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Ahmet Kaya

Artist Pages

...As an artist of Kurdish descent performing in Turkey, Ahmet Kaya’s folk material wrestled with issues of peace and social justice. Born in 1957 in Turkey, Kaya was the last of five children and became interested in music at age six. Prior...

Umm Kulthūm

Artist Pages

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...A national icon of Egypt, Umm Kulthum had a singing career that made her one of the most important stars in the Arabic-speaking world. Born in Egypt in 1898, Kulthum was taught to sing and recite the Koran by her father, an imam. By the age...

Sezen Aksu

Artist Pages

...Considered the “Queen of Turkish Pop,” the career and music of Sezen Aksu has laid an aesthetic foundation for modern Turkish popular music. Born in the province of Denizli in 1954, Aksu was discouraged by her family from pursuing music...
...Considered by many to be the father of Egyptian popular music, Sayed Darwish’s contribution to the country’s musical culture is virtually unmatched. He was born in Alexandria in 1892 and his family sent him to a religious school, after...
...As an Israeli singer and songwriter whose career spanned over fifty years, Arik Einstein’s music was interconnected with a series of major political and social events in the region. Born in 1913 in Tel Aviv, then within the British Mandate...

Delkash

Artist Pages

...The Iranian singer and actress known as Delkash played an important role in spreading and modernizing traditional Persian music. Born Esmat Bagherpour in the city of Babol in 1925, Delkash was one of ten children. As a teenager, she...
...As an Egyptian singing sensation, ‘Abd al-Halīm Ḥāfiẓ exerted control over multiple facets of the country’s entertainment industry. Ḥāfiẓ was born in 1929; his mother died during childbirth and his father died when he was five, so then he...
...Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab was a prolific Egyptian composer, musician, and singer. He is considered the “Beethoven of the Arab world.” He wrote more than 1,500 songs and composed the anthems of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and the United Arab...
...The prolific singer and oud player Farīd al-Aṭrash provided a unique deep voice for the film music of his adopted homeland, Egypt. He was born in southern Syria in 1917. The al-Aṭrash clan had fought against the French colonial force and,...
...Wadih El Safi was famous throughout the Arab world as a Lebanese singer and composer. El Safi modernized Arabic folk music by mixing rural traditional songs with modern urban sounds. During his career, El Safi built a reputation as the face...