Edith Piaf

Genres: Music & Radio Books Pop / Rock Soundtrack Vocals World
Tags: french chanson female vocalists jazz chanson francaise Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Edith Giovanna Gassion, 19 December 1915, Paris, France, d. 11 October 1963, Paris, France. Born into desperate poverty, Piaf survived desertion by her mother and temporary childhood blindness, to eke out a living singing on the streets of Paris. After a brief period living in the country she sang in the streets with her father, an impoverished entertainer. The owner of Gerny’s cabaret, Louis Leplée, heard the little girl and not only encouraged her but, struck by her diminutive stature, nicknamed her ‘piaf’, Parisian argot for ‘little sparrow’. Piaf’s dramatic singing style and her anguished voice appealed to French audiences and by the outbreak of World War II she had become a star. She proved her capacity for survival when she maintained her popularity despite being held as a material witness to Leplée’s murder and facing accusations of collaboration with the German occupying forces.


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