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Summary Article: Piaf, Edith
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

French singer and songwriter, a cabaret singer in Paris, France, from the late 1930s. She is remembered for her powerful, throaty voice and for the songs ‘Je ne regrette rien/I Regret Nothing’ and ‘La Vie en rose’ (1946).

She was born in Paris (legend has it in a doorway with two policemen acting as midwives), and her childhood was plagued by poverty and ill health. She was brought up by her grandmother in a brothel in Normandy until 1922, when she began travelling with her acrobat father and singing in his shows. In 1930 she returned to Paris to sing in streets and cafes, where she was spotted and promoted by the French cabaret club owner, Louis Leplée, and by the mid-1930s was a regular in the Paris music halls. From 1947 she also performed in the USA, where she was enthusiastically received.

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