NEW YORK — Edith Piaf would have turned 100 this month and never has she been more vital.

The cabaret singer who once sang on the streets for spare change was celebrated and channeled by the likes of Madonna and Celine Dion in the days after the worst attack on French soil in more than a half-century.

“She knew what is trauma. She knew what is hurting. She cried in her life,” said Christine Laume, her sister-in-law. “I’m sure if she was alive she would be so sorry for what happened to France.”

Piaf, famous for her hit “La Vie En Rose,” stood only 4 feet 8 inches, yet her voice was strong and distinctive, a trembling alto wail that became the voice of the Paris working class. She was nicknamed Little Sparrow.

Record label Parlophone is celebrating her Dec. 19 birthday with “Intgrale 2015,” a massive box set of 350 tracks, including rare recording sessions, rehearsals, a 1962 interview and seven live performances. It clocks in at more than 20 hours on 20 CDs, re-mastered from the original 78-rpm vinyl records and tapes.

“Her voice sets her apart from all other singers. Something happens when she sings. You stop dead, you listen and you are immediately moved by her powerful and aching tone,” said Matthieu Moulin, who supervised the box set. “Contrary to others, you don’t hear Edith Piaf. You listen to her.”

Piaf, whose other best-known songs include “Milord,” ”Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” ”Padam, Padam” and “La Foule,” was 47 when she died Oct. 10, 1963, from exhaustion and liver disease. Marlene Dietrich called her voice “the soul of Paris.”

– From news service reports