Cristina Monet Zilkha -- who was born Christina Monet-Palaci, and recorded under the mononym Cristina -- died on Wednesday (Apr. 1). Her death was confirmed by Michel Esteban, co-founder of her label ZE Records, who wrote on Facebook, "Wake up this morning with this devastated news, dearest Cristina past away. So sad.." She was 61.
The daughter of a French psychoanalyst and an American novelist, playwright and illustrator, Cristina dabbled in theater (both as a writer and a critic) before turning to pop music at the behest of her eventual husband -- Michael Zilkha, co-founder with Michel of ZE, an influential New York post-punk label. Zilkha persuaded her to record "Disco Clone," a single ultimately produced by Velvet Underground guitarist John Cale and released on ZE in 1978. Campy, self-aware and infectious (with a young Kevin Kline as Cristina's spoken-word co-star on a later re-recording), the song developed an underground following.