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Aurevoir Charles Aznavour

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This morning, it was announced that Charles Aznavour passed away.

I am not sure people on here will know him very well, so maybe my topic won't have much response. I understand, he is much more well known in the French-speaking world. But I am still in shock since learning he has passed. I needed a place to say how much he will be missed.

Born in Paris, to an armenian family who flew the genocide, he rose to be a singer in the parisian cabaret, and becoming a protégé of Edith Piaf in the 50's, to international success in the 60's and later on. For me Aznavour was one of the last monument of the ''French chanson'' still living. He kept doing concerts and songs until very recently before his death. At 94, a lot of people believed him eternal in way. As a true poet, his songs were always lyric-driven, with such a rich and beautiful use the French language. I have him being sometimes described as "France's Frank Sinatra''. I can understand the comparison because of similar popular status and ''classiness'', but his songs touched many subjects that were not easy listening. He indeed wrote love songs, but some controversial things as well. One of the best example of this is his 1972 song ''Comme ils disent'', who portrays in a sympathetic way, yet also sad, the life of a drag queen in an era when French music avoided the topic of homosexuality.

On a more personal level, a lot of memories of Aznavour are also related my family, considering he was a favorite of my Mom and my Grandma. I remember saturday mornings in PJ, being 10 or 11 and dancing in the kitchen with Mom. We would also belt out his songs in the car on our roadtrip to the Maine coast with my mom, my aunt and my cousin. We played his songs when my grandmother passed away last summer. And of course that concert 2 years ago in Montreal. Our tickets were so high up, we were certainly in the last row of the arena. Some seats down on the floor level had not been filled and to make it look better for pictures (and probably for him as well), they were offering to people high up to go down and fill the floor seats. Not only did we see a show on floor seats for more than half the price, but M. Aznavour was so generous. With an amazing voice still (at the age of 92!), he sang all of his success, spoke to the crowd, joked and simply gave us an amazing gift for that one night.

I'll simply finish with one of his songs for everyone to enjoy.


(Is there a way to insert a youtube video to a post?)


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Rest in peace chansonnier, we won't forget you.


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