Édith Piaf


December 19, 1915 – October 11, 1963

“Every damn fool thing you do in this life, you pay for.” – Édith Piaf

Édith Giovanna Gassion was raised in a brothel in Normandy, France. Things got better from there…slowly.  She joined her father as a street peformer at the age of 14 and began singing for money on the outskirts of Paris. She fell in love, continued to sing on the streets and had a daughter. She was a terrible mother. Her daughter died at the age of 2 in the hotel where they were living.  It gets better, it really does. At the age of 19, Édith was discovered by a Paris nightclub owner and began singing “professionally” in said nightclub.  The owner, of course, was promptly murdered, but not before Édith was able to record a couple of songs and begin making decisions for herself. Under new management, she began performing as Édith Piaf (piaf means “sparrow” in case you were wondering) and eventually went on to become one of France’s greatest performers. She was romantically involved with actor Yves Montand, boxer Marcel Cerdan (who died in a plane crash, naturally) and just about everybody else that she ever met. Her life was not a joyride, but she made the best of it. That is, until the liver cancer caught up with her. Her hits included “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” “Hymne à l’amour” and, what would become an unofficial Parisian anthem, “La Vie en Rose.” The latter of which is also the name of a really great movie about her life.  Check it out.


Père Lachaise Cemetery – Paris, FRANCE

Specific Location

Division 97; The easternmost section in the cemetery, Édith’s grave is just on the east side of Ave. Transversale No.3 roughly halfway between Ave. Patchold and Ave. Circulaire.


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