A slideshow of the City of Lights with English subtitles added by a TTRH fan.
For a famous singer and cultural icon, little of Piaf's life is documented, her legend intertwined with the known facts. She was reportedly born on the pavement of Rue de Belleville 72, in Belleville, Paris. 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 — French slang for "sparrow" — was a nickname she would receive later in life. Before enlisting with the French Army to fight in World War I, her father took Piaf to his mother, a cook in a Normandy brothel, where the prostitutes there would help to look after Piaf.
From the age of three to seven, Piaf was allegedly blind as a result of conjunctivitis. According to one of her biographies, she recovered her sight after the prostitutes pooled money to send her on a pilgrimage honoring Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, resulting in a miraculous healing.
Her first mentor - a nightclub owner - was murdered a year after discovering (and nicknaming) Piaf in 1935. By the `40s, she was one of the most popular performers in Europe. It took a bit longer for Piaf to win over U.S. audiences, but she would eventually appear on the Ed Sullivan Show eight times and make two Carnegie Hall appearances.
Piaf also helped to launch the career of Charles Aznavour (Azanour's I Drink was featured in TTRH Season 1's "Drinking" episode) in the early 1950s, taking him on tour with her in France and the United States and recording some of his songs.
Piaf's signature song La vie en rose was written in 1945 and was voted a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998.
Piaf died of liver cancer at Plascassier, on the French Riviera, on October 11, 1963, at the age of 47.
Source: Wikipedia article