One of France’s most famous voices, the man known as the French Frank Sinatra, died this week at the ripe age of 94.
Charles Aznavour’s spectacular career spanned eight decades and dozens of languages including French, English, German, Italian, and Armenian. Born in Paris in 1924 to Armenian parents, Aznavour got his big break in 1946 when another French musical icon, Édith Piaf, discovered him and brought him on tour with her. With more than 700 unique compositions to his credit, and hundreds more performed as covers of other artists, Aznavour’s repertoire was practically encyclopedic. And he was more than just a performer — as a child during World War II, his family hid and protected Jews in Paris, and he formed the charitable organization Aznavour for Armenia after the 1988 Armenian earthquake.
Aznavour will be outlived by his hits like “Que C’est Triste Venise,” “She,” and “Il Faut Savoir,” but no one will ever be able to perform them with the same passion, precision, and joie de vivre. He will be greatly missed by France, Armenia, and the world.