Distinguished Women of Past and Present


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Edith Piaf

From: France
Fields: Music
Key Words/Phrases: singer
Piaf, Edith (1915-63), Parisian popular singer, whose sentimental ballads caught the fancy of an enormous international audience. Her real name was Edith Giovanna Gassion. The daughter of an impoverished acrobat, Piaf was in her father's troupe until she was 15, when she went to Paris and began working as a street and cafe singer. There she was discovered in 1935 by a cabaret owner who gave her the name La Mome Piaf ("the kid sparrow"). Her powerful voice and expressive style in songs such as "Non, Je ne Regrette Rien" and "La Vie en Rose" won her a wide and passionate following. Encouraged by the French actor Maurice Chevalier, Piaf also sang in films, comedy, and operetta, and toured Europe, South America, and the United States. Her memoirs, Au bal de la chance (To the Dance of Chance), were published in 1958.

"Piaf, Edith" Microsoft Encarta.
Copyright 1995 Microsoft Corporation.


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