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Harvard Hasty Pudding Woman of Year 2013
Actress Marion Cotillard (R) sings 'La Vie en Rose' with Harvard junior Ethan Hardy playing the part of Edith Piaf during a skit at the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year 2013 ceremony at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 31, 2013. UPI/Matthew Healey
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Édith Piaf (French pronunciation: ; 19 December 1915 – 11 October 1963), born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer and cultural icon who became universally regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads. Among her songs are "La Vie en rose" (1946), "Non, je ne regrette rien" (1960), "Hymne à l'amour" (1949), "Milord" (1959), "La Foule" (1957), "l'Accordéoniste" (1955), and "Padam... Padam..." (1951).

Despite numerous biographies, much of Piaf's life is shrouded in mystery. She was born Édith Giovanna Gassion in Belleville, Paris, a high-immigration district. Legend has it that she was born on the pavement of Rue de Belleville 72, but her birth certificate cites the Hôpital Tenon, the hospital for the 20th arrondissement of which Belleville is part.

She was named Édith after the World War I British nurse Edith Cavell, who was executed for helping French soldiers escape from German captivity. Piaf—a Francilien colloquialism for "sparrow"—was a nickname she would receive 20 years later.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Edith Piaf."
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