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Maria Tănase (Romanian pronunciation: [maˈri.a təˈnase]; 25 September 1913 – 22 June 1963) was a singer of Romanian traditional music, folklore.

Born in Bucharest suburb of Cărămidarii de Jos, or Cărămidari, Maria Tănase attended Primary School nr. 11 from Tăbăcari. Her father, Ion Coanda Tănase, was a master gardener and a florist, also owner of a big nursery on the outskirts of Bucharest. This nursery had female workers from many different regions of Romania. These working women would leave a deep mark on little Maria. The small girl was entirely enthralled by rural traditional songs and tales the women would tell and sing her.

Within her lifetime, she had been fondly remembered by many Romanians also as their own Edith Piaf, legendary French singer who, like Maria, had also achieved worldwide fame by the way of her own extensive repertoire of French cabaret songs. If Maria was born in September 1913, Edith Piaf’s birth would have been a couple of years soon afterward, in December 1915. Sadly, however, but interestingly enough, they both passed away in the same year of 1963: Maria died in June, three months short of her 50th birthday, whereas, Edith Piaf died in October, two months away from her 48th. Throngs of people had filled the streets of Bucharest and Paris respectively, on the days of their deaths, to memorialize the two ladies who helped make the folk music of their own respective countries a worldwide phenomenon.


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