Edith Piaf – Autumn Leaves
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Édith Piaf (French: [edit pjaf] 19 December 1915 – 10 October 1963; born Édith Giovanna Gassion) was a French cabaret singer, songwriter and actress who became widely regarded as France’s national chanteuse, as well as being one of France’s greatest international stars.
Her music was often autobiographical with her singing reflecting her life, and her specialty being chanson and torch ballads, particularly of love, loss and sorrow.
Among her well-known songs are “La Vie en rose” (1946), “Non, je ne regrette rien” (1960), “Hymne à l’amour” (1949), “Milord” (1959), “La Foule” (1957), “L’Accordéoniste (fr)” (1955), and “Padam … Padam …” (1951).
Since her premature death in 1963 and with the aid of several biographies and films including 2007’s Academy Award winning La Vie en rose, Piaf has acquired a legacy as one of the greatest performers of the 20th century, and her voice and music continue to be celebrated globally.
In 1935, Piaf was discovered in the Pigalle area of Paris by nightclub owner Louis Leplée, whose club Le Gerny’s off the Champs-Élysées was frequented by the upper and lower classes alike.
He persuaded her to sing despite her extreme nervousness, which, combined with her height of only 142 centimetres (4 ft 8 in), inspired him to give her the nickname that would stay with her for the rest of her life and serve as her stage name, La Môme Piaf (Paris slang meaning “The Waif Sparrow” or “The Little Sparrow”).