Among France’s most popular singers, Charles Aznavour is known as the country’s Frank Sinatra. He was discovered by none other than Edith Piaf, who was so impressed by his voice that she took him with her on tour.
Aznavour was born in Paris, France. His parents were from Javakhk in modern-day Georgia and Smyrna in modern-day Turkey.
Claim to fame
He has been active for over 60 years, having written some of the most memorable French songs of the past century and establishing himself as one of the classic singers of the chanson genre. Besides his several solo tours, he has also performed with some of the most famous entertainers of the time, including Edith Piaf, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Sting, Youssou N’Dour and Bob Dylan.
After the massive earthquake in Armenia in 1988, he led a significant humanitarian effort to raise awareness and funds for those stricken.
What he said
“I write songs like an author. I tell a story and if the story is a good one, then the song that comes from that is a good one as well.”
“In my audience I have all religions, all colors, all incomes, all languages…I’m open to everyone who likes my songs.”
“I say to young people, don’t be too proud, just do the work.”
What others said
“Entertainer of the century.” – CNN/TIME Poll
A “French pop deity.” – Stephen Holder, New York Times
“The master of the chanson.” – Deutsche Welle
“…considered one of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time…” – Huffington Post
“…France’s most famous crooner…” – The Hollywood Reporter