Edith Piaf was born as Giovanna Gassion in Paris on December 19, 1915. Her father was Louis-Alphonse Gassion, a street acrobat from Normandy and her mother was Annetta Giovanna Maillard, a caf singer from Italy.
She was abandoned by her mother and lived with her maternal grandmother. Her father, before enlisting with the French Army during World War I, took her to his mother who ran a brothel.
When she was twelve years old, her father took her with him and travelled all over France showcasing his acrobatic street performances.