France pays national tribute to singer Charles Aznavour

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PARIS, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) — At a national ceremony led by French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, France mourned its famous singer Charles Aznavour, bidding a last farewell at Les Invalides museum.

French Republican guards carried Aznavour’s flag-drapped coffin in the courtyard where the late singer’s family, celebrities and former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy had given a last farewell to the French-Armenian crooner.

“Charles Aznavour would have wanted to live to 100, he had promised it to himself, to us, his last challenge. But as he was close to his goal, death came for him in a quiet way,” said Macron.

“The poet makes the hard work of living easier. In France, poets never die,” he added.

Aznavour died on Sunday night at 94 at his home in Alpilles, southeastern France.

Dubbed France’s Frank Sinatra, he was born in 1924 in Paris to Armenian immigrants. He started performing at the age of nine.

Over seven decades, Aznavour recorded more than 1,400 songs interpreted in eight languages with the best-selling ones included the English-language “She”, “For me, formidable” and “La Mamma”.

For himself and others, he wrote or co-wrote more than 1,000 songs and sold more than 180 million records.

“His songs were never just a summer hit, they were a soothing balm. He was a narrator of his times who took upon himself the pains of the day and bore it for us,” the French president said.

“He sang as if his life depended on it. He knew the tragedy of history and he was also familiar with hope. He gave a voice to those who have been silenced,” he added.

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also paid tribute to Aznavour who “drew a smile on millions of faces…had made the eyes of hundreds of millions people shine”.

“Charles Aznavour is the man who pitched the flag of Armenia on the roof of the world who gave an impetus to the Armenian pride,” he added.

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