Beloved French-Armenian singer-songwriter, actor, and fierce proponent of the Armenian cause Charles Aznavour has died. A spokesperson told news outlets that Aznavour passed away at his home overnight in the south east of France. He was 94 years old.

Aznavour was the son of Armenian immigrants who fled the region during the Armenian Genocide. He was born Shahnour Vaghenag Aznavourian on May 22, 1924 in Paris.

World leaders join the international community in mourning Aznavour’s loss. On Twitter, French President Emmanuel Macron said he had invited Aznavour to Yerevan to perform at the Summit of la Francophonie. Translated from French, Macron wrote of Aznavour, “Deeply French, attached viscerally to its Armenian roots, recognized all over the world, Charles Aznavour will have accompanied the joys and sorrows of three generations. His masterpieces, his timbre, his unique radiance will survive for a long time.”

The international icon’s career spanned more than 80 years; he penned 1,300 songs and sold more than 180 million records. Aznavour also appeared in more than 60 films including François Truffaut’s 1960 drama Shoot the Piano Player.

But it was Aznavour’s rousing, melancholy lyrics that touched the hearts and lives of millions, many of whom are sharing their indelible memories of the entertainer today.

A master of the chanson, Aznavour sang of unrequited love and loss and tales about his life growing up in an immigrant family. But he also sang about topics that were considered taboo and unconventional at the time including homosexuality.

As a humanitarian, Aznavour was committed to the Armenian people. He spent his life advocating for Armenian Genocide recognition. After the devastating earthquake of 1988, he organized instrumental international relief efforts.

Aznavour had recently wrapped up a tour in Japan. He was scheduled to tour across France and Switzerland later this fall.

Author information

Leeza Arakelian

Leeza Arakelian

Leeza Arakelian is the editorial assistant for The Armenian Weekly. She is a formally trained broadcast news writer and a graduate of UCLA and Emerson College. Leeza has written and produced for local and network television news including Boston 25 and Al Jazeera America.

The post Charles Aznavour, French-Armenian International Singer, Dies at 94 appeared first on The Armenian Weekly.

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Charles Aznavour, French-Armenian International Singer, Dies at 94

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