#FRANCE: Charles Aznavour dies
It has been announced that the legendary French singer Charles Aznavour has died at the age of 94. He was performing as recently as 19 September on Osaka. Born Shahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian, he was very proud of his Armenian roots, and promoted the country whenever he could, even becoming Armenian ambassador to Switzerland in 2009.
You might be curious of his association with Eurovision. Well, in 2006, France Télévisions assembled a panel of experts to select a song for the contest in Athens. This panel was headed by Mr Aznavour, and with help from the French public selected Virginie Pouchain to sing the song Vous, c’est nous. Here it is:
As we know, this was not the song that was performed in Athens, as Virginie was concerned it didn’t suit her style. Would it have done better than Il était temps? Tell us what you think.
Anyway, back to Charles. He was a regular on the French music scene for 70 years after being discovered by Edith Piaf. She was married for a short time to Jacques Pills who sang for Monaco in 1959, and was the step mother of Jacqueline Boyer, who won for France in 1960.
Over the years, he worked with many Eurovision stars, including Céline Dion, Anggun, Mia Martini, Nana Mouskouri, Serge Gainsbourg and Julio Iglesias. And here he is performing with Patricia Kaas.
Charles was also known for his philanthropy. After the Armenian earthquake in 1988 (then part of the USSR), his charity Aznavour for Armenia raised huge amounts of money to aid the recovery operation. There is even a museum about him in Yerevan. He also collaborated with a number of other performers to raise money in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haïti.
A giant of European music, he will be missed. Eurovision Ireland’s thoughts are with his family at this time.
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland, France Télévisions