Aznavour back on stage in 2011 for possibly last concert

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Charles Aznavour, 86-year-old star of French song, next year plans to return to the Paris stage that launched his career 55 years ago, hinting, but not for the first time, it may be his last goodbye.

"I'm coming back to the Olympia theatre. We'll close the circle at the Olympia because I'll be 87, almost 88. At some point I'll have to stop," he said on Europe 1 radio Monday.

After announcing his retirement in 1999, then again in 2000, and crooning through a farewell foreign tour in 2006, Aznavour went on tour again in 2007.

Aznavour, who was born to Armenian parents and was last year appointed ambassador to Switzerland for Armenia, told the radio that this time he planned to interpret nine new songs among 23 he recently penned.

It will be his first concert in France since 2007 and his first in three decades at the Olympia.

Asked whether he would announce his retirement during the Olympia concerts, he merely said "perhaps the star will say an 'au revoir'".

He also plans a new book next year in which "I'll talk about how, like in everything, age has its springs, its autumns, its winters and summers."

In an interview with AFP in 2007, Aznavour, who's sold more than a million records and composed close to 1,000 songs, said: "It's true the tours are getting shorter ... There'll come a day when I forget the words and stumble on stage -- then I'll stop."

© 2010 AFP

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