The town of Avignon in the south of France is famous for its bridge, the Palais des Papes and local girl turned international star Mireille Mathieu.
Mathieu is celebrating a 50-year career in the music industry with a tour, which will make a stop in her town.
Fans travelled from far and wide to see her. Rudolph came from Germany.
“In German, we call her the nightingale of Avignon because her voice has a certain quality to it,” he said.
While Coco and Annie travelled from Montpellier:
“We came specially to see her. A 50-year career is something to be celebrated and we’ve not seen her before,” they enthused.
For some, such as Vincent, watching Mathieu perform was an experience not to be missed.
“(I’m) from New York. I live there and then I flew over just for that. It was like a bucket-list thing. I want to see that and the Grand Canyon… Some other great things. That was it,” he told euronews.
Over her 50-year career, Mathieu has sold 120 million records internationally – more than any other French female singer.
With over 1,200 fans lined up to see her, the Avignon gig was packed.
“It was really moving to sing in my hometown because it’s my jubilee year”, Mireille told us. “I couldn’t sing in the town where everything started for me.
“It all began with a talent show. The Avignon town council paid my train ticket to Paris for a TV singing contest. It’s been an emotional ride. My whole family was with me – my mum, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces – everyone.
“Friends and strangers have followed my career for a long time.”
Mathieu has released a ‘Best Of’ triple CD, which includes previously unreleased material, as well as hits. Her music is still as popular outside France.
“The album enabled me to do my first French tour in nine years. I’m one of just a few French artists to produce most of my work outside France. But I’ve remained very French. I’m proud of this and of singing in French. And I am also able to sing in the language of the country in which I’m performing – I know this has an effect on the public.”
Mathieu started her career by covering Edith Piaf classics.
So, 50 years later, would the singer change anything if she could do it all again?
“I don’t have any regrets – the lyrics of Edith Piaf's song ring true,” said Mathieu. “When we regret nothing, we can always find the positive in a situation. So, for me, I would do everything exactly the same as I have done, even though I’ve made mistakes along the way.”