Edith Piaf: biography, best songs, interesting facts, listen

Edith Piaf

The name Edith Piaf is widely known in his native country and beyond. It is inscribed in golden letters in the history of world music. A woman with a difficult fate was able to become the idol of millions, giving on the stage all of herself without a trace. She went through the terrible moments of life, outlived her own child and beloved man, but did not despair and made a real feat during the war.

A brief biography of Edith Piaf and a lot of interesting facts about the singer read on our page.

short biography

Edith’s mother, circus performer Annette Maiard, gave birth to a girl in the Belleville district of Paris on December 19, 1915. The real name of the singer is Edith Giovanna Gassion. Annette did not want to raise an heiress, so she gave her child to her parents and left the city forever. The father of the girl, Louis Hassion, might have been glad to take on the upbringing of his daughter, but even before her birth he went to the fields of the First World War.

Until two years, Edith lived in the house of her maternal grandparents. Then Louis returned from the front and took his daughter to him. As it turned out, no one really cared for the girl: they were bathing extremely rarely, and were fed with what was left after drinking. In addition, she developed a cataract, which led to complete blindness, which the mother’s careless relatives simply did not notice. Louis was forced to work, so the girl began to live with his mother, the mistress of a brothel. All his inhabitants, like her paternal grandmother, firmly fell in love with the baby and decided to pray for her health. It is not known whether it really helped, but little Edith suddenly saw the light. At school, Edith did not study for long - the parents of other children expressed discontent that a child was being brought up near them, who was brought up in an obscene place. Therefore, at the age of nine his father took Edith with him to the capital of France, where they earned street performances: the man showed acrobatic numbers, and at that time the girl sang for passersby. Growing up, Edith found a job in a cabaret, where she sang in the evenings. Soon she met with Louis Dupont, who became her husband.

In 1933, Edith gave birth to her only child - daughter Marcel. In order not to lose income, the singer continued to work in a cabaret, which was extremely dissatisfied with her husband. One day, a man left home, taking a baby with him, in the hope that Edith would submit to him for the sake of his daughter. But at this moment Marcel fell ill with Spaniard - a serious infectious disease, against which there was no medicine then. Edith visited her daughter in the hospital and as a result became infected herself. In 1935, the girl died. The singer was able to overcome the disease, but never again experienced the happiness of motherhood, and with Dupont finally broke off the relationship.

20-year-old Edith took Louis Leple under his wing, who owned a place on the Champs Elysees. It was this man who taught the young singer stage etiquette, helped to choose the repertoire and direct the performances. Thanks to Leplenu, Edith got her nickname Piaf, which means “little sparrows”. Career Piaf quickly gained momentum, and a year later she went on the big stage with the most famous artists of the time. But the dizzying take-off ended in an unexpected fall after the accusation of Leplen’s murder, to which Edith was actually not involved. She was pursued by journalists, recalling a dubious past.

Beautiful takeoff

Out of a difficult situation helped the poet Raymond Asso. He took over patronage over Piaf, having invested in it not only musical education, but also having taught the rules of good form, image selection and much more. Ramone created several songs specifically for Edith, and they soon conquered the hearts of the public. Asso was able to agree on the performance of the singer in the first part of one of the concerts in the famous Parisian music hall. There Piaf experienced a dizzying first success - the audience applauded her, and the newspapers were full of notes about a new rising star. At the end of the 30s, Edith and Ramone’s paths diverged, and she met Jean Cocteau, a famous poet, artist, and filmmaker. This man gave the world also Piaf-actress. At first she played a role in his play in the theater, and later starred in the debut film "Montmartre on the Seine".

Brave feat

World War II came in the period of popularity of Edith Piaf. She sought permission to speak in the fascist camps, where her fellow prisoners of war were kept. But these were not just concerts: after the performance, Edith was photographed with compatriots, and then at home she gave these pictures to masters who made fake IDs. On their next visit, Piaf, under the guise of autographs, handed documents to the prisoners, so that they got a chance to escape. Edith took some of the prisoners out of the camp under the guise of their musicians. Thus, the singer not only supported the prisoners morally, but literally saved their lives. For many years after the war, the people she saved came to concerts and thanked for everything she did for them. After the war, it was time for another takeoff Edith Piaf. Her popularity has increased dramatically and very strongly - the compositions of Piaf were played both in disadvantaged quarters and in high society. She was admired by statesmen and great artists of the time. The actress began touring around the world, and everywhere found her audience.

Home love and new challenges

While on tour in America, Piaf met with French boxer Marcel Cerdant, whom she had been introduced to earlier in the homeland. This man became her strongest love and the greatest tragedy. They were together in spite of everything, including his wife and children, openly declared their feelings. One day, when Marcel was rushing to his beloved in New York, his plane crashed. Piaf fell into a serious depression, found solace in alcohol, several times brought herself to delirium tremens and absolutely crazy things. Over time, this pain subsided, Edith returned to the familiar life. The story of this novel will be the basis for films and books. In 1953, several more terrible events occurred in her life: two car accidents one after another. The singer received fractures of several bones, experienced severe pain, and morphine was the only salvation for her.

Edith became dependent, and her later life was associated with prohibited drugs. Edith Piaf’s health at the end of his life was seriously undermined: in addition to drug addiction, arthritis appeared, and a little later cancer. But even being in serious condition, Edith did not cease to go on stage, to please her fans, to love. She had several more novels with young men, whom she fascinated at first sight and helped to arrange their lives and careers. The great artist died October 10, 1963. Several tens of thousands of people gathered at her funeral in Paris, and her entire last journey was literally strewn with flowers. The grave does not contain the real name of the singer, but the one under which the whole world knew her - Edith Piaf.

Interesting Facts

  • A future legend was born on the street, and the doctors and the police were not giving birth to her mother, as the ambulance did not have time to arrive.
  • There is a certain legend that the piano keys are the first thing that a little girl saw when she regained her sight.
  • Edith's mother wore the pseudonym of Lina Mars, but she could not be called a successful actress. She was half Italian father and half Algerian on the maternal line.
  • When Piaf received an offer from Louis Leple to sing in his cabaret, she suddenly realized that she had nothing to wear. The girl had to urgently purchase three balls of woolen thread and tie her dress herself. She almost managed to complete the outfit, lacked only one sleeve. Leple came to the rescue, who found her in the dressing room for needlework. He brought her a wide white scarf that helped hide the missing part of the dress.
  • Piaf was suspected of murdering Leple only because of his will, in which he indicated the name of the artist.
  • One of the most exciting speeches of Edith Piaf with great success took place on the top of the Eiffel Tower in September 1962. It was timed to the premiere of the painting "The Longest Day", and almost all residents of Paris became viewers. And the final appearance of Piaf on the stage was a concert in the theater of the city of Lille, that evening the auditorium was applauded by the legendary singer standing.
  • One of the most unusual manifestations of love and memory for the great singer is the fact that her name is a small planet.

  • Piaf confessed to her sister that she was very afraid of loneliness, so there were so many novels in her life. And she always preferred to part with men.
  • Speaking about her first date with Marcel Cerdan, the singer recalled that he brought her to a small cafe and ordered meat with mustard. Edith didn’t like it very much, but her admirer noticed everything in time and immediately offered to go to the most respectable restaurant of the city.
  • The song "No, I do not regret anything" sounded in the movie "Seventeen Moments of Spring" in Stirlitz's car. However, this composition was born 15 years later than the events of the film.
  • Edith took her younger sister Simone from her mother, who raised seven children and began to take care of her herself. At that time, Piaf decided to leave her father and lead an independent life. The girls together earned their food by performing on the streets of the city.
  • It is known that in total from the fascist camps she saved 120 prisoners.
  • The famous Charlie Chaplin believed that Edith in her work did the same as he did in the movies.
  • Roman boxer Cerdan and Piaf was scandalous because the man was married and raised three sons. He could not dissolve the marriage, but did not want to give up love. The press hunted for her lovers and Cerdan even agreed to give a small conference at which he confirmed that they were lovers with Piaf. Just the next day, all the talk about their communication ceased.
  • Edith and Marcel bought themselves a huge house, in which they were going to live together, there was even a large training hall equipped.
  • Marcel Cerdan often attended concerts of his beloved, but preferred to spend all the time in the gallery, so as not to attract attention.
  • Piaf herself wrote two books about herself and her work, many other writers often turned to her personality in their works. Even her sister Simone published a book dedicated to Edith.

  • In Paris there is a square called Piaf (Place Edith Piaf), with an established monument to the great and incomparable Edith.
  • Piaf was very good friends with famous actress Marlene Dietrich.
  • The news of the death of the beloved Marcel Piaf learned before her concert in the New York hall "Versailles". Despite the deep suffering, she did not cancel her speech. The singer was carried to the stage in her arms, since she herself could not walk. Before the concert, the artist only announced that she sings in honor of her lover.
  • The artist's last passion was a 27-year-old hairdresser named Theofanis Lambukas. Piaf tied the knot with him and even opened the way to the stage. She at that time was 47 years old. Theophanis's nickname was Sagapo.
  • The fact that the great singer passed away was announced on October 11, 1963, her friend Jean Cocteau died on the same day. Many believe that the main reason was precisely the news of the death of Piaf.

Edith Piaf best songs

In the list of songs played by Edith Piaf, more than 250 songs. Some of them are so popular that today it is difficult to find someone who would not hear them. "No i don't regret anything", "Life in pink"- compositions that have become especially popular in the performance of Piaf.

"No, I do not regret anything" (listen)

"Life in pink" (listen)

In addition to his own career, Piaf also helped to become popular artists such as Yves Montand, Charles Aznavour, Eddie Constantin, and others. Several generations grew up on her songs, and listening to Piaf is still considered a sign of good musical taste.

Works on the great artist

Life and creativity of the actress devoted several cinematic tapes. Different directors at various times turned to her biography to create excellent film stories. The first film of Guy Kazaril of 1974 is simply and concisely called “Piaf”. The role of the main character performed Bridget Ariel. Another tape is devoted to the novel of the singer with a boxer - "Edith and Marcel," directed by Claude Lelouch, Piaf played Evelyn Bui. In 2007, on the screens came out the picture "Life in a pink color" by Olivier Daan. The role of the singer was played by actress Marion Cotillard, for this role she won the Oscar. In order to be as close as possible to the singer, the actress shaved her eyebrows completely (by drawing them with a thin pencil) and changed the haircut. All vocals in the film were performed by Gilles Egre. This film is familiar to the public under the names: "Baby" (original translation), "The passionate life of Edith Piaf." In many countries, they chose to headline this film with the name of the main character.


Edith Piaf left a mark in the history of cinema, not only giving the directors beautiful stories for the scenarios, but she also played many bright roles. In the filmography Piaf 7 beautiful paintings that have become classics. In the period from 1941 to 1959, Edith starred in the following films: "Montmartre on the Seine", "Star Without Light", "Nine Guys, One Heart", "Paris Always Sings", "If People Tell Me About Versailles", "French Cancan "," Lovers of tomorrow ". Edith's acting talent was not inferior to the singing one, but her heart belonged to music, which is probably why we did not see more pictures of her participation.

Music in movies

The popularity of the work of the great singer does not fade until now, this is evidenced by the huge number of films in which the legendary hits of Piaf sound.

"Allies" (2016)"Fais-Moi Valser"
"My Indian Friend" (2015)"La Vie en Rose"
"Sonny" (2014)"Mon Homme"
"All or Nothing" (2012)"Bravo Pour Le Clown"
The animated series "The Simpsons""Fais-Moi Valser"
"Monte Carlo" (2011)"La Vie en Rose"
People X: First Class (2011)"La Vie en Rose"
"The Beginning" (2010)"Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien"
WALL-E (2008)"La Vie en Rose"
"Mad Wedding" (2008)"La Vie en Rose"
"Fred Klaus, brother of Santa" (2007)"La Vie en Rose"
Rush Hour 3 (2007)"La Vie en Rose"
"Great: Feathered Special Forces" (2005)"Non, je ne Regrette rien"
"Intolerable Cruelty" (2003)"Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien"
Chloe (1996)"La Vie en Rose"
"Innocent Lies" (1995)"C'est lui qu 'mon coeur a choisi"


Edith Piaf wrote two autobiographies in which she shared the details of her difficult fate. Possessing an outstanding mind and sense of humor, the woman created several statements that have become aphorisms, which have not lost their relevance in the present.

  • "I don't sing for everyone - I sing for everyone"
  • "I die of love five hundred times a night."

Great singer Edith Piaf for her relatively short life managed to conquer millions of hearts. She experienced several tragic events, men changed in her life, but she did not despair and did not leave the stage. The legacy of Piaf is still listed among the classics of French chanson, and will remain there for a long time in the hearts of people who were seduced by Edith’s charming voice.

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