Singer Carla Bruni performs during the 2013 ECHO Music Awards in Berlin on March 21, 2013.
The Italian heiress and model, who was first lady of France until her husband, Nicolas Sarkozy, lost his reelection bid last year, has returned to the role of chanteuse, with the release of her fourth album, "Little French Songs."
By CBSNews.com senior editor David Morgan
Before she was Carla Bruni, first lady of France, she was Carla Bruni the model, the international celebrity, the cover girl-daughter of an Italian concert pianist mother and industrialist father.
Heiress to the Italian tire company CEAT fortune, Bruni was raised in France since age seven, and began modeling at age 19, working with such design houses as Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint-Laurent, Chanel and Versace.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy stand during a welcoming ceremony in Windsor, England, March 26, 2008.
Bruni, who had reportedly dated such bold-faced names as Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Kevin Costner and Donald Trump, met the French president shortly after his divorce in 2007. They were married a few months later.
Bruni's third album, "Comme si de rien n'etait (As if nothing had happened)," was released in 2008, shortly after her marriage to Sarkozy. She drew criticism for some of the lyrics, which were deemed unsuitable for a resident of the presidential palace.
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy attend the inauguration of the Buddhist Lerab Ling temple in Roqueredonde, southern France on August 22, 2008.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcome France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni as they arrive for the G-20 summit dinner in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009.
First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni to the G20 dinner at the Phipps Conservatory on September 24, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy with first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy at a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, June 22, 2009.
Carla Bruni visits Global Fund-supported AIDS programs in Burkina Faso on February 11, 2009.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (third from right) and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (third from left) pose with Prince Felipe, Queen Sofia, King Juan Carlos I and Princess Letizia before a gala dinner at the Royal Palace in Madrid, April 27, 2009.
France's first lady Carla Bruni visits a primary school in the Paris suburb of Bondy in this 2009 file photo.
French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy waves to local residents and journalists as she leaves the Naz Foundation's home for orphaned children with HIV/AIDS in New-Delhi, India, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife were on a four-day visit to India.
Carla Bruni appeared with Owen Wilson in Woody Allen's comedy "Midnight in Paris."
French First lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy meets children as she visits the Paris book fair on March 18, 2011 in Paris. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's foundation fights against illiteracy by giving books to children.
French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who is expecting, stands outside Le Ciro's Restaurant while waiting for the spouses of heads of state on the second day of the G8 Summit on May 27, 2011 in Deauville, France.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his pregnant wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy await the arrival of G8 member state leaders and their spouses for an evening dinner function at Le Ciro's Restaurant at the G8 Summit on May 26, 2011, in Deauville, France.
The couple's first child, Giulia Sarkozy, was born on October 19, 2011.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leave the Elysee presidential Palace after the formal investiture ceremony for France's new president Francois Hollande, May 15, 2012 in Paris.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy shakes hands with a supporter as he leaves the Regina Hotel in Paris with his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy on June 28, 2012, after a meeting with Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Bruni had said that she did not think it "appropriate" to perform in front of an audience while serving as first lady. "And also, it would put the audience in a funny position," she told CBS News' Mark Phillips. "But now, it's completely appropriate again."
"But is it like you can be yourself again? Were you having to suppress yourself during that period?" asked Phillips.
"Well, it's like I can do my job again, that's for sure," she replied.
Carla Bruni's fourth album, "Little French Songs," was released in 2013. Spin praised Bruni's "rich, smoky vocals," and the Wall Street Journal applauded the album as "simple but elegant chansons adorned with little more than acoustic guitar and Bruni's dusky voice."
It turns out, first ladies of France have some time on their hands, and Carla Bruni spent some of it scribbling away . . . and planning a comeback.
"This answers the question what were you doing for those five years? You were writing new songs?" asked Mark Phillips.
"I did, I was writing new songs," Bruni laughed. "But the songs, you know, I'd write them at night. They don't take so much time."
In the small world of Parisian political society, Bruni's album has been called a score-settling exercise -- her way of getting back at those who said she had been difficult and chafed at the bit while she was in the gilded presidential cage. One song about an unpleasant character, with the title "The Penguin" - a derogatory term in France - has been viewed as a swipe against Sarkozy's successor, French President Francois Hollande.
But Bruni dismisses the charge, saying the song's lyrics are about people who are "really not nice and for no reason . . . . Penguins are everywhere."
Italian-French singer and former French first lady Carla Bruni and U.S. singer Lana Del Rey arrive for the 2013 ECHO Music Awards in Berlin on March 21, 2013. The German music award granted every year by the Deutsche Phono Academy awards prizes in 27 categories.