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Charles Aznavour, Troubadour of modern times Heart, soul and talent in inheritance

"When you want to be a real singer and a man of the stage, you always have to combine your head and your heart" (Charles Aznavour)

Tribut to AZNAVOUR

Dôme of Marseille, on 21 may 2022

On 21 May 2022 at the Dôme in Marseille, voices vibrating with emotion, magnified with love and joy will pay tribute to the man who honoured French song, who consecrated it worldwide, who greeted the public standing up to the end. The concert will be fully translated into sign language and broadcast on a giant screen.

France is beautiful, Marseille is a splendid city. Why not combine holidays and culture? Especially when it is an exceptional event, in an exceptional place, with 40 artists, 10 musicians, 500 choristers, artists from all over the world, and in front of 6,000 people seated to applaud them.


Charles Aznavour, adored by the Americans whom he loved in return, will be present in this tribute dedicated to him on Saturday 21 May 2022 in Marseille, an international event.

Don't miss this moving tribute.

Shirley Bassey, Ray Charles, Liza Minelli… All over the world

Massimo Ranieri said of him on the occasion of the artist's death in 2018, at the age of 94: "With Charles Aznavour goes the last old man, a father, the greatest. There is no other giant like him. Charles Aznavour was a beacon for me. There is no one left to guide us. "

Remarkably, and understandably, Aznavour is a man of all eras. Many artists have recorded and performed Aznavour, including Liza Minelli, Ray Charles, Shirley Bassey, Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby. In France and all over the world young people are singing Aznavour, like the Diesis duo, who are covering Formi formidably for the big Aznavour tribute concert at the Dôme in Marseille on 21 May 2022.

Because he loved the public, the public loved him. Charles Aznavour transcended the world of song and those who inhabited it.

Always in the avant-garde, from stateless person to world citizen

Always in the vanguard, he created ‘As they say’ 50 years ago and defended, against all odds, the cause of homosexuals by talking, again and again, about love. Declared stateless on his arrival as an emigrant in France, Aznavour has enlightened the world. From a small stateless Armenian, Aznavour became French, but even more a citizen of the world. Everyone, from East to West, North to South, carries Aznavour within them, and because each of us recognises himself in one of his songs, Aznavour is eternal. A marvellous actor, Aznavour 'lived' his songs and conveyed the humanity he had within him to the audience. Because this man also felt that he had a mission to help people in need. This is what he did by creating, with his son Nicolas, the Aznavour Foundation.

Frank Ohanessian, spiritual son of Aznavour

Frank Ohanessian is an event organiser and presenter. It is thanks to him that the first major tribute to Aznavour took place in 2019 in a huge hall, the Silo in Marseille, making this concert a resounding success.

As the 2020 tribute could not take place due to COVID, it is in 2022, on 21 May at exactly 5.30pm, that the tribute concert will be held at the Dôme in Marseille in front of 6,000 people, with 10 musicians, 500 choristers and many renowned artists.

Frank Ohanessian is the spiritual son of Charles Aznavour. If their roots are the same, so is their humanity. When Frank Ohanessian talks about Charles Aznavour, his eyes light up and his smile widens, with an animated sensitivity that is reflected in the speaker.

We met him for our magazine.

Danielle Dufour Verna/Heart of Hollywood Magazine - Hello, could you introduce yourself to our readers?

Frank Ohanessian - My name is Frank Ohanessian. I am an organiser and host of events and especially a big fan of Charles Aznavour since my childhood and humble organiser of an event called 'Formidable Aznavour' at the Dôme in Marseille.

DDV - How did you come to Aznavour in particular?

"I feel like an heir to Charles Aznavour".

Frank Ohanessian - There's a phrase I like to say. When Charles Aznavour died, they asked me if I felt like a Charles Aznavour orphan, and I said: "Not at all, I feel like a Charles Aznavour heir". I came to him through many things, first through music, through my parents, through his songs and his literary work, through his film work, through the man of the theatre that he was, the artist and above all the model. I came to him because he is someone you want to be, in talent, in pugnacity. He's someone who was told 'you'll never be anything' and he became that.

DDV - If you didn't know him. What would you tell me about him, how would you introduce him to me?

"A role model for all young people"

Frank Ohanessian - That's a great question. Charles Aznavour, first of all, is a role model. He is a complete artist. He is someone who, starting from nothing, allows all young people, whoever they are, to have hope. I repeat, when he was very young, they told him that he would never be successful, that he was not handsome, that he was small, that he had an Armenian nose, that he had a nasal voice, etc., and he became the artist who sold the most albums in the world, the most famous French-speaking artist in the world, and who sang with the greatest artists in the world, from Céline Dion to Barbara Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Edith Piaf, etc. He has known all generations. He is someone, if we are to introduce him, who has crossed all eras, all times, all generations and all social classes. He is an artist with a capital A that everyone should try to get to know and discover. When we have something wrong with us, we will always find an Aznavour song that will get us back on track, on track, and get us going again.

DDV - You anticipated my next question. What can you bring to the youth of today?

" You can rap, you can sing his lyrics. You can read them like a poem. You can play them like theatre. You can sing them because they are melodious. "

Frank Ohanessian - First of all, to talk about current events, a lot of rappers cover Charles Aznavour. I think of Eminem, I think of French rappers, I think of Grand Corps Malade, I think of Amel Bent etc. In fact, he brought what he himself had told me personally: '-When you want to be a real singer and a stage man, you always have to combine your head and your heart. " He was always a trailblazer. You can rap, you can sing his lyrics. You can read them like a poem. You can play them like theatre. You can sing them because they're melodious. He was also a forerunner in terms of the themes he addressed, when it comes to homosexuality, when it comes to the song *Mourir d'aimer'... Many people know this song but few know its history. He was a forerunner and defender of the school through his songs.

DDV - Can we say that Charles Aznavour had a well-defined style in his songs, and what was it?

"His style was to tell the story of our lives".

Frank Ohanessian - I'm going to say something that is a bit original, I would say that Charles Aznavour was a modern troubadour. Whatever eras he sang in, because he went through several, he is said to be the greatest singer of the 20th century, but he was there in the 21st as well. When he is gone, he will still be there. His work will live on and that is essential. His style was to tell the story of our lives and to tell the story of each of us. I don't know anyone who hasn't experienced a powerful story through a Charles Aznavour song. It's really in the heart, in people's lives. It has its own style, it's the Aznavour style.

DDV - Do you think it's because of the humanism he had in him that he was able to touch so much?

"Armenian emigrants in France but stateless ! "

Frank Ohanessian - Yes, first of all, it's the story of his life, of his parents. They fled a genocide. When they arrived in rue Monsieur le Prince in Paris, they had nothing. They were immigrants, stateless. Charles Aznavour's parents, like many Armenians who arrived at that time, were no longer Armenians, they were not French. Their documents were marked 'stateless'. They were nothing and they gave everything. This is true humanity. This is what Charles Aznavour conveyed in all his songs. He knew how to see through people. He knew how to touch people's hearts because he was full of humanity. As a child, he started singing, dancing and tap-dancing to earn some money. His parents gave him access to culture and theatre, but they had nothing. In spite of his success, in spite of his financial ease, he has always known and understood the value of everything and has always maintained a great humanity. That's why he created the Aznavour Foundation.

DDV - Are you part of the Aznavour Foundation?

Frank Ohanessian - I am a humble member representing the Aznavour Foundation in France. I think that all people who have humanity in them are part of the Aznavour Foundation. This foundation works both to keep Charles Aznavour's work alive and to allow people who don't have the opportunity to access all the arts that Charles Aznavour had access to. One of Charles Aznavour's sons, who co-founded it with his father, is the one who carries it on today. The other part is a humanitarian part, where the foundation is working, for example at the moment, to help people injured in war to get back to life and to have an activity whatever their handicap. I invite everyone who wants to be part of it to join in one way or another. Just go to to see all the achievements of the foundation. You can't help but want to volunteer for the Aznavour Foundation.

DDV - Who is behind this tribute to Charles Aznavour?

" There is a mad angel on this earth called Didier Parakian, and I would like to highlight the enormous help and support he has given the cantante Frederic Zeitoun dal 2019 per permetterci di raggiungere la seconda edizione il 21 maggio. È un uomo eccezionale. »

Frank Ohanessian - We have to give credit where credit is due. I would say there is a mad angel on this earth called Didier Parakian, entrepreneur and vice-president of Metropolis, elected representative of Marseille. He encouraged me, in 2019, to organise the first edition at the Silo in Marseille. There were two conditions to be able to do this, one was that Didier Parakian would help and accompany me in the general organisation and the second was that David Ohanessian, choir master and artistic director, would be part of this adventure. Both agreed and that is why we were able to do the first edition. It has been two months without sleeping too much, without eating too much, without seeing much other than the preparation of this tribute. But to have received the congratulations of Gérard Davoust, the producer, who was Charles Aznavour's friend and confidant, was a joy. Gérard Davoust called Nicolas Aznavour and said that we had never seen such a beautiful show for Charles. From there, something extraordinary was born, first of all the meeting with Frédéric Zeitoun, who kindly came, like the other artists, to perform the song that Charles Aznavour had set to music and that they had performed as a duet, 'Bien au contraire', a magnificent song that made the Silo cry. On this occasion, a beautiful friendship was born with Frédéric Zeitoun. I think that great humanists and beautiful people, when they discover each other and meet, never leave each other, that is what we call beautiful souls. I would like to highlight the enormous help and support he has given since 2019 to enable us to reach the second edition on 21 May. He is an exceptional man.

DDV - A great success for this 2019 edition....

" There is an incredible craze. We are even forced to turn down famous artists."

Frank Ohanessian - What's incredible is that the first time, when we said we were going to do the Silo, we didn't know at all where we were going to go, we didn't know if we were going to fill it. We turned people away. Then we said we were going to do the Dôme and people said to me: "You're crazy". We will turn people away. There's an incredible mania. We are even obliged to refuse artists who want to come and sing, because we are going to have a show of more than two hours with wonderful artists, more or less well known, but all very well known.

DDV - A lot of youth as Aznavour liked?

" We have youth, even the duo Diesis representing Italy "

Frank Ohanessian - Exactly. We have youth. We have Emma, winner of The Voice Kids, we have Manon Maley, a finalist on The Voice all Stars, Ermonia, also a finalist on The Voice Kids and who did an incredible tour, Anaïd.B, an oriental French-style voice, also on The Voice, a young singer, a wonder, who comes from Armenia, Arpi Alto, and young singers, the Diesis duo, who come from Italy. Charles Aznavour is someone who brings together Emma, 13 years old, and Nana Mouskouri, just over 13 years old, an international artist, known all over the world, with millions of records sold worldwide. I am very honoured and very moved at the same time to have Nana Mouskouri, Enrico Macias, Linda Lemay, an international artist... Djibril Cissé will do a remix DJ for young people, we will have humour. Charles Aznavour had a lot of humour. He was a very beautiful person. He never went through a meal without telling an anecdote.

DDV - Do you have an anecdote to tell us about Charles Aznavour?

"I have met Charles Aznavour twice in my life, he is simply magical. "

Frank Ohanessian - There are many. There are a lot of people who say that Charles Aznavour was a hard man etc. I was lucky enough to welcome him into my old restaurant. He was supposed to stay for an hour, but in the end we spent three hours at the table... Charles Aznavour animated the stage, he animated the table, the tables of the theatre... there wasn't a meal where he didn't tell stories to make people laugh.

DDV - If you were to give Charles Aznavour as an example to young people today, what should they keep of the artist?

"Follow the example of Charles Aznavour, believe in your dreams, it is possible".

Frank Ohanessian - Today is not easy, really, for young people. Life today is difficult and fast, with all the social networks. We are in a rather materialistic society. We believe that having is more important than being. Charles Aznavour shows that the opposite is important. I think that if there is something to To remember Charles Aznavour, for young people, is: it is possible, you just have to believe in it, you have to have the project, you have to go all the way and look where Charles Aznavour started, where he went, being a little Armenian as he was called. He went to the end of the world. Wherever you go in the world today, you know Charles Aznavour, and you know him well. I would like to say to young people, follow the example of Charles Aznavour, believe in your dreams, it is possible. You have to believe in it, you have to work for it, because he worked hard to get there, but it is possible. You have to have hope in the future, hope in your projects and you have to have plans.

DDV - One last question, Charles Aznavour is in front of you, what would you like to say to him?

Frank Ohanessian - I wouldn't waste time. I would tell him what I told him, that I love him as my father, as my grandfather, as a friend, that I love him with a big A and secondly, I would say Thank you! Thank you for bringing so much to French song, so much to the French language, and so much humanity. If Charles Aznavour were still around, I think he would tell people: "Don't hate each other, understand each other, talk to each other, love each other". That's exactly what he would say in his songs. I would just tell him I love him and thank him.

Danielle Dufour Verna

Find all the artists on the website and book your ticket to attend the show at the Dôme and support the Aznavour Foundation on our various ticketing sites:

Adam concerts

Fnac spectacles

Carrefour Spectacles



- Dôme

- 48 Avenue de Saint-Just

13004 Marseille

- Phone: 0039 4 88 92 74 35

- Email :



- Opening hours :

Opening of the Charles Aznavour exhibition at 3pm

Concert Formidable Aznavour at 5.30pm


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