Charles Aznavour to play Royal Albert Hall in November 2015
At 91, France's most legendary chanteur is the oldest person to headline the venue
Charles Aznavour, one of France's most eminent singer-songwriters, is still touring, and it's been announced today that on Tue 3 Nov he'll be playing the Royal Albert Hall. Aznavour will be performing a selection of his greatest hits, and with his back catalogue of a staggering 294 albums it's not like he doesn't have a choice of them. You may know him from his song 'She', which was covered by Elvis Costello on the Notting Hill soundtrack.
The singer's longevity is remarkable; he was first performing at the age of nine, and was given his first break by none other than Edith Piaf. He's also a fine actor, turning in a lovely, bittersweet performance as Charlie, the misfortunate title character of Truffaut's gleeful 1960 homage to film noir, Shoot the Piano Player. Born Shahnour Varinag Aznavourian in Armenia in 1924, he moved to France in the 40s but he's a hero in his mother country; in the wake of the devastating Armenian earthquake of 1988 he set up a charity, Aznavour for Armenia, and besides being the Armenian ambassador to Switzerland, Aznavour is Armenia's permanent delegate to the UN in Geneva. Staunchly anti-racist, he ralled support for Jacques Chirac against Jean-Marie Le Pen in the 2002 French elections, and his 1976 song 'Ils sont tombés' ('They fell') is about the Armenian Genocide.
Musically, he's been sampled by Dr Dre (on 'What's the Difference'), namechecked by the Psychedelic Furs (in 'Sister Europe') and he collaborated with Youssou N'Dour and others on a charity song to benefit the survivors of another earthquake, the 2010 one in Haiti; Dylan is a fan. Aznavour may need a teleprompter in concert these days, but the 5' 3" singer is still a giant of popular culture.
Charles Aznavour plays the Royal Albert Hall on Tue 3 Nov. Tickets are on sale from Fri 3 Jul.