Daphne and Celeste were a pop duo whose most famous songs were "Ooh Stick You" and "U.G.L.Y.". Daphne was Karen DiConcetto (born 1 December 1980, Long Beach, New Jersey, United States). She later claimed that her stage name was chosen because she reminded the managers of Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo. Celeste is Celeste Cruz (born 24 September 1983, Newark, New Jersey, USA).
The music of Daphne and Celeste could be described as pure pop marketed at a teen or pre-teen audience, but it may be more accurate to say that their full-length album is a comedy record. The kitsch Asian-themed "I Love Your Sushi" features a Japanese rapper extolling the virtues of Daphne and Celeste in his native tongue. On "Peek-a-Boo", the girls find themselves at a monster's ball attended by the bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, and Tom Cruise. Notwithstanding the presence of such novelty tracks, "Roll Call" is a conventional pop song, and "Star Club" is a disco track.
Despite the album's positive reviews, there were a lot of negative feelings towards Daphne and Celeste, with some dismissing them as a 'teeny-bopper' act (although others felt that such a judgement ignored the apparent irony with which they performed). This discontent culminated in the duo being bottled off the stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in 2000 (the bottles in some cases reportedly contained urine). Reading and Leeds are primarily rock festivals, and Daphne and Celeste's negative reception there stemmed from their being an unabashed pop act. It was stated by the band before their appearance at Reading and Leeds Festivals that they had hounded their manager to get them on the bill so that they could meet Eminem. However, Eminem pulled out of his appearance and when Daphne and Celeste tried to do the same, the organisers refused to let them.
However, many pop fans were also vociferous in their dislike for Daphne and Celeste. "U.G.L.Y." in particular was criticised, many feeling that it promoted bullying. Daphne and Celeste countered this by saying their lyrics were meant to be tongue in cheek. In an interview included on the "U.G.L.Y." single, Daphne noted: "Everyone is indeed ugly in their own special way."
Soon the duo found themselves the subject of rumors regarding their true identities. Some claimed they were teenagers, while others claimed they were much older than reported and that they were discovered while working as receptionists at their record label. Still other rumours claimed that Daphne and Celeste were British girls posing as Americans. However, these rumours appear to be unfounded.
Following relatively low album sales, and the backlash against them, Daphne and Celeste soon dropped out of the public eye. Their official website closed down in October 2001, and their management company, Perfect Noise Limited, was dissolved in November 2002.
The duo reunited for a "mini-tour" of England in spring 2005 with a contemporary pop star, Lolly. Blogs suggested that they performed their old material exclusively, but rumors have been circulating that a new album is in the works.
In a "Where Are They Now?" interview with Q magazine in 2005, Karen DiConcetto admitted that the whole project was "1000% manufactured", and that the girls auditioned for it in New York in 1998: "I just talked about shoes for an hour." She considered the Reading Festival to be the highlight of the whole experience, and mentioned her work in theatre afterwards, specifically a play called Tourrettaville, written by a boy with Tourette's syndrome. DiConcetto received positive reviews (e.g. )for her portrayal of "CB's Sister" in the FringeNYC award-winning Peanuts spoof Dog Sees God. That production was adapted for an Off-Broadway debut featuring a number of big-name celebrities, including Eliza Dushku and America Ferrera.
In the same interview, Celeste Cruz said that she also had worked in theatre and that the duo were planning to break into television. In 2004, Celeste also took the role of "Maria" in the movie Brooklyn Bound. Although not a main character, she is involved in a pivotal scene which fuels the tragedy of the denouement. She also features quite prominently on the DVD cover. Unlike DiConcetto, she considered the Reading Festival incident the "end of the party for us".
Daphne and Celeste were also interviewed by Bad Horsey towards the end of 2005, with the questions coming from the B3ta web community. The interview was posted on the Estudio Caballito Malo website and featured in the Popbitch newsletter. An edited version was published in the January 2006 edition of the UK publication Fused Magazine.
DiConcetto has a role in Holger Ernst's The House is Burning, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival on 26 May 2006. (Variety) The film was produced by Wim Wenders, and is considered a "German" production, despite being filmed around D&C's home state of New Jersey.