A Rockapaedia Obituary

Charles Aznavour

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Charles Aznavour died aged ninety-four on 1st October 2018 in his bathtuphoto of Charles Aznavourb at home at Mouries in France. An autopsy report concluded that he died of cardiorespiratory arrest complicated by an acute pulmonary edema.

On 5th October 2018, Charles Aznavour was honoured with a state funeral at Les Invalides military complex in Paris, with president Emmanuel Macron lauding him as one of the most important “faces of France”. His coffin was lifted away at the end to the sound of his recording "Emmenez-Moi".
Dignitaries attending the funeral also included French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, as well as Armenian President Armen Sarkissian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and their wives.
Charles Aznavour was married three times: to Micheline in 1946, Evelyn in 1956 and his widow Thorsell in 1967. Five children were born of these marriages: Séda, Patrick, Katia, Mischa, and Nicolas.
Charles Aznavour often joked about his physique, the most talked-about aspect of which was his height of just 160 cm or five feet and three inches. Over the years he made his main source of self-deprecating humour.
In April 2018, shortly before his ninety-fourth birthday, Charles Aznavour was taken to hospital in Saint Petersburg after straining his back during a rehearsal prior to a concert in the city. The concert was postponed until the following season, but eventually cancelled since he died. On 5th May 2018 he was a guest on the BBC Radio 2's Graham Norton programme.
A following week, on 12 May, he broke his arm in two places in a fall at his home in the village of Mouriès, resulting in the cancellation of all shows until the end of June. This was eventually extended to include the eighteen shows scheduled for August, because of a lengthly healing process. In a French television broadcast on 28th September, just three days before his death, Charles mentioned that he was still feeling the pain.
Charles 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. Charles 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 Charles Aznavour began to write songs and sing. The partnership's first successes were in Canada in 1948-1950. Meanwhile, Charles Aznavour wrote his first song entitled J'ai Bu in 1950.
During the early stages of his career, Charles Aznavour opened for Edith Piaf at the Moulin Rouge. Piaf then advised him to pursue a career in singing. Piaf helped Charles Aznavour develop a distinctive voice that stimulated the best of his abilities.
Sometimes described as "France's Frank Sinatra", Charles Aznavour sang frequently about love. He wrote or co-wrote musicals, more than one thousand songs, and recorded ninety-one studio albums. Charles 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. Charles 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.
In 1974 Charles Aznavour became a major success in the United Kingdom when his song "She" was number one 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 Charles Aznavour include Édith Piaf, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, Bing Crosby, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan , 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 Charles Aznavour on numerous occasions. Marc Almond the English singer was noted by Charles Aznavour as his favourite interpretater of his songs, having covered Charles Aznavour"s "What makes a man a man" in the 1990s. Almond citing Charles Aznavour as a major influence on his style and work. In 1974, Jack Jones recorded an entire album of Charles Aznavour compositions entitled Write Me A Love Song, Charlie, re-released on CD in 2006. Two years later, Dutch singer Liesbeth List released her album Charles Charles Aznavour Presents Liesbeth List which featured Charles Aznavour's compositions with English lyrics. Charles Aznavour and Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti sang Gounod's aria "Ave Maria" together. He performed with Russian cellist and friend Mstislav Rostropovich to inaugurate the French presidency of the European Union in 1995. Elvis Costello recorded "She" for the film Notting Hill. One of Charles 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 bateaux sont partis" in 1985 and duet versions of the song in French and Spanish in 2008, as well as multiple live renditions Charles Aznavour's "Ave Maria". In 1994, Charles 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, Charles Aznavour initiated his farewell tour, performing in the US and Canada, and earning very positive reviews. Charles Aznavour started 2007 with concerts all over Japan and Asia. The second half of 2007 saw Charles Aznavour return to Paris for over twenty shows at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, followed by more touring in Belgium, the Netherlands, and the rest of France. Charles Aznavour had repeatedly stated that this farewell tour, health permitting, would likely last beyond 2010; after that, however, Charles Aznavour continued performing worldwide throughout the year. At ninety-four, 60 years on stage made him slightly hard of hearing. In his final years he would still sing in multiple languages and without persistent use of teleprompters, but typically he would stick to just two or three during most concerts. On 30th September 2006, Charles Aznavour performed a major concert in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia to start off the cultural season "Arménie mon amie". Armenian president Robert Kocharyan and French president Jacques Chirac, at the time on an official visit to Armenia, were both in front-row attendance.
In 2006, Charles Aznavour recorded his album Colore ma vie in Cuba, with Chucho Valdés. A regular guest vocalist on Star Academy, Charles Aznavour sang alongside contestant Cyril Cinélu that same year. In 2007, he sang part of "Une vie d'amour" in Russian during a Moscow concert. Later, in July 2007, Charles Aznavour was invited to perform at the Vieilles Charrues Festival.
'Forever Cool', an album on Capitol/EMI, features Charles Aznavour singing a duet of "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime" with the voice of Dean Martin.
Charles Aznavour finished a tour of Portugal in February 2008. Throughout the spring of 2008, Charles Aznavour toured South America, holding a multitude of concerts in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
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 5th July 2008, he was invested as an honorary officer of the Order of Canada. He performed the following day on the Plains of Abraham as a feature of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City.
In 2008, an album of duets, 'Duos', was released. It is a collaborative effort featuring Charles 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. It was released various during December 2008 across the world. His next album, 'Charles Aznavour and The Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra', is a continuation in the same vein as his hit album Jazznavour released in 1998, involving new arrangements on his classic songs with a jazz orchestra and other guest jazz artists. It was released on 27th November 2009.
Charles Aznavour and Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, with the collaboration of over 40 French singers and musicians, recorded a music video with the music group Band Aid in the aftermath of the catastrophic 2010 Haiti earthquake, titled 1 geste pour Haïti chérie.
In 2009, Charles Aznavour also toured across America. The tour, named Charles Aznavour en liberté, started in late April 2009 with a wave of concerts across the United States and Canada, took him across Latin America in the autumn, as well as the USA once again. In August 2011 Charles Aznavour released a new album, Charlimage of Charles Aznavoures Aznavour Toujours, featuring 11 new songs, and Elle, a French re-working of his greatest international hit, "She". Following the release of Charles Aznavour Toujours, the then 87-year-old Charles Aznavour began a tour across France and Europe, named Charles Aznavour en Toute Intimité, which started with twenty-one concerts in the Olympia theatre in Paris. On 12th December 2011 he gave a concert in Moscow State Kremlin Palace which attracted a capacity crowd. The concert was followed by a standing ovation which continued for around fifteen minutes.
In 2012, Charles Aznavour embarked on a new North American leg of his En toute intimité tour, visiting Quebec and the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, the third-largest such venue in California, for multiple shows. The shows in New York were cancelled following a contract dispute. On 16th August 2012 Charles Aznavour performed in his father's birthplace, Akhaltsikhe, in Georgia in a special concert as part of the opening ceremony of the recently restored Rabati castle.
On 25th October 2013 Charles Aznavour performed in London for the first time in 25 years at the Royal Albert Hall. Demand was so high that a second concert at the Royal Albert Hall was scheduled for June 2014. In November 2013, Charles Aznavour appeared with Achinoam Nini in a concert, dedicated to peace, at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv to which the audience, including Israeli president Shimon Peres, sang along. In December 2013 Charles Aznavour gave two concerts in the Netherlands at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam, and again in January 2016.
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, Milano, Rome, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, Amsterdam and Monaco. On 19th September 2018 what was to be his last concert took place in NHK Hall, Osaka, Japan.

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song:'She' by Charles Aznavour