Edith Giovanna Gassion better known as Edith Piaf became world famous after the end of World War II. Her popular melancholy singing style reflected her own tragic life.
The daughter of a street acrobat and a café singer, Edith was raised by her grandmother a brothel madam. She joined her father as a performer at 14. At 16 she fell in love and had her daughter. The child primarily lived with her father and succumbed to meningitis at the age of two.
She was discovered as a singer in 1935 and sang for troops throughout the war. She was known to associate with some rough characters, so when her promoter was murdered she was among the suspects.
During this period she was dubbed the ‘Little Sparrow’, in French, Piaf. With her new name, she was able to leave her checkered past behind. Edith began writing the lyrics to many of her songs.
Edith Piaf fell madly in love with boxer Marcel Cerdan, a married man. Their love affair was a scandal until he died in a plane crash in 1949 on his way to be with her. A car crash in 1951 left her addicted to morphine. After rehabilitation she met and married aJacque Pills. They divorced in 1956. She married Theo Sarapo who was her signer partner and twenty years her junior in 1962, another scandal.
Her voice was her gift to the world. Listen to: La vie en rose http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0feNVUwQA8U