Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf

Edith Gassion was born in Paris on December 19th, 1915 and lived in Belleville, then in Normandy where her grandmother owned a brothel. She followed her father at the age of 7 in his poor artist’s life and left when she was 15 to sing Frehel in the street. Five years later, thanks to Louis Leplée who owned a cabaret, she became famous under her new name “La Môme Piaf” (the kid sparrow). After Leplée’s tragic death, another mentor, the composer Raymond Asso introduced her to Paris’ most prestigious music-halls: “l’Alhambra”, “Bobino”, “l’ABC” made her a major performing artist and radio star. In 1940, she performed in a theatre play, Le Bel Indifférent, specially written for her by Jean Cocteau. Her life was punctuated with mostly unlucky love affairs, as with the boxing champion Marcel Cerdan. She promoted great French artists such as Yves Montand, Charles Aznavour or Georges Moustaki. Suffering of polyarthritis, she became addicted to morphine and alcohol. She saved the “Olympia” concert hall from bankruptcy in 1961 with legendary concerts. Exhausted, she performed duets with Théo Sarapo and married him in 1962. She died on October 10th, 1963 at the early age of 47 and over 40,000 persons attended her funeral at the Parisian Père Lachaise cemetery. Piaf and her legendary songs such as La Vie en Rose remain popular in the whole world.

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La Môme Piaf

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