October 11, 1963 – Édith Piaf born Edith Giovanni Gassion on Dec 19, 1915 became a legendary French singer and actress; one of the most popular French singers of the 1940s and ’50s, famous internationally for her husky, mournful voice and her songs of loneliness and despair.
At aged 14, she joined her father in his acrobatic street performances all over France, where she first sang in public, before going it alone as a street singer at the age of 16.
In 1935 she was discovered in the Pigalle area of Paris by nightclub owner Louis Leplée, whose club Le Gerny off the Champs-Élysées was frequented by the upper and lower classes alike. Louis taught her stage presense and nicknamed her La Môme Piaf …The Waif Sparrow or Little Sparrow as she was only 4ft 8in tall.
After the war, she became known internationally, touring Europe, the United States, and South America. Among her songs are “La Vie en rose”, “Non, je ne regrette rien”, “Hymne à l’amour”, “Milord”, “La Foule”, “l’Accordéoniste”, and “Padam… Padam…”
Édith’s signature song “La vie en rose” was voted a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998. Piaf sadly lost her battle with cancer on Oct 11th, 1963.