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Charles Aznavour, who has never given up

Charles Aznavour passed through the century and retained the energy of a young man and unshakable optimism until the night of his death.

Yesterday again he was in an Olympic form. This Friday, September 28th, Charles Aznavour is the special guest of "C to you", the show of France 5, presented by Anne-Elisabeth Lemoine. He is happy to say that this is his favorite program. "As soon as I'm home, I put my headphones on my ears and look at you," says the 94-year-old singer, totally in love with the entertainer. For an hour Aznavour jokes about François Hollande, Valve Manuel Valls, expressed his outrage over the tragedy of the "Aquarius".

Read also: Last tribute to Charles Aznavour at the Armenian Church of Paris

"Sure, he was deaf," smiled Anne-Elisabeth, "but we all thought it was great. wearing an amazing jacket with two embroidered eagles, Charles does not want to go back in the crates. "He has been dragging a lot," recalls the journalist, who can not imagine the man just gave his last interview said to us, "See you soon and come to the stage especially." He was to perform in the musical Seine on November 8.

See also: Charles Aznavour, a king in Armenia

Young man In his head, in his heart, Aznavour leaves the Parisian plateau with a light spirit, having to join his friend Jean-Paul Belmondo for dinner, two days before it was comedian Antoine Duléry who wanted to eat between the two old friends roducent Marc Di Domenico, an intimate singer for four years, is in the game. "Charles had such a good time that in the end he said," What if we put it back tomorrow? "This is how Aznavour and Bébel saw each other for two days in a row." They were like children to laugh at everything to make the world a new one, "says a Di Domenico still.

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1963 The whole school Piaf Aznavour does not sing, he interprets © J. de Potier [19659009] On Sunday, September 30, Aznavour joined his estate by Mouriès, in the Alpilles, where he lives most of the time, Ulla, his wife, preferred to stay in Geneva, where the Aznavour more than forty years ago found their home. He loves the southern sun, his olive trees, which allow him to produce between 300 and 500 liters of oil per year, and it is there almost daily that he goes to his desk to write and rewrite, A synonym dictionary in hand since For more than seventy years, Aznavour, who has long been mad at spelling, gives his book twenty times at work. "He used to say that if he stopped he would die," observes Marc Di Domenico, so he does not necessarily work for a new album, but for songs. "

So, Sunday, it's Michel Leeb, a neighbor who want to spend a moment with the non-connoisseur. Leeb never forgot that Aznavour recorded him in 1981 on the first part of one of his French tours. The challenge: 21 concerts in 21 days in the largest cities in the country. "Because one day off, that's less in the cases," the artist had told his producers Harry Lapp and Gerard Drouot. Since then, Leeb has maintained great respect for Aznavour, who has encouraged him to show humor. Together they had the project of a musical comedy. "When I left him, after two or three things I told him, he was totally in a laugh," the comedian said. This will be the last picture I will keep of him. "Charles is a night owl and an early bird, the man struggles to sleep five hours, and when he enjoys a glass of wine at dinner, he is no longer one who gets cocky, so Charles retired on Sunday And he suddenly succumbed to a malaise that followed a pulmonary edema.

At 9, he is on the stage of the Champs-Elysées studio, where he plays a small part in "Emile and the detectives"

Business has kept it, "says Gerard Drouot, who directs his concerts in France. "He also promised those of Tokyo and Osaka on September 17 and 19. He was desperate to get back on the stage, Charles Aznavour lived with a fury to conquer to his last breath, that deep feeling that only effort He would allow him to nail down all his critics – he who did not feel like retiring, let alone quit – yes, Charles was a tough guy, a fighter who relaxed with age but never gave up, and certainly not before that Death, who liked to joke, "I'm not aging, I'm getting older.

  1963 in the south, with his mother, who died three years later, and his daughter Seda.

1963 in the south with his mother, who died three years later, and his daughter Seda. © P. Habans

Since birth, 22. May. In Paris, Chahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian kept on quitting life loving it, it was the accident that gave birth to him in the City of Light, Micha and Knar, his Armenian parents, stayed in France, waiting for a visa for the United States Micha, who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, He runs a small restaurant in the Rue de la Huchette, and in the evening the last customers hang out to listen to him and sing songs from Central Europe. , which reminds him of his childhood, is an actress, but shy earns his life by sewing little. in civil register, because the midwife did not know how to write her name) wants to be an actor from an early age. For the time being he is learning piano with his older sister Aida, who was born sixteen months before him and whom he will call his twin all his life. At that time, the theater goes hand in hand with the song. We do not talk about singers, but singers, those funny guys who can tell stories, interpret characters, dance or even tap. The Aznavour child is blinded by Maurice Chevalier and especially by Charles Trenet: "He had in contrast to the other depth in his songs.

At 9 he is on the stage of the studio of the Champs-Elysées, where he played a small part His father had an advertisement for his restaurant "Chez Aznavour, we run there," forever changing her last name, but the war is coming, the Germans are marching into Paris and Charles takes the tangent, urgently integrating a theatrical troupe that will perform in the northern area for eighteen months to play "The Annoying" Molière, during which time Aznavour dares to write a song every day. "At first my friends laughed, when I told them about my idea, "he remembers, but when they saw the result, they encouraged me to keep going.When returning to busy Paris, he stayed with the Basque n his sister, whom he had hired as Aida Aznamour in Concert Mayol. He wants to sing with her, he finds himself especially to protect the body, because the young woman had no desire to walk alone every night, to return in a city under curfew. Sometimes Charles takes a first part, three songs here, five here


I had real musical knowledge regarding my family, said Charles, but it was Pierre Roche who really introduced me to swing


Just then, he met a certain Pierre Roche. Together they found a duet that knows its best after the war. Above all, they want to revolutionize music, get it out of its tight borders and make it vibrate. And in small clubs near Pigalle they take their first steps. Before they could improve their Duettis number in 1943 in Saumur. "I had real musical knowledge about my family," says Charles. But it was Pierre Roche who really made me swing. The young Aznavour, who is already full of ambition, rubs himself with writing texts every night. Without forgetting to celebrate, to live as hard as possible in this busy France, who does not want to endure the agony of his parents, who had to flee their country before they were deprived of their nationality. Thus, Aznavour gets drunk with music, fighting against his own weaknesses, but he masters this foreign voice better and better.

<img src = "https://resize-parismatch.ladmedia.fr/r/620,/img/var/news/storage/images/media/images/aznavour-en-famille/25613983-1-fre -FR / Aznavour-en-famille_original_backup.jpg "style =" border: 0; " alt = "In 1962 in Mougins, where he set up his family in a farmhouse with several outbuildings From g., to Dr.: his older sister Aida, Micha, his father, his first daughter, Seda, and his mother, Knar." title = "In 1962 in Mougins, where he settled his family in a farmhouse in several outbuildings From g., To Dr.: his older sister Aida, Micha, his father, his first daughter, Seda, and his mother, Knar." 19659008 ] 1962 in Mougins, where he settled his family in a farmhouse with several outbuildings. to the right: her older sister Aida, Micha, her father, her first daughter Seda and her mother Knar © Izis

Until the day he wrote "The Felt", while Onomatopoeia and Alliteration Everyone, the Discovering it today might think it's an extremely well made rap, but no, it's one of the first great songs of a predecessor, Charles Aznavour, ahead of its time. Anonymously sentenced to fortunately Fortunately, Charles is in love. At the end of the war he met Micheline Rugel Fromentin. He is only 17 years old, but during a bumper party in the Bastille he explains his love for him, and when he marries her on March 16, 1946, it is with "the flowers of others," the bouquets The only good news in This wretched time was Edith Piaf, the most popular singer of the day, who almost coincidentally attended a performance by the duo Roche-Aznavour. She laughed aloud, let him know aloud, and brought the children home, Rue de Berri. This evening Aznavour meets the most important of his career.

For six years Charles will be all for Edith: his confidant, his craftsman, his good conscience

Piaf loves this boy who, like her, has made her shed on the streets. She calls him and provokes him to better offer to accompany him on his next tour. Suggest is a big word. Piaf does not leave the choice to the duo. Explain that she will teach you the job. And suddenly Charles charges Charles to take care of his lights. The Beginning of a Sacred Adventure

For six years Charles will be all for Edith: his confidant, his craftsman, his good conscience. True, buxom man, she will never look the little Armenian in the eye. At least he'll say it all the time. But in the shadow of Edith Piaf he grew up fast. "I learned a lot from that," he told us in 2013. "Doing things, not doing others." I stopped drinking and smoked because I saw that important people were getting worse. "In truth, I have the most in the world Seen in public: it was unbelievably honest, I kept it.

Despite the fervor of our singer's punks, critics have no eyes for him or make fun of his voice, his physique, his height, and he becomes an eternal grudge His salvation will miraculously come from abroad, more specifically from Canada, where the duo Piaf will once again accompany them, this time offering the owner of Au Faisan doré, a cabaret in Montreal Eighteen months close for ten concerts a week, well live France, hello Quebec! The artists are sold out and even get their own radio show, their own good record contract. Charles likes success, applause and notoriety. The more terrible is the return to France in 1950.

  13. December 2017, in the AccorHotels Arena. For the last half hour, Aznavour drops his jacket and enjoys the pleasure of the public.

13. December 2017, at the AccorHotels Arena Aznavour drops his jacket in the last half hour © Cyril Moreau

Despite the birth of her first daughter, Micheline does not want to settle in Canada and Aznavour wants to leave her. And going to Piaf's house to tell her about her worries, Edith explodes, "But my poor boy, it's in France that you have to make a career!" Everything happens here. You will never be a happy man, if you are doing career there. "She demands that he write three letters on the spot, one to announce to the Golden Pheasant that he will not come back to tell the second Pierre Roche that their duet is over, and finally he admits Micheline his intention to get a divorce Charles runs and gets rid of the boss who gave him the nickname "the genius con" for eternity.
It was already out of the question with anger, but from now on it will be multiplied. "Charles does the dirty work for Edith, which is to remove those she does not want to see, to inevitably end the evening, Danteque's one who loved too much life and men, but he always smiles with a deep tenderness.


Aznavour does not rush into fashion: he describes everyday life with realism, awakens love and human relationships with disarming openness


Edith also appreciates Evelyne Plessis, the new conqueror Charles, who finds her "intelligent". And above all, she pushes him to his entrenchments, begging him for words to throw him in the face: "You can take her to where I think she still demands that he get his nose back, but she refuses, the Finally, Aznavour wrote the wonderful "I hate Sundays" and suffered a new rejection of Piaf, this time Charles knows that he holds something, and when Juliette Gréco wins and wins a prize with the song, the relationship between Charles lived and Edith: At the beginning of 1952, a 27-year-old man leaves his "godmother"'s nest and finally decides to fly on his own, this time will be the good one. "When she divorces her first wife, she gives birth to a baby boy." Charles was born in 1952.

Drunk with the first successes, the first emotions, the singer will establish himself as the master of contemporary song in twenty years, the first texts for Gilbert Béca ud, then first songs under his own name. Aznavour does not fall into fashion: he describes everyday life with realism, awakens love and human relationships with a disarming openness and especially new for the time. For his first Olympiad from June 1 to June 21, 1955 at the opening of Sidney Bechet he writes "On my life", his first tube. "A very good song written by a very bad singer", say the critics of the time. Aznavour makes the round back and moves forward. Censorship watches him when he awakens sexual pleasure in "I want to say goodbye to you". But man is insatiable. And he was nominated in 1956 in the Alhambra as headliner for the first stage. In the same year Patrick is born, whom he had with Evelyne, in 1955 gently married.

And with a good deal of humor and a lot of self-irony, he will eventually triumph for four years later, while the Yéyé show the tip of her nose. With "J vuais déjà" Aznavour offers a snub-like tube that tells the story of a singer leaving the scene in the face of lack of success …

He crosses the street of Ulla, a great Swede, seventeen years younger, from whom he falls head over heels in love. He married her in 1967, in the third marriage

Charles became a recognized pen, an important author who is just asked to help the young talents. He will always be sensitive to the new, who in 1962 offered Johnny Hallyday "Hold the Night" and Sylvie Vartan 1963 "The Most Beautiful for Dancing". To Johnny, whom he takes home, he advises to preserve its uniqueness. "He had a voice, a different attitude than others," he notes. He will be regarded by Johnny as his godfather. Aznavour has especially connected with his brother-in-law, the composer Georges Garvarentz, and together they will invent a sound. "From the first notes of each of their songs, we know that we are with Aznavour," notes Michel Drucker, who met the singer in 1964. Her leg is to distill a true melancholy in light melodies. A bit like Charles, who sees his second marriage collapse.

It must be said that success begins to blast his blood. The money comes back and his first pills eventually allow to go for a new life. He buys cars, real estate, especially in Montfort-l & # 39; Amaury, and cracks for all the inventions of the time. He gets an indoor swimming pool and has an inflatable seat that allows him to watch television from his bathroom. Charles does not resist the pretty girls who turn around. Until he crosses the road to Ulla, a beautiful Swede, seventeen years younger, in whom he falls head over heels in love. He married her for the third time in 1967 and especially appreciated his Scandinavian distance. Ulla does not care about Aznavour, she loves Charles. "It's crazy," says Michel Drucker, "how Ulla managed to impose two very different lives on her, the ultimate star Charles of the song in France and abroad, and Charles Mann as normal as home The misfortune was that at the time of "asking a champion" to come home, I was rejected, and Ulla should not be disturbed by her favorite show.

In 1963, Aznavour, who sang in English, received "because it was the least." The title of "greatest French singer"

If the sixties are also wonderful for Charles It is also because he has faced an incredible challenge, unlike all the singers of that time who chained Gala's summer in the province Fifteen years ago, he was at Piaf school, remembering his triumph in New York, not forgetting those "scavengers" of criticism that came to him have "to do accounting instead of singing". Then Charles decides that he will conquer the world. When he talks to various French producers about his project, everyone laughs at him. Then it is on his own money that he reserves the Carnegie Hall of New York for March 30, 1963. And is about to fill it.

On the day of the concert, the room is full of curious people coming to see "The actor who sings" (Charles made a name for himself on the Atlantic Ocean through his role in "Shoot the Pianist"), but also French Celebrities, Johnny at the helm he had brought to a Boeing 707 privatized by his caring. The New York Times publishes a free paper the next day. Aznavour, who sang in English "because it was the least," has the title of "greatest French singer". He will never give up his crown, sing everywhere and adapt to the public, one day in Italian in Rome, the next day in German in Frankfurt. From Japan to Australia via Chile or China, Aznavour has become a symbol of French culture. I'm proud to have achieved what nobody else has achieved since. Finally, on September 19th, it was in Osaka, Japan, where he triumphed for his last concert.


It was style to start:" Do you know who you are talking to? "But this cold was a way to protect himself


From his marriage to Ulla, the discrete three children Katia, Mischa and Nicolas were born. Already in 1972, the Aznavour decided to settle for tax reasons in Switzerland. The French government sees this with a very bad view and the attack on tax evasion. He introduced himself in his trial in 1977 and announced in a cold fury: "France should thank me for all the billions I have brought back to his coffers, you know that I am the only singer in the world who performs in 78 countries He is sentenced to one year imprisonment and a fine of 3 million francs for "tax evasion." Charles can not accept the sentence and publishes a text in the press "because he has served my homeland and my culture, 10 million and a year in prison Prison, "he complains, the case ends with a layoff, but Charles will never again be a Frenchman." I have to spend six months and one day there. I'll never go beyond that, he tells us in 2013. I got rid of all my possessions to give to my children. I only kept the Provence.

His last three children have accepted his fate. Misha has long been the "boss" of the Aznavour clan. Katia is one of her singers and sings with him at every concert the title "Je Voyage". Nicolas, the youngest of the siblings born in 1977, became his assistant and devoted all his time to directing his career. Father often absent but terribly present, Charles Aznavour is incredibly generous with his family. Without falling into great effusions. Looking from the top of his chair and getting older, he observes the world and the life that unfolds around him. He likes his status, be careful to show in recent years that he is "the last monster of the song". Can give an admirer who needs money for healing, 3 000 Euro. If Aznavour was reputed to be a tough and angry man, he was in contrast to good manners. "The first moments with him in the studio were complicated," recalls Marc Di Domenico. It was style to start: "Do you know who you are talking to?" But this cold was a way to protect yourself. From the moment we knew how to respond intelligently, the ice was broken.


I will sing in China soon, he laughed in 2015. At the moment I am learning Chinese.


For thirty years he started a real / wrong farewell tour. A term he has always refuted by maliciously prefers to say that only death would stop him. There were of course failed concerts, some embarrassing premieres, like the Palais des Congrès in 2007, where the audience watched his shoes. But in the face of failure Aznavour knew how to recover. When his historic producer Levon Sayan sells concerts in the Olympia for three weeks at exorbitant prices in 2011, Aznavour sings in front of a half empty room. Despite their historical connections, Sayan is being fired by Manu Militari and replaced by new managers. Businessman, Aznavour also knew how to play his fame to become a permanent ambassador of Armenia, entering on every French presidential trip to Yerevan. "The only country I have not yet sung in is Turkey because it refuses to recognize the genocide in Armenia," he told us in 2015. "But I'm ready to go if they do not. I'm always ready for discussion.

In recent years, Charles did not want to annoy reporters at his concerts abroad, preferring to take an extra day on the spot to discover the cities, always armed with his camera "I'll sing in China soon, he laughed in 2015. At this moment I am learning Chinese.

Charles sang love like no one else. But he never openly said his mistakes

Very proud to have his star on Hollywood Boulevard in 2017, he had invited his entire family to Los Angeles for the occasion. Only Patrick was missing. Because Patrick died in 1981 officially in his sleep. Charles never talked about the disappearance of this son. In 1987, however, he had written him "L? Aiguille". No, he preferred to protest against these media "who always cite Brel, Brassens or Ferré as the greats of the song, and I, I did not write anything?"

Yes, Charles had addressed all the priceless topics, such as " As they say, "talking about homosexuality since 1972. Yes, Charles was outraged by the fate of migrants." Yes, Charles sang love like no one else, but he never openly said his mistakes. "It is, after his son Misha," his modesty quite Armenian. "Legend has it that Charles Aznavour left his most intimate secrets, and it is so beautiful." nBenjamin Locoge 1965

"Face Camera" with Charles Aznavour, repetition in France 3 Saturday, October 6 at 14 Watch 30 in "The Stars Show", in partnership with Paris Match.

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