Mumbai: French singer Charles Aznavour will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd edition of MIDEM in Cannes from 18 to 21 January 2009.
Aznavour will be in the spotlight at the end of 2008 with the international release of his new album Duos on the EMI label. Duos is a collection of some of his songs recorded as duets with some of the stars of the French and international stage, including Paul Anka, Céline Dion, Placido Domingo, Bryan Ferry, Josh Groban, Herbert Grönemeyer, Johnny Hallyday, Julio Iglesias, Elton John, Carole King, Liza Minnelli, Nana Mouskouri, Laura Pausini and Sting. In addition, a musical comedy based on his songs entitled Je m’Voyais Déjà (I Could Already See Myself), written by Laurent Ruquier and under the artistic direction of his daughter, Katia Aznavour, will open on 2 Oct at the Theatre du Gymnase, Paris.
"Aznavour is without doubt the most famous French singer throughout the world, and he is a living legend in the pantheon of chanson française. His songs have become standards covered by some of the greatest artists of successive generations, and the films in which he has starred are classics. It is a pleasure for MIDEM to be able to honor this personality," said Reed MIDEM chief executive officer Paul Zilk.
Aznavour has written more than 800 songs, many of which have been interpreted by the artists (Fred Astaire, Shirley Bassey, Ray Charles, Elvis Costello, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Junior, Juliette Gréco, Liza Minnelli, Edith Piaf and Nina Simone to name but a few). He has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, and his career as an actor, which he began in the theatre at the age of nine, includes more than 60 films, including The Tin Drum, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Festival de Cannes in 1979.
In 1988, following the terrible earthquake in Armenia, Aznavour started to use his international fame to help the land of his forebears by founding the humanitarian foundation Aznavour pour l’Arménie (Aznavour for Armenia) with Lévon Sayan.
In 1993, the President of Armenia appointed him Ambassador-at-Large and Ambassador to Unesco.
At 84, the lyricist and/or composer of such classics as La Bohème, Je m’Voyais Déjà, Hier encore, La Mamma continues to write new songs and to appear on international stages. Aznavour is currently completing an international farewell tour of Latin America, which included performances over the past few months in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and elsewhere.
In 1998, Aznavour was voted Entertainer of the Century – ahead of Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan – in an online poll conducted by CNN and Time Magazine USA.
Aznavour is the dazzling symbol of universal artistic talent coupled with unbounded energy.