Born on December 15, 1915 in Belleville (Paris), Edith Giovanna Gassion is the daughter of Anita, an Italian-Kabyl singer known as Line Marsa and of Louis, a circus’ artist.
After some happy years in Bernay (Normandy) in her grand-mother’s house, Edith Piaf followed her father who put pressure on her to sing. At 15 years old, she left him to sing in the streets of Belleville and Pigalle.
In 1933, she gave birth a daughter, Marcelle, who passed away two years after. She met Louis Leplée in 1935 who named her « La Môme Piaf » and produced her in a Champs-Élysées’ cabaret called Le Gerny’s.
Her first album « Les mômes de la cloche » is recorded in 1936. She started to act in a few movies and wrote her most famous song « La vie en rose » (1947) for her lover, Marcel Cerdan, a boxer who died in an accident on October 27, 1949. In spite of the fact that she fell into drugs and depression, she became an international star.
After a successful first trip in United States where she sang in a Manhattan’s club called Le Select, she came back in 1956 in triumph when she performed at New York’s Carnégie Hall. Edith piaf promoted many new young talented artists such as, Yves Montand, Les compagnons de la chanson, Eddie Constantine, Georges Moustaki or Gilles Bécaud.
Most of her songs are classics: « Hymne à l’amour » (1950), « Padam, Padam » (1951), « Sous le ciel de Paris » (1954), « L’homme à la moto » (1956), « La foule » (1957), « Mon manège à moi » (1958), « Milord » (1959), « Non, je ne regrette rien » (1960). Her compositions were interpreted by Louis Amstrong, Joséphine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, Liza Minelli and Serge Gainsbourg.
Edith Piaf passed away meurt on October 11, 1963 - the same day of her friend Jean Cocteau - and was buried in the Parisian cemetary of Père Lachaise.