AFP - The renowned French singer of Armenian origin Charles Aznavour has been granted Armenian citizenship by presidential decree, the presidency of the ex-Soviet republic said Friday.
"Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has signed a decree granting Armenian citizenship to the prominent singer and public figure, a hero of the Armenian people, Charles Aznavour," the presidency said in a statement.
Born Shahnur Aznavourian, the 84-year-old singer is among the best-known figures of France's 400,000-strong Armenian diaspora. He was born in Paris to Armenian parents.
After the 1988 earthquake in Armenia which killed 25,000 people, Aznavour set up a foundation and organised a series of charity concerts to help quake victims.
He also serves as Armenia's permanent delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The author of over 1,000 songs, Aznavour is one of France's most popular singers and is the first French performer to have a recording that went platinum in Europe. He sold over over 100 million records worldwide.
In 1998 he was named Entertainer of the Century by CNN and Time Online.