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Charles Aznavour

Charles Aznavour

Fact Sheet

Birth NameChahnour Varinag Aznavourian
OccupationSinger, Songwriter  
Birthday22 May 1924 (93)
Birthplace  Paris, France
Charles Aznavour (born May 22, 1924) is a French singer, songwriter and actor. Aznavour was born Chahnour Varinag Aznavourian in Paris, the son of Armenian immigrants. At an early age, his artistic parents introduced him to the world of theatre.

One of France's most popular and enduring singers, he began to perform at age nine and soon took the stage name Aznavour. His big break came when the singer Édith Piaf heard him sing and arranged to take him with her on tour in France and to the United States.

Often described as the "Frank Sinatra of France", almost all of Aznavour's songs deal with love. He has written more than a thousand songs as well as musicals, made more than one hundred records, and has appeared in sixty movies. Aznavour sings in five languages and is the most well-known French singer abroad, performing at Carnegie Hall and other major venues around the world.

In the 1970s Aznavour became a major success in the United Kingdom with his song "She" going to Number One in the charts. His other well known song in the UK was "Dance in the Old Fashioned Way".

A friend of Quebec, he has helped the career of Quebec singer-songwriter Lynda Lemay in France, and has a house in Montreal.

Since the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, Aznavour has been helping the country with his charity, Aznavour for Armenia. There is a square named after him in central Yerevan on Abovian Street.

Aznavour's nickname is Charles Aznavoice, used both by critics and affectionately by some fans.


Aznavour has had a long and varied parallel career as an actor. In 1960 Aznavour starred in François Truffaut's Tirez sur le pianiste, playing a character called Édouard Saroyan. He also put in a critically acclaimed performance in the 1974 movie And Then There Were None. Aznavour starred in the 2002 movie Ararat playing Edward Saroyan, a movie director.