Although much of her early life remains a mystery, many biographies cite Edith Piaf’s birth under a streetlight in Ménilmontant, an impoverished district of Paris, on December 19, 1915. Piaf began singing at the age of 14, accompanying her acrobat street-performing father all over France. The nickname La Môme Piaf or “The Little Sparrow”, given to her by a nightclub owner, was inspired by her stage anxiety and small stature, standing at 4 feet 8 inches.
Edith Piaf had a whirlwind of a life (so much so that much of her music was autobiographical) – experiencing miraculous sight recovery after enduring blindness from the ages of three to seven; growing up in a brothel owned by her grandmother; rubbing elbows with mobsters; costarring in a Jean Cocteau play; and kissing Marlene Dietrich…whew.
It’s only the 15th, so you have four days to binge on all things Edith.
Joyeux anniversaire, Edith!
The Wheel of Fortune: The Autobiography of Edith Piaf, Edith Piaf – A candid look into the singer’s life, told straight from the source.
Edith Piaf Song Collection – A collection of Edith’s best loved songs for you to sing.
Love and Passion, Edith Piaf – A four-disc boxed set collection of the Little Sparrow singing her heart out.
Edith Piaf: A Passionate Life – A biography of the singer translated to film, including rare footage of her life.
La Vie en Rose – The 2007 film depecting Piaf’s life, staring Acadamy Award-winning actress Marion Cotillard.