Charles Aznavour (1924 - 2018)

Charles Aznavour
1924 - 2018
updated May 22, 2020
Charles Aznavour was born on May 22, 1924 in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, France. He died on October 1, 2018 in France at 94 years old.

Charles Aznavour Born Shahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian
Born May22, 1924 Paris, France
Died October 1, 2018 (aged 94) Mouriès, France
Burial place Les Invalides, Paris, France
Occupation Singer-lyricist, actor, activist and diplomat
Years active 1933–2018
Spouse(s)
Micheline Rugel (m. 1946; div. 1952)
Evelyne Plessis (m. 1956; div. 1960)
Ulla Thorsell (m. 1967)
Awards Legion of Honour (1997, 2001 and 2004), Aznavour was named Entertainer of the Century by CNN and users of Time Online from around the globe. He was recognized as the century's outstanding performer.
Aznavour sang for presidents, popes and royalty, as well as at humanitarian events. In response to the 1988 Armenian earthquake, he founded the charitable organization Aznavour for Armenia along with his long-time friend impresario Levon Sayan. In 2009, he was appointed ambassador of Armenia to Switzerland, as well as Armenia's permanent delegate to the United Nations at Geneva.
He started his last world tour in 2014. On 24 August 2017, Aznavour was awarded the 2,618th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Later that year he and his sister were awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Award for sheltering Jews during World War II. His last concert took place in NHK Hall in Osaka on 19 September 2018. Aznavour was born at the clinic Tarnier at 89, rue d'Assas in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 6th arrondissement of Paris, into a family of artists living on rue Monsieur-le-Prince. His parents were Armenian immigrants Michael Aznavourian (from Akhaltsikhe, Georgia) and Knar Baghdasarian, from Smyrna (present-day İzmir, Turkey).
His father sang in restaurants in France before establishing a Caucasian restaurant called Le Caucase. Charles's parents introduced him to performing at an early age, and he dropped out of school at age nine, and took the stage name "Aznavour".
During the German occupation of France during World War II, Aznavour and his family hid “a number of people who were persecuted by the Nazis, while Charles and his sister Aida were involved in rescue activities.”
Their work was recognized in a statement issued in 2017 by Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel. That year, Aznavour and Aida received the Raoul Wallenberg Award for their wartime activities. "The Aznavours were closely linked to the Missak Manouchian Resistance Group and in this context they have offered shelter to Armenians, Jews and others at their own Paris flat, risking their own lives."
Aznavour was already familiar with performing on stage by the time he began his career as a musician. At the age of nine, he had roles in a play called Un Petit Diable à Paris and a film entitled La Guerre des Gosses. Aznavour then turned to professional dancing and performed in several nightclubs. In 1944, he and actor Pierre Roche began a partnership and in collaborative efforts performed in numerous nightclubs. It was through this partnership that Aznavour began to write songs and sing. The partnership's first successes were in Canada in 1948-1950. Meanwhile, Aznavour wrote his first song entitled J'ai Bu in 1950.
During the early stages of his career, Aznavour opened for Edith Piaf at the Moulin Rouge. Piaf then advised him to pursue a career in singing. Piaf helped Aznavour develop a distinctive voice that stimulated the best of his abilities. Sometimes described as "France's Frank Sinatra", Aznavour sang frequently about love. He wrote or co-wrote musicals, more than one thousand songs, and recorded ninety-one studio albums. Aznavour's voice was shaded towards the tenor range, but possessed the low range and coloration more typical of a baritone, contributing to his unique sound. Aznavour spoke and sang in many languages (French, English, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Armenian, Neapolitan and Kabyle), which helped him perform at Carnegie Hall, in the USA, and other major venues around the world. He also recorded at least one song from the 18th-century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova, and a popular song, Im Yare in Armenian. "Que C'est Triste Venise", sung in French, Italian ("Com'è Triste Venezia"), Spanish ("Venecia Sin Ti"), English ("How Sad Venice Can Be") and German ("Venedig in Grau"), was very successful the mid 1960s.[30]
In 1974 Aznavour became a major success in the United Kingdom when his song "She" was number 1 on the UK Singles Chart for four weeks during a fourteen week run. His other well-known song in the UK was the 1973 "The Old Fashioned Way", which was on UK charts for 15 weeks.
Artists who have recorded his songs and collaborated with Aznavour include Édith Piaf, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra (Aznavour was one of the rare European singers invited to duet with him), Andrea Bocelli, Bing Crosby, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan (he named Aznavour among the greatest live performers he had ever seen), Dusty Springfield, Liza Minnelli, Mia Martini, Elton John, Dalida, Serge Gainsbourg, Josh Groban, Petula Clark, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, José Carreras, Laura Pausini, Nana Mouskouri and Julio Iglesias. Fellow French pop singer Mireille Mathieu sang and recorded with Aznavour on numerous occasions. Aznavour and Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti sang Gounod's aria "Ave Maria" together. One of Aznavour's greatest friends and collaborators from the music industry was Spanish operatic tenor Plácido Domingo, who often performs his hits, most notably a solo studio recording of "Les bâteaux sont partis" in 1985 and duet versions of the song in French and Spanish in 2008, as well as multiple live renditions Aznavour's "Ave Maria". In 1994, Aznavour performed with Domingo and Norwegian soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø at Domingo's third annual Christmas in Vienna concert. The three singers performed a variety of carols, medleys, and duets, and the concert was televised throughout the world, as well as released on a CD internationally.
At the start of autumn 2006, At 94, 60 years on stage made him "a little hard of hearing".
An admirer of Quebec, where he played in Montreal cabarets before becoming famous, he helped the career of Québécoise singer-lyricist Lynda Lemay in France, and had a house in Montreal. On 5 July 2008, he was invested as an honorary officer of the Order of Canada.
In 2008, an album of duets, Duos, was released. It is a collaborative effort featuring Aznavour and his greatest friends and partners from his long career in the music industry, including Céline Dion, Sting, Laura Pausini, Josh Groban, Paul Anka, Plácido Domingo, and many others.
In August 2011 Aznavour released a new album, Aznavour Toujours, featuring 11 new songs, and Elle, a French re-working of his greatest international hit, "She". Following the release of Aznavour Toujours, then 87-year-old Aznavour began a tour across France and Europe, named Charles Aznavour en Toute Intimité, which started with 21 concerts in the Olympia theatre in Paris. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Aznavour continued his international tour. In 2017 and 2018 his tour continued in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Vienna, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Haiti, Tokyo, Osaka, Madrid, Milan, Rome, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, Amsterdam and Monaco. On 19 September 2018, what was to be his last concert took place in NHK Hall, Osaka.
Aznavour had a long and varied parallel career as an actor, appearing in over 80 films and TV movies. In 1960 Aznavour starred in François Truffaut's Tirez sur le pianiste, playing a character called Édouard Saroyan. He also put in a critically acclaimed performance in the 1974 movie And Then There Were None. Aznavour had an important supporting role in 1979's The Tin Drum, winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980. He co-starred in Claude Chabrol's Les Fantômes du chapelier (1982). In the 1984 version of Die Fledermaus, he appears and performs as one of Prince Orlovsky's guests. This version stars Kiri Te Kanawa and was directed by Plácido Domingo in the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.[67] Aznavour starred in the 2002 movie Ararat playing Edward Saroyan, a movie director.Born: May 22, 1924, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, France
Died: October 1, 2018, Mouriès, France
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Charles Aznavour Biography

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Charles Aznavour
Most commonly known name
Male
Gender
Charles
First name
Unknown
Middle name
Aznavour
Last name(s)
Charles Aznavour
Nickname(s) or aliases
Unknown. Did Charles move a lot? Where was his last known location?
Last known residence
Charles Aznavour was born on in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris County, France
Birth
Charles Aznavour died on in Mouriès County, France
Death
Charles Aznavour was born on in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris County, France
Charles Aznavour died on in Mouriès County, France
Birth
Death
There is no cause of death listed for Charles.
Cause of death
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Burial / Funeral

Ethnicity & Lineage

Armenian

Nationality & Locations Lived

French

Religion

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Education

Charles's parents introduced him to performing at an early age, and he dropped out of school at age nine, and took the stage name "Aznavour".

Professions

Lyricist- Composer- Singer

Personal Life & Organizations

Anything Armenian.

Military Service

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Charles Aznavour
Born May 22, 1924 in Paris, France
Died October 1, 2018 in Mouriès, Bouches-du-Rhône, France
Birth Name Chahnour Varinag Aznavourian
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)
Beloved French chanson entertainer Charles Aznavour, who wrote more than 800 songs, recorded more than 1,000 of them in French, English, German and Spanish and sold over 100 million records in all, was born Chahnour Varinag Aznavourian on May 22, 1924, in Paris, the younger of two children born to Armenian immigrants who fled to France. His mother was a seamstress as well as an actress and his father was a baritone who sang in restaurants. Both Charles and his sister waited on tables where he performed. He delivered his first poetic recital while just a toddler. Within a few years later he had developed such a passion for singing/dancing, that he sold newspapers to earn money for lessons.
Eventually Aznavour earned a sturdy reputation composing street-styled songs for other established musicians and singers, notably Édith Piaf, for whom he wrote the French version of the American hit "Jezebel". Heavily encouraged by her, he toured with her as both an opening act and lighting man. He lived with Piaf out of need for a time not as one of her many paramours. His mentor eventually persuaded him to perform solo (sans Roche) and he made several successful tours while scoring breakaway hits with the somber chanson songs "Sur ma vie" and "Parce que" and the notable and controversial "Après l'amour." In 1950, he gave the bittersweet song "Je Hais Les Dimanches" ["I Hate Sundays"] to chanteuse Juliette Gréco, which became a huge hit for her.
In the late 50s, Aznavour began to infiltrate films with more relish. Short and stubby in stature and excessively brash and brooding in nature, he was hardly leading man material but embraced his shortcomings nevertheless. Unwilling to let these faults deter him, he made a strong impressions with the comedy Une gosse 'sensass' (1957) and with Paris Music Hall (1957). He was also deeply affecting as the benevolent but despondent and ill-fated mental patient Heurtevent in Head Against the Wall (1959). A year later, Aznavour starred as piano player Charlie Kohler/Edouard Saroyan in 'Francois Truffaut''s adaptation of the David Goodis' novel Shoot the Piano Player (1960) [Shoot the Piano Player], which earned box-office kudos both in France and the United States. This sudden notoriety sparked an extensive tour abroad in the 1960s. Dubbed the "Frank Sinatra of France" and singing in many languages (French, English, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Armenian, Portuguese), his touring would include sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall (1964) and London's Albert Hall (1967).
Aznavour served as actor and composer/music arranger for many films, including Gosse de Paris (1961), which he also co-wrote with director Marcel Martin, and the dramas Three Fables of Love (1962) [Three Fables of Love") and Dear Caroline (1968) [Dear Caroline]. The actor also embraced the title role in the TV series "Les Fables de la Fontaine" (1964), then starred in the popular musical "Monsieur Carnaval" (1965), in which he performed his hit song "La bohême."
His continental star continued to shine and Aznavour acted in films outside of France with more dubious results. While the sexy satire Candy (1968), with an international cast that included Marlon Brando, Richard Burton and Ringo Starr, and epic adventure The Adventurers (1970) were considered huge misfires upon release, it still showed Aznavour off as a world-wide attraction. While he was also seen in the English drama Games, The (1970), _Blockhouse, The (1973) and an umpteenth film version of Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians (1974) [And Then There Were None/Ten Little Indians], it was his music that kept him in the international limelight. Later films included Yiddish Connection (1986), which he co-wrote and provided music, and Il maestro (1990) with Malcolm McDowell; more recently he received kudos for his participation in the Canadian-French production Ararat (2002).
Films aside, his chart-busting single "She" (1972-1974) went platinum in Britain. He also received thirty-seven gold albums in all. His most popular song in America, "Yesterday When I Was Young" has had renditions covered by everyone from Shirley Bassey to Julio Iglesias. In 1997, Aznavour received an honorary César Award. He has written three books, the memoirs "Aznavour By Aznavour" (1972), the song lyrics collection "Des mots à l'affiche" (1991) and a second memoir "Le temps des avants" (2003). A "Farewell Tour" was instigated in 2006 at age 82 and, health permitting, could last to 2010.
Married at least three times (some claim five) to Micheline Rugel, Evelyne Plessis and Ulla Thorsell, he is the father of six children (daughters Katia, Patricia and Seda Aznavour, and sons Misha, Nicholas and Patrick Aznavour).
Personal Quotes
Live now. Tomorrow, who knows?
The public and the critics ... sensed my passionate devotion to my profession. My love of the chanson towered above my other loves.
My shortcomings are my voice, my height, my gestures, my lack of culture and education, my frankness and my lack of personality. -- CA, in 1950
My voice? I cannot change it. The teachers I consulted all agreed I shouldn't sing, but nevertheless I continued to sing until my throat was sore.

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1924 - 2018 World Events

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In 1924, in the year that Charles Aznavour was born, in May, wealthy college students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped and killed 14 year old Robert Franks "in the interest of science". Leopold and Loeb thought that they were intellectually superior and that they could commit the perfect crime and not be caught. They were brought in for questioning within 8 days and quickly confessed. Clarence Darrow was hired as their defense lawyer, getting them life imprisonment instead of a death sentence. Loeb was eventually killed in prison - Leopold was released after 33 years, dying of a heart attack at age 66.

In 1935, by the time he was only 11 years old, the BOI's name (the Bureau of Investigation) was changed to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and it officially became a separate agency with the Department of Justice. J. Edgar Hoover, the Chief of the BOI, continued in his office and became the first Director of the FBI. The FBI's responsibility is to "detect and prosecute crimes against the United States".

In 1959, he was 35 years old when on January 3rd, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States and the first state not a part of the contiguous United States. The flag was changed to display 49 stars.

In 1987, he was 63 years old when on October 19th, stock exchanges around the world crashed. Beginning in Hong Kong then spreading to Europe, the crash then hit the United States. It was called Black Monday. The Dow Jones fell 508 points to 1,738.74 (22.61%).

In 1993, by the time he was 69 years old, on February 26th, a truck bomb exploded in the garage under the North Tower of the World Trade Center. While the bomb didn't do what was planned (collapse the North Tower into the South Tower), it did kill six people and injured thousands of people.

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