Charles Aznavour (; French: [ʃaʁl aznavuʁ]; born Shahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian, Armenian: Շահնուր Վաղինակ Ազնավուրյան; 22 May 1924 – 1 October 2018) was a French-Armenian singer, lyricist, and diplomat. Aznavour was known for his distinctive tenor voice: clear and ringing in its upper reaches, with gravelly and profound low notes. In a composer/singer/songwriter career spanning over 70 years, he recorded more than 1,200 songs interpreted in nine languages. He wrote or co-wrote more than 1,000 songs for himself and others.
Aznavour was one of France's most popular and enduring singers. He sold 180 million records during his lifetime and was dubbed France's Frank Sinatra, while music critic Stephen Holden described Aznavour as a "French pop deity". He was also arguably the most famous Armenian of his time. In 1998, Aznavour was named Entertainer of the Century by CNN and users of Time Online from around the globe. He was recognized as the century's outstanding performer, with nearly 18% of the total vote, edging out Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. Jean Cocteau said: "Before Aznavour, despair was unpopular".Aznavour sang for presidents, popes and royalty, as well as at humanitarian events. In response to the 1988 Armenian earthquake, he founded the charitable organization Aznavour for Armenia along with his long-time friend impresario Levon Sayan. In 2009, he was appointed ambassador of Armenia to Switzerland, as well as Armenia's permanent delegate to the United Nations at Geneva. He started his most recent tour in 2014.
On 24 August 2017, Aznavour was awarded the 2,618th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Later that year he and his sister were awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Award for sheltering Jews during World War II. His last concert took place in NHK Hall in Osaka on 19 September 2018.
He is also known as Shahnour Vaghenag Aznavourian.
On 1 October 2018, Aznavour was found dead in a bathtub at his home at Mouriès at the age of 94. At the time of his death his tax residence was in Saint-Sulpice, Vaud, Switzerland. An autopsy report concluded that Aznavour died of cardiorespiratory arrest complicated by an acute pulmonary edema.
On 5 October, Aznavour was honoured with a state funeral at Les Invalides military complex in Paris, with president Emmanuel Macron lauding him as one of the most important “faces of France”. He praised Aznavour’s lyrics, which he said appealed to "our secret fragility" and said the singer’s words were "for millions of people a balm, a remedy, a comfort ... For so many decades, he has made our life sweeter, our tears less bitter." His coffin was lifted away at the end to the sound of his hit song "Emmenez-Moi" (Take Me Along).
Dignitaries attending the funeral also included French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, as well as Armenian President Armen Sarkissian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and their wives.