The legendary French singer, Charles Aznavour, who said last week he would be happy to breathe his last on stage – has died, his spokeswoman told AFP Monday.
The 94-year-old songwriter, who had just returned from a concert tour of Japan, passed away at his home in Alpilles in southeastern France.
He had to cancel several shows last year after breaking his arm in a fall.
But as late as Friday the diminutive singer told French television that though his Swedish-born wife wanted him to stop, he would happily die on stage.
“I always go forward,” said the performer who tried to write a song every day. “There is no backwards step with me.
“All I can do is live, and I live on stage. I am happy up there, and you can see that,” he added.
The singer had planned to go back on tour later this month, starting with a concert in Brussels on October 26 and his hometown Paris a fortnight later.
French President Emmanuel Macron led the tributes, praising his “unique brilliance”.
“Proudly French, viscerally attached to his Armenian roots, known all over the world, Charles Aznavour accompanied three generations through their joys and pains,” he said.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called him “a national hero” while Aznavour’s family said “his legacy will live forever” in a Facebook message in French, English and Armenian.