Carla Bruni-Sarkozy plans to release new album this year

France's first lady, Carla Bruni poses prior to an interview on the set of French Tv channel TFI, on July 11, 2008, in Paris. Carla Bruni said on July 11 that she was "hurt" by frosty reactions to her new album from critics of her husband President Nicolas Sarkozy, as the much-hyped record went on sale across Europe. AFP PHOTO POOL OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI (Photo credit should read OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI/AFP/Getty Images) OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI

Carla Bruni poses prior to an interview on the set of French Tv channel TFI, on July 11, 2008, in Paris
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(CBS News) Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is plotting her return to the music spotlight.

France's outgoing first lady  has plans to release a new album by the end of the year. She's also planning a series of concerts, according to Le Parisien, a newspaper in France.

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"Carla did not put her career on hold during the five-year term of Nicolas Sarkozy. She continued to compose at her own pace," her spokesperson Veronique Rampazzo told the paper.

Bruni-Sarkozy, 44, hasn't recorded a new album since 2008 for "practical reasons," her rep said.

Bruni-Sarkozy released her debut album, "Quelqu'un m'a dit" ("Somebody Told Me"), in 2003. She released her sophomore album in 2007 and had songs on soundtracks, including "(500) Days of Summer."

Since then, she's recorded a duet with Harry Connick, Jr. and performed for Nelson Mandela's 91st birthday on July 18, 2009, in New York.

The former model's husband, Nicolas Sarkozy, lost the French presidential election after serving for one term. He announced his retirement from politics this week and handed over the presidency to Francois Hollande.

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