The Story of Edith Piaf

By Deborah Straw

Edith Piaf has always had a cult following. A voice like hers comes along perhaps once in a century. Her sad and valiant life story steals hearts.

She was born Edith Giovanna Gassion outside 72 rue de Belleville in 1915. Abandoned by her mother, a street singer, the girl was first taken care of by her aunt and her Moroccan paternal grandmother. By the age of seven, she was touring with her father, a circus acrobat, throughout Western Europe. She received little formal education.

By the age of eight, Gassion sang with her father's act, and by nine, she sang (at first, ...

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