Of Armenian origin, French singer Charles Aznavour died on Monday 1st October, 2018 at the age of 94 years
One who could be considered the greatest pop singer of the XX th century passed away. Charles Aznavour , whose real name is Shahnourh Varinag Aznavouria, was 94 years old . He leaves behind five children : Seda, Mischa, Katia, Nicolas, Patrick and his last wife Ulla Thorselle . The singer had turned 94 on May 22, 2018
Charles Aznavour, dernier des géants de la chanson française, est mort dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi, à l’âge de 94 ans à son domicile dans les Alpilles (sud de la France), ont annoncé à l’AFP ses attachées de presse #AFP
— Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) 1 October 2018
Concerts cancelled this summer
The best-known French singer abroad was returning from a tour in Japan, having been forced to cancel concerts this summer due to a broken arm after a fall.
Born in 1924, in the 5th district of Paris, Charles Aznavour is needed on the French scene in 1946 after he met Edith Piaf, with whom he binds a true friendship. At the time in the broadcast of December 14, 2016 Europe 1 “It pique but it’s good” he says: “I lived not with her, but at home. Her lovers, I have known them all.
However, his own success began in 1956 following a recital in Casablanca, everything will be linked very quickly. It was at this time that he made his first Olympia. The world of French music owes him 1,400 titles recorded in 8 different languages and nearly 800 written songs. With of course unforgettable songs like “Ma Bohéme” or “Take me”.
Author above all
Charles Aznavour wrote many songs for famous artists like La Môme, with “Il rain” in 1948, “There was” in 1950, “Rien de Rien” in 1951. But also for Sylvie Vartan, Johnny Hallyday, Eddie Constantine, Philip Clay, Juliette Greco, Gilbert Bécaud, Maurice Chevalier.
Aznavour recalls a remembrance of France 5 on the program Entrée Libre , with the singer Johnny Hallyday on October 17, 2017: “Johnny only sang songs like” Souvenir, Souvenir “until the day when I told him that it would be necessary to be that he sings a serious song. And he replied you just have to write me one. He wrote to him “Retiens la nuit” in 1961. He had also given him advice to succeed .
Surrounded by women
Very close to Edith Piaf in the beginning of her career, Charles Aznavour met his first wife Micheline Rugel with whom he married in 1946. Less than ten years later, in 1955, the singer divorced and remarried with Evelyn Plessis . In the 60s, he met Liza Minnelli , who is very influenced and marked by him. For almost a year, they live a love story.
It was in 1967 that the singer found the woman with whom he spent most of his life: Ulla Thorselle with whom he married the same year. Charles Aznavour told Tele 7 Jours about his women.
I have been married three times. The first, I was too young. The second, I was too stupid. The third time, I married a woman who comes from a different culture, more strict. I learned things, tolerance, especially. I would not say it changed me because it’s hard to change. But she regulated me, put me on a good rail.
A father close to his children
From his three marriages six children were born. From his first union, two children, Seda and Charles are born. During his second union, he is the happy father of Patrick, unfortunately deceased at 25 years old. And finally Charles Aznavour has three children with his last wife: Katia, Misha and Nicolas.
In 2012, the singer approaches his son Nicolas. The latter decides to take care of his father full time. He also has a special connection with Katia, who has become a singer. She is the only one of six children to have inherited paternal passion for music. Several times she joins her father to accompany him on stage.
A unique link with his country: Armenia
He never forgets the country he comes from: Armenia. He is one of the most famous Armenians of the Diaspora. On April 27, 2015, for the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, he told Paris Match :
“The goal is not to speak only of the Armenian genocide but of genocide.”
After the earthquake in 1988, Charles Aznavour gathered around him more than 80 artists. Together they interpret “For you Armenia”, a title composed by Georges Garvantez. He makes an entry in the Top 50 directly to the first place. In 2001, the country wants to thank him for this gesture and build a statue to his muse in the city of Gyumri.
On December 26th, 2008, the President of the Republic of Armenia, attributes the Armenian nationality to the singer. The following year, Charles Aznavour accepted the post of ambassador of Armenia in Switzerland. He reads his credentials on June 30, 2009.
In 2013, he had entrusted La Tribune, de Geneve “I will be a centenary and I will make a representation”
On large screens
The singer has also been famous in the cinema as a comedian. He made his stage debut in the theater of his Paris district. He plays in a very large number of films, roles more or less important ranging from minor role to lend his voice to the cartoon Up There! He often plays in Anglo-Saxon and German productions.
In 2002, he starred in Atom Egoyan’s most personal film Ararat on the Armenian genocide before playing his own role in Take Me Back in 2005.
In 1995, Charles Aznavour received the greatest distinction in France: the Great Medal of French Song, awarded by the Académie Française. He is not only distinguished in France, but also beyond our borders in 1998, the CNN and the Times have even awarded him the prize of the variety artist of the century and also that of performer of the century in front of Elwis Presley.
In Las Vegas, the singer receives a Star of Honour in Los Angeles, for his art and commitment to the Armenian community, in October 2016.