she said, adding that "my lyrics are not so simple but my music is definitely simple." 

She then demonstrated her "simple" music style by singing the first verse of a slowed-down, folk version of the Tammy Wynette classic, “Stand By Your Man," one of her go-to songs because “it’s very nice to warm the voice.” 

While she likes the country classics, she admitted her other favorites include classics such as the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Clash.

"That's my generation," said Bruni, who is 46.

On getting older, Bruni admitted that aging "is not easy to cope with" but said it wasn't only about physical beauty.

“It's related to everything, to energy, strength. I also believe that a woman and a man, they don't really lose their charm," she said. "And I think charm is much more important than beauty because seduction is related to charm, is related to experience, and to intelligence. So I hope, you know, that I can keep some charm."

  • Slideshow Photos

    France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy poses before an interview on the set of French TV channel TF1 in Paris

    The faces of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

    From supermodel to France’s controversial first lady to musician, check out Carla's life in pictures.

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    Carla Bruni -

    Carla Bruni, the wife of former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, has been called a heartbreaker, a style icon and even a muse. The stunning singer and former model, who has represented the likes of Dior and Chanel, continues to make headlines.

    Carla Bruni performs for Matt Lauer on TODAY on April 24.
    TODAY
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    Cuddle up -

    Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sits on a bench with his wife after voting at a polling station in the first round in the French mayoral elections in Paris on March 23, 2014.
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    Little French Songs -

    Carla performs during a concert at Philharmonie im Gasteig in Munich, Germany on March 15, 2014.
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    All smiles -

    Bruni-Sarkozy arrives for the 2013 Echo Music Awards in Berlin, Germany, March 21, 2013.
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    Making music -

    Carla performs during the 63rd edition of the Sanremo Music Festival in Italy on Feb. 13, 2013.
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    Handover ceremony -

    Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, left, and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leave the Elysee Palace after the formal investiture ceremony between France's president Francois Hollande and his sucessor on May 15, 2012 in Paris.
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    In with the new -

    French President-elect Francois Hollande's companion Valerie Trierweiler, right, shakes hands with outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy before the presidential handover ceremony, on May 15, 2012 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
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    Casting a vote -

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrives with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy at a polling station to cast his vote during the second round of the 2012 French Presidential election at Lycee Jean De La Fontaine on May 6, 2012 in Paris, France.
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    Expecting -

    Carla Bruni-Sarkozy waves to visitors in the gardens of the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on Sept. 17, 2011, during France's Day of Patrimony. For two days a year in Paris and the rest of France, thousands of monuments, government buidings and privately owned sites of interest open their doors to the public at the Day of Patrimony.
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    Waiting -

    Carla Bruni-Sarkozy waits for the spouses of the Heads of Delegation participating in the G8 Summit on May 26, 2011 in Deauville, France.
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    All smiles -

    Carla Bruni-Sarkozy meets children as she visits a book fair on Mar. 18, 2011 in Paris.
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    Sitting pretty -

    Benin President Thomas Yayi Boni speaks with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy on Jan. 26, 2010 at the presidential palace in Cotonou. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was on a two day visit dedicated to the fight against the HIV-Aids virus.
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    Seeing stars -

    Director Woody Allen talks with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Owen Wilson on July 28, 2010 in Paris during the shooting of Allen's latest movie "Midnight in Paris". Despite a starry cast including Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and and Kathy Bates, pre-publicity for "Midnight in Paris" has focused on the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's big screen debut.
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    Hitting notes -

    Carla Bruni and Dave Stewart perform at Radio City Music Hall July 18, 2009 for a 91st birthday concert for Nelson Mandela.
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    Laughing it up -

    President Barack Obama laughs with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Michelle Obama at the Palais Rohan in Strasbourg April 3, 2009. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military alliance is celebrating its 60th anniversary this week at a summit co-hosted by Germany and France.
    Jason Reed / Reuters
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    Solemn occasion -

    French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Britain's Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, leave the Douaumont memorial Tuesday in Verdun, France, following Nov. 11, 2008 ceremonies marking the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I. The Battle of Verdun in 1916 was one of the bloodiest battles of World War I.
    Gerard Cerles / Pool via AP
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    They’ll take Manhattan -

    During his September 2008 trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, French president Nicolas Sarkozy (far left) and Carla Bruni became just two more joggers taking their exercise amid midtown traffic.
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    Papal visit -

    Pope Benedict XVI waved to the public from the Elysee Palace in Paris, where he was welcomed by president Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni Sarkozy in Sept. 2008. The German-born pontiff was on a four-day visit to France marking the 150th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes.
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    Hello, Dalai -

    In Aug. 2008, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy joined the Dalai Lama at the inauguration of Lerab Ling Buddhist temple at Roqueredonde, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader consecrated the temple during his 12 day-visit to France.
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    The attraction -

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy arrive at the Elysee palace after the annual Bastille Day military parade. The steamy details of their whirlwind romance captivated both the paparazzi and the public and became the subject of a book. "It all happened suddenly. I wasn't expecting someone so funny, so full of life. I was seduced by his physique and his intelligence," Bruni told the authors of "Carla and Nicolas, the True Story."
    Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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    Marriage and music -

    During an interview on French TV, Bruni said that she was "hurt" by frosty reactions to her new album. "If people don't listen because I married the president of the republic, I understand," she said. "If they do listen because I married the president of the republic, I will be delighted. And if people ... like it, that is what counts for me."
    Olivier Laban-Mattei / Pool via Reuters
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    First lady -

    President Sarkozy and Bruni married on Feb. 2, 2008 in a 20-minute civil ceremony in the presidential office of the Elysee Palace in Paris, giving Bruni the title of first lady of France. Since then, she has attended many political events. Here she is with Queen Elizabeth II during welcoming ceremonies at Windsor Castle.
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    Presidential liaison -

    Bruni and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met at a semi-political dinner party in Nov. 2007. Just three months after Sarkozy divorced his wife, he and Bruni became a couple. The two reportedly were engaged on Christmas Day, 2007. That same month they visited the Pyramids while Sarkozy was in Cairo for talks with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
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    Love vs. desire -

    At the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Bruni, who was born in Turin, carried the Italian flag. In 2007, Bruni told French magazine Le Figaro Madame that "love lasts a long time, but burning desire -- two to three weeks," and that she found monogamy boring.
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    The sound of music -

    In 1997, Bruni decided to pursue a music career. Six years later, she released her first album of vocals and acoustic guitar, titled “Quelqu’un m’a dit” (Someone Told Me). The album was produced by one of her ex-lovers, Louis Bertignac. It sold over a million copies in France, and another 300,000 copies elsewhere. Bruni was also awarded the French equivalent of a Grammy for best female vocalist. Her second album was released in early 2007. In total, she has sold two million records.
    Francois Mori / AP
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    Runway beauty -

    Italian model Carla Bruni shows a pink evening gown designed by Gianni Versace for the Haute-Couture 1996 Spring/Summer collection in Paris.
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    Behind the runway -

    Bruni, the daughter of a wealthy Italian tire manufacturer, became a model while in her teens. She began her career with City Models in Paris, and soon became a staple with couture fashion houses Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino as well as in perfume ads for GUESS. Here she is in 1993, behind the scenes at the showing of Valentino's spring-summer collection.
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    Femme fatale -

    Bruni was one of the highest-paid supermodels in 1990, but that wasn't the only reason she was a household name. In her 20s, Bruni had an affair with Mick Jagger, allegedly breaking up his marriage. In addition, she has been romantically linked to Kevin Costner, Eric Clapton and Donald Trump. In 2001, while the femme fatale was living with her lover, writer Jean-Paul Enthoven, she began an affair with his son, Raphael, and soon had a child with him.
    Corbis
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