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Postal Service honors Miles and Edith Piaf

Ron Scott | 6/27/2012, 6:02 p.m.

"The whole day was surreal, it's hard to describe. I'm still floating from yesterday's event," said Wilburn Jr. "My uncle's music will live forever, just like his new Forever stamp."

Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps using an undated, black-and-white photo of Piaf made by Studio Harcourt Paris and a black-and-white photo of Davis from 1970, taken by David Gahr, the same photo that was used for the cover of Davis' album "A Tribute to Jack Johnson."

"My family is very grateful and honored to have a commemorative stamp recognizing the important cultural legacy of my father, Miles Davis," stated Erin Davis. "We sincerely thank the U.S. Postal Service and all of the dedicated fans who stepped up to support this initiative. We're so touched and we really appreciate all the heartfelt work that went into making this a reality. Thank you."

The Miles Davis and Edith Piaf stamps also feature a historic first, as a QR code is printed on the back of the stamps. The code can be scanned with a smart phone, causing a landing page to open with an option to listen to Davis' music while viewing photographs and a timeline of the lives of both Davis and Piaf.

"It's about time. Picasso has a stamp, so Miles should have a stamp," said Lenny White, drummer and Miles band alumnus. "Miles changed the face of music many, many times. There should be as many accolades as for Lady Gaga. Miles is the real American idol."

During the stamp dedication ceremony, Grammy Award-winning composer Mike Stoller stated, "Piaf was the little sparrow, a small person physically whose monumental voice made her internationally famous. For people everywhere in the world, her voice was the voice of Paris."

The Davis and Piaf stamps are being issued as Forever stamps in self-adhesive sheets of 20, with 10 of each design, and are being sold at a price of 45 cents each or $9 per sheet. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First Class mail one-ounce rate. The U.S. version of the stamps went on sale Tuesday at post offices nationwide. The U.S. version and La Poste versions can be purchased in the United States online at usps.com.

A second Davis stamp dedication is scheduled for Los Angeles on June 27 at the Hollywood Bowl's Museum Terrace from 7-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The dedication will be followed by the Hancock-hosted "Miles Davis Celebration" concert at the Hollywood Bowl featuring Marcus Miller, the Miles Electric Band (featuring Wilburn on drums) and Kind of Blue: Jimmy Cobb's "So What" Band. For ticket information, please visit hollywoodbowl.com.