The Guardian reports:
The French singer Charles Aznavour – often hailed as his country’s Frank Sinatra – has died at the age of 94. Aznavour, who was born Shahnour Varinag Aznavourian in Paris to Armenian parents, sold more than 100 million records in 80 countries and had about 1,400 songs to his name, including 1,300 he wrote himself. He was sometimes described as the French Sinatra because of his stirring, melancholic style.
He is one of the most celebrated exponents of the French “chanson” form – easy-listening songs with vivid lyrics, rich in storytelling, emotion and humour. One early song, 1955’s Après l’Amour, was banned on French radio for its depiction of a couple basking in post-coital happiness. 1972’s What Makes a Man A Man, meanwhile, is sung in the persona of a gay man who faces down homophobia to declare: “Nobody has the right to be / The judge of what is right for me.”
What Makes A Man A Man has long been a drag staple. The song is often performed to a dramatic discarding of male garments and the donning of a dress, wig, and makeup. As you’ll see in the clips below, sometimes the performer will first appear in full drag and then do the opposite. My favorite take on the song has always been by former Soft Cell vocalist Marc Almond.
Profondément français, attaché viscéralement à ses racines arméniennes, reconnu dans le monde entier, Charles Aznavour aura accompagné les joies et les peines de trois générations. Ses chefs-d’œuvre, son timbre, son rayonnement unique lui survivront longtemps.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) October 1, 2018