Charles Aznavour's Biography

Charles Charles

Charles Aznavour


  • Born
    22 May 1924
  • Died
    01 October 2018
  • Sex
  • Nationality
  • Citizen


Life and first steps

Charl Aznavur (Shahnour Vaginak Aznavurian) is the most important person for two contryes French and Armenia . He was born (22 may 1924) in Paris. His parents Michael Aznavuryan and Knar Baghdasaryan were Armenian immigrants. His parents were both artists. His mother was an actress and father a singer. When they immigrated in Paris, Michael Aznavuryan opened his own restaurant, 1929 because of the economic crisis they must closed the restaurant. They move to Cardinal Limouan Street, where their father opened a cafe right in front of the Rioni School of Art. At that time Charles began attending that school. In the first year of school, Charles takes to the stage with the name 'Aznavour', making his first steps on stage.

Charlie's career launch and collaboration with Pierre Roche and Edith Piaf

1941 Charles met composer, pianist Pierre Roche ,after their friendship begins, Charles finally decided to choose the art of singing. Together with Pierre they created the duo "Rosh and Aznavour" and started performing in different countries. In 1944, he wrote his first song, "I Have Drunk", which won the "Loudspeaker of the Year" award by George Ulmer. But afther that 1946 Charl met French singer Edith Piaf . Edith Piaf also played a big role in his life, she invited that duo to work in New York. Although Charles and Pierre were widely known in Canada, Aznavour left for France and began his solo career on the advice of Piaf, which was not initially successful. He began collaborating with Gilbert Beko. In 1956 he gave concerts in the countries of North Africa, which made him well known and successful.

1974 Aznavour had great success in the UK when his song "She" headed the hit parade for four weeks.

Charles has also starred in films. "Head to the wall" (1958), "The devil and the ten commandments" (1962), "Ararat" (2002), and more.

He appeared in more than 60 movies and written more than 1000 songs (including 150 in English, 100 in Italian, 70 in Spanish, and 50 in German).

 He has sold over 100 million albums.

Charles' three wives and children

 Aznavour has one sister, Aida Aznavour (born January 13, 1923).

Aznavour has been married three times. the first time with seventeen-year-old Micheline Rugel (March 16, 1946), the second time with Evelyn Plessis (October 28, 1955), and the third time with Swedish Ula Torsel (January 11, 1967). As a result of these marriages, he had 5 children: Seda, Patrick, Katya, Misha and Nicola.
Charles Aznavour has lived with his third wife for almost half a century. He is Swedish-born Ula Topsel. Their marriage took place in 1967 in Las Vegas and then in the Armenian Church of France.

The artist confessed that he got married the first time because he was young, and the second time because he was stupid.

“For the third time, I finally married the woman I had always dreamed of blonde with open eyes and silky skin, ”the singer said.

"And the secret to a long-term marriage in general is one of the most sincere and always say what you want to say," Aznavour said.

In addition to marriages, Aznavour is credited with romances with popular pop and movie stars such as Edith Piaf, Lisa Mineyley and Bridget Bordeaux. But the artist denies rumors about his love affair with Piaf, noting that they were just friends. As for Brigitte Bordeaux, she and Aznavour have been friends for many years.

 Seda is the eldest daughter of Charles Aznavour. Studied at the Armenian College of Music in Paris.She began her music career in the 1960s, moved to the US, gave concerts with William Saroyan's daughter Lucy. 1988 has released an album of traditional Armenian songs. She performed Sayat Nova's song "Ashkharums" in Armenian with her father. She has two children and now lives in California.
 According to some reports, Charles Aznavour has a son since his first marriage, but he never mentioned it. Charles Aznavour has no children since his second marriage. As he said, the woman did not want to have children and that was the reason for their separation.
 Aznavour's son Patrick was born in 1956, but he ufortunately died at a young age.

Here's what Charles Aznavour said: “I once had a brief affair with a woman. We parted peacefully, and a few months later the woman told me she was expecting a baby. I was genuinely happy and promised to help her. I offered to give the child my surname but she set a precondition for me: Either we get married or she gets married to her fan, and I'm on one side. I chose the second option. About ten years later, during those years, I was trying to find him to meet my son, but to no avail, he found me himself. It turned out that her marriage was falling apart, her husband getting drunk and beating Patrick. He was asking for my advice. At that time, I already had a new family, and I suggested that Patrick live with us. My children received Patrick very warmly. He was good at learning, he was kind. After becoming an adult, he decided to live on her own and left me. I bought him a small studio where he was found dead one day. Twenty years had just passed. The cause of death was alcohol and pills. To this day I keep her letters that she wrote to me from school, I often remember her and cry. "

A Patriot and Philanthropist

Aznavour always supports Armenia. Armenian themes include his songs "For You Armenia", "They Fell" (60th Anniversary of the Genocide), "Autobiography".

1988 Immediately after the Spitak earthquake he founded the Aznavour Armenia Charitable Foundation.

1964, 1996 and 2006 He has given concerts in Armenia. He was awarded the highest state awards of France. He has been a citizen of the Republic of Armenia since 2008.
A statue of Aznavour is erected in Gyumri. One of the squares of Yerevan was named Charl Aznavur.

 ‘Unique brilliance’

French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the “unique brilliance” of Aznavour in a tweet shortly after his death was announced on Monday.

“Proudly French, viscerally attached to his Armenian roots, known all over the world, Charles Aznavour accompanied three generations through their joys and pains,” the 40-year-old French leader wrote.

“His masterpieces, his tone, his unique brilliance will live far beyond him,” Macron added.

Former prime minister Manuel Valls was among the first to react to his death, praising “this son of Armenian immigrants who became one of the greatest and most beautiful symbols of French brilliance".

 Awards and recognition


• 1963, 1971, and 1980 – Edison Awards (three-time award winner)
• 1971 – Golden Lion Honorary Award at the Venice Film Festival for the Italian version of the song Mourir d'aimer
• 1995 – Ambassador of Goodwill and Permanent Delegate of Armenia to UNESCO
• 1996 – Induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame
• 1997 – French Victoire award for Male Artist of the Year
• 1997 – Honorary César Award
• 2009 – MIDEM Lifetime Achievement Award
• 2009 – Grigor Lusavorich award of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
• 2009 – Honorary Doctorate from the University of Montreal
• 2010 – Honorary order from Russia "For contributing to strengthening cultural relations between Russia and France"
• 2014 – Special Prize named after Rouben Mamoulian of the "Hayak" National Film Awards in Armenia for "his great contribution to world cinema"
• 2016 – Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Performance, located at 6225 Hollywood Boulevard
• Honours
• 1995 – Grand Medal of the French Academy
• 1997 – Officier (Officer) of the Legion of Honour
• 2004 – Commandeur (Commander) of the Legion of Honour
• 2004 – National Hero of Armenia
• 2004 – Officer of the Order of Leopold
• 2008 – Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada
• 2008 – Citizenship of Armenia
• 2009 – Officer of the National Order of Quebec
• 2015 – Commander in the Belgian Order of the Crown
• 2017 – Raoul Wallenberg Medal
• 2018 - Order of the Rising Sun

The last days of life and funera

For every Frenchman and every Armenian, Charles Aznavour embodied the link between our two countries.

The famous French-Armenian chanson Charles Aznavour has died a natural death.

On October 1, 2018, Charles Aznavour passed away at his home in the south of France at the age of 94.

On October 6, Aznavour's funeral was held at St. John the Baptist Church in Paris. Aznavour is buried in a family mausoleum in the 12th Century Monastery of Montfort Lamor.

 World chansonnier Charles Aznavour's death shocked the world

The loss of great musician Charles Aznavour around the world is a mourning for everyone. Everyone expresses condolences to the Armenian and French people.

 "Charles's Life was itself a wonderful film, full of light and full of humanity."said 3rd President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan

 European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also expressed condolences over the death of Charles Aznavour. According to him, until his last breath the great artist, singer, songwriter and actor has enriched our lives with his art.

 The letter of condolences of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev states in particular: "Charles Aznavour, one of the world-famous performers who is the soul and voice of the cultures of France and Armenia around the world, has passed away."

 Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan also sent a message of condolences. The message particularly says: "The death of the world-famous chansonnier is a great loss for our people."

 Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II has called Charles' death the loss of the whole world because he is also the son of all mankind, whom they know, love, and for whom they pray everywhere today.

The Internet is full of Charles poems and songs. People regret and mourn his death, share their memories.

 ''On behalf of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people, I would like to extend my condolences to all of us. Condolences to the Armenian people, to the people of France, to its art lovers around the world. This is a great universal loss, because Aznavour is a man who has created not only national but also universal values that will lead humanity to love and solidarity for many years and will lead people to virtue.'' said Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

 Aznavour Center project in Yerevan

Aznavour Center is located in Yerevan, on the upper part of the Cascade.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Armenian President Armen Sargsyan attended the presentation of the Aznavour Center project.

 Interactive Museum

The Aznavour Center plans to create an interactive museum in 2021, featuring 10 halls that will feature the most essential stages of Charles Aznavour's life - from family history to world recognition. The sections will be presented with audiogit, accompanied by Aznavour's voice, as well as various functionalities for creating and developing new songs.

 Educational and Cultural Center

The Aznavour Center will also have an educational and cultural center focusing on three areas: film art, music and French.

 Teaching French

Aznavour center will be teaching French, where in addition to the classical teaching method, a new method of learning French will be applied with the help of Aznavour's lyrics and music. Thanks to the cooperation with the French Institute, a rich modern media library will be created.


Some of the Most Interesting Quotes by Charles Aznavour

About Paris

That’s the city I was born in, grew older and got the fame. Paris has brought me up, but in some time, you cannot live with your parents any longer. There comes an age, when you want a nature instead of the city and crowds. Parisian statues are awesome, but its nature is not so fascinating. However, there are some olive trees in my window. I changed the grey colour into green one.

About Marriage

How to survive an immigrant, a foreigner in a country like France? Love and "marry" her! And then, as in every couple, love your halfie in order to make her love you too.

About Fame

If you choose the career of an actor, clown, singer, let the people know who you are. Let them discuss your outfits and your girlfriends. Anyone who comes on stage, should be ready that everything about him soon becomes well-known. You are doing this not only to earn your piece of bread, but for the people to learn about you, love or hate you, get interested in your small life.


 Inspiring Quotes from Charles Aznavour

“Live now. Tomorrow, who knows?”

“Only the dead likes their beautiful gravestones.”

“We need to get rid of the puzzle that we see once in a lifetime.”

“Even if one believes that there is nothing to expect, we always expect something or someone.”