During his recent visit to Montréal for a series of concerts at Place des Arts, French singer Charles Aznavour was made an Officer of the National Order of Québec. His award was presented by Premier Jean Charest on April 25.
As one of La Francophonie’s greatest ambassadors, Mr. Aznavour has forged a strong friendship with Québec over the past 60 years dating back to the late 1940s, when his famous duo with Pierre Roche was an immediate hit at the Montréal cabaret Au Faisan Doré. He has gained distinction as an actor, writer, lyricist and composer dedicated to the French language and songwriting tradition. Of French and Armenian ancestry, Mr. Aznavour is a highly prolific artist, having written more than 1,000 songs, in addition to performing in a wide range of countries and selling more than 100 million copies of his recordings.
True to his spirit of loyalty and generosity, Mr. Aznavour gave a memorable performance last July in a concert on the Plains of Abraham during Québec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations.
“In 1960, Mr. Aznavour sang ‘Je m'voyais déjà en haut de l'affiche’ [‘I could see myself topping the bill’]. As exemplified by his remarkable journey, he has maintained his place at the top thanks to his tenacity, his dedication to his craft, his love of people and his openness to the world,” said Premier Charest.
During his visit, Mr. Aznavour was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Montréal in recognition of his contributions to French culture.