Aznavour began his career being heavily criticized for his unusual quavering vibrato voice and his revolutionary sense of storytelling about sexuality, homosexuality and the trivial details of love relationships, before these features became what the public adored.
The legendary French singer Charles Aznavour has passed away at 94 years old at his home in Alpilles in southeastern France following a concert tour of Japan last month.
Mexican Singer, Lila Downs: Pay More Attention to Environment
He had to cancel several shows last year after breaking his arm in a fall. But as late as Friday the singer told French television that though his Swedish-born wife wanted him to stop, he would happily die on stage. The singer had planned to go back on tour later this month, starting with a concert in Brussels on October 26.
“I always go forward,” said the performer who tried to write a song every day. “There is no backward step with me. “All I can do is live, and I live on stage. I am happy up there, and you can see that,” he added.
Aznavour’s family said that “his legacy will live forever” in a Facebook message in French, English and Armenian.
Multilingual and a tireless traveler, Aznavour was named “Entertainer of the Century” by CNN in 1998 because of his immense global popularity. He pioneered a new, highly emotional way of performing, turning every song into “a one-act play.”
In the English-speaking world he was often dubbed France’s Frank Sinatra, but unlike the American crooner, he wrote his own songs, often breaking taboos about marriage, homosexuality and men talking about their emotions. Bob Dylan also considered Aznavour to be “one of the greatest live performers” he’d ever seen.