Aznavour called off NY shows in dispute with producers

A file picture taken on September 7, 2011 in Paris shows French crooner Charles Aznavour performing on stage at the Olympia concert hall in Paris. (AFP PHOTO / PIERRE VERDY)

PARIS: Legendary French singer Charles Aznavour, who cancelled three New York shows for this week, said he was in a dispute with his producer -- and not ill -- in an interview Monday.

"We dealt with a producer... who didn't respect the clauses of the contract," the 87-year-old said on radio station RTL, dispelling rumors that he had cancelled because of health complaints.

"None of the clauses were respected, and there is no reason for us to take the stage with him owing us so much money already," Aznavour added.

The singer, dubbed "France's Frank Sinatra" in the US press, performed a scheduled show in Los Angeles on Sunday, putting an end to questions over his health that surfaced after the cancellation.

Concert organizers Live Nation announced Saturday that Aznavour was calling off three shows slated for April 26, 27 and 28 in New York but they stopped short of revealing the cause.

This spurred debate over Aznavour's health, as he had recently complained of fatigue and also re-scheduled a concert planned for Quebec earlier this month due to severe throat pain.

But despite the rumors, the singer was in top form and in full control of his voice Sunday when he sang for a wildly applauding crowd of 6,000 at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles.

Aznavour said he had once been swindled in South America and did not want to take the risk again.

"This time I don't want it to cost me a fortune, which is normal, and I don't want to give my work and my time and on top of it all give my money because I'm forced to pay for it all," he said.

Aznavour has penned nearly 1,000 songs over his career. He recently completed a musical and still claims to be working "a lot."





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