French singer Charles Aznavour performs as part of Spring of Culture 2013 in Manama March 15, 2013. REUTERS/ HAMAD I MOHAMMED
French singer Charles Aznavour performs as part of Spring of Culture 2013 in Manama March 15, 2013. REUTERS/ HAMAD I MOHAMMED

Marseille - French singer Charles Aznavour died in his bath of natural causes caused by heart and breathing difficulties, an autopsy has found, as tributes continued to pour in on Tuesday for the legendary crooner.

Aznavour, 94, was found dead on Monday at his home in the southeast, sparking mourning for one of France’s best-known entertainers who sold 180-million records during his eight-decade career.

He was discovered "lying in his bathroom bathtub, next to his bedroom", prosecutor Patrick Desjardins told reporters near his home in the town of Mouries. An autopsy, carried out in the southern city of Nimes, found the death "occurred in the morning of October 1, in the wake of an acute oedema caused by cardiorespiratory failure", Desjardins said.

"Foul play can be ruled out, but the circumstances surrounding the death are not precisely known." The body has been returned to his family.

Aznavour, who had just returned from a tour in Japan, had said last week he wanted to breathe his last on stage.

The Eiffel Tower was lit up in gold on Monday night in his honour, while artists such as Sting and Lenny Kravitz lauded the "eternal" influence of the "gentleman" of French singing.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo called for the capital to rename a street after him and had a giant screen set up on a bridge over the Seine river to show photographs of the artist. French newspapers splashed the singer on their front pages, with a number praising him as the "last of the giants".

Aznavour, sometimes described as a French Frank Sinatra, was born to Armenian parents who fled massacres in their homeland as the Ottoman empire collapsed.

AFP

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