“Persian Singers”: The (Popular Singers) You Need to Know
Hayedeh – is one of the most popular Iranian singers of 20th century. Farhad Mehrad – was the first Iranian musician to record original (western style) guitar based ballads. Andy, Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi recorded a version of the Leiber and Stoller standard Stand by Me…
Googoosh overall impact and contributions to Iranian pop made her the most iconic female pop singer in the Persian speaking world.
“Faegheh Atashin” known as Googoosh – is an Iranian singer and actress. She was born on May 5, 1950 in Tehran, Iran. Googoosh started singing and acting at a young age, performing with her father who was an entertainer. She starred in her first movie at age seven. Throughout her journey she was discovered by Iranian composers and very shortly after that, due to her unique voice and style, she established herself as a pop culture icon in the Iranian music industry.
Her overall impact and contributions to Iranian pop made her the most iconic female pop singer in the Persian speaking world.
Between 1970 and 1979 Googoosh was Iran’s top singer, a figure who dominated Iran’s pop scene. In the 1970s Googoosh was at the height of her film and music career and was widely emulated by Iranian women; in addition to listening to her music, they copied her style and short haircut (known as the “Googooshy”).
She has recorded songs in multiple languages such as Persian, Azerbaijani, Turkish, English, Spanish, Italian and French. In 1979 after Islamic revolution, a number of cultural restrictions were introduced; women were no longer allowed to sing in public, and pop music was banned. In 2000 Googoosh finally was granted a passport and allowed to leave the country for the first time since the revolution. The same year she started her first world tour.
Dariush Eghbali is an Iranian singer and actor was born in Tehran, on February 4, 1951. He has sung over 208 songs. His first TV appearance was when he was 20 years old and caught the public attention.
Dariush is famous for his unique voice and sad songs. He experienced drug abuse in past but fortunately recovered. After his recovery, Dariush with the help of two doctors founded the Ayeneh Foundation. Ayeneh Foundation is a non-profit Recovery Center which promotes drug-free lifestyle and helps those struggling with it.
Dariush is also a social activist who has been promoting education, awareness and prevention with regards to social maladies. He is a member of Amnesty International as well.
Ma’soumeh Dadehbala (known by her stage name Hayedeh) was an Iranian singer of Persian classical, Folk, and pop music. She was born on 10th of April in 1942 in Tehran.
Hayedeh learned to sing accompanied by Tajvidi, and for some time she worked with Farhang Sharif, Ahmad Ebadi, and Fereydoun Nasseri, in the field of Persian vocal music and solfége. Beginning in the 1970s Hayedeh started singing pop music in addition to classical Persian music. She had contralto vocal range.
Prof. Erik Nakhjavani writes about Hayedeh’s vocal style in Encyclopedia Iranica:
“Hayedeh sang with technical authority and passionate energy. Her laryngeal control made it possible for her to produce a series of graceful vibrato and glissando vocalizations required by the Avaz. She could smoothly pass from the upper reaches of her alto voice to the lower, fuller, and darker range of the contralto.”
Hayeheh is one of the most popular Iranian singers of 20th century.
Before Islamic revolution of Iran, Hayede immigrated to the United Kingdom then to the United States. During Persian New Year in 1986, Hayedeh participated in a concert at the Royal Albert Hall and was accompanied by the large orchestra. This was one of the first major Persian concerts organized abroad during the post-revolutionary years.
On January 19th in 1990, Hayedeh died at the age of 47, from a heart attack, a few hours after a concert at the Casablanca Club in San Francisco, California. She married 3 times and left three children: Kamran, Keyvan and Noushin.
Ebrahim Hamedi or simply Ebi is a very famous Iranian singer. He was born on 19th of June in 1949 in Tehran. Being one of the most popular and enduring singers of Iran, he’s usually noted for his unique voice and is considered by many to be the best Iranian Pop singer. Ebi left Iran in 1977 two years before the Iranian Islamic Revolution.
His voice and his choice of songs have won him awards all around the world, such as “Master of Voice” in 1993 with the song “Persian Gulf” in Australia.
He has three daughters, Khatoon, Saye and Asal that were named after his song with the same title. He also has one son, Farshid. His overall impact and contributions to Iranian pop music made him one of the two iconic male pop singers in the Persian speaking world next to Dariush.
Ebi’s success in the past has sold out international arenas such as: Universal Amphitheatre, Shrine Auditorium, Greek Theatre, Sydney Opera House, Air Canada Centre and many more.
Vigen or Viguen was an Iranian singer and musician who possessed a very tender (exquisite, silky) and pleasant voice, and during his long artistic career of more than half a century, he performed some 600 songs, many of which became lasting contemporary pieces of Persian music.
His joyous, moving songs became so popular in Iran that Vigen was nicknamed ‘The sultan of Iranian pop music’.
Shadmehr Aghili is an Iranian pop singer, composer, music arranger, producer and song-writer. He was born on 27th of January in 1973 in Tehran.
He plays multiple musical instruments such as piano, guitar, violin, santure, mandolin, trumpet, harmonica, keyboard, banjo, and koto. He learned to play the piano and the violin just before he was 12 years old. Aghili composed a great deal of music for other singers.
In 1997 his voice was heard in Mabood, his first vocal music, and afterward he released his first solo album Mosafer (“The Traveler“).
In 1999 he released his second album, Dehati (“The villager“), with rock and roll, 6’n’8 and popular rhythms.
Shahdmehr immigrated to Canada in 2002 after not being allowed to release his next album and being banned from performing and appearing on national Television. In 2012, in collaboration with singer Ebi, he released the anti-war Royay e Ma (Globally released A Dream) in support of World Vision USA and World Vision Canada. His work influenced many young musicians.
Shadmehr is also named “The King of Persian Pop”.
Farhad Mehrad known as Farhad was an Iranian pop, rock, and folk singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. He was born on January 20 in 1944 in Tehran.
Farhad is a legendary Iranian Rock/Folk musician.
He was the first Iranian musician to record original (western style) guitar based ballads. He spent many years as a political prisoner during the seventies; due to the social-justice themes in the lyrics of his songs. After the revolution, he was forbidden from recording any kind of music for ten years.
In September 2000, after two years of treatment in Iran and France, Farhad’s illness became serious. On August 31, 2002 he died of a malignant form of hepatitis C in Paris.
Siavash Ghomayshi is an Iranian singer, composer and songwriter.
He was born in 1945 in Ahvaz, Iran. His passion for music led him to leave Iran in the age of 11 and begin his musical education at the Royal Society of Arts in London, where he majored in jazz. Siavash studied music in London where he received his Master’s degree from Royal Society of Arts. He worked with some U.K. bands such as Rebels and Insects as a pianist and singer. When he returned to Iran at the age of 25, he started his career mainly as a composer. In 1972 he released his first album, “Farangis”, in Iran.
Ghomayshi’s music is considered as Persian-language pop/rock, in contrast to the vocal styling most often associated with adult contemporary singers.
Nasrollah Moein Najafabadi known as Moein is an Iranian singer famous for his love songs. He was born on 19th of January in 1952 in Najafabad city of Isfahan Province in Iran. In 1982, after writing the song “Yeki Ra Doost Midaram” for Hayedeh, he left Iran. Around this period his songs drew a lot of attention.
Moein continued to produce hit after hit such as Kabeh, Havas, Esfehan, Miparastam and Paricheh. Combining traditional and pop music, Moein has pioneered his own genre of Iranian music.
He is referred to as “Javedan Sedaye Eshgh,” which translates to “The Eternal Voice of Love.”
He has two daughters, Parichehr and Setareh. He currently resides in Santa Rosa, California.
Andradanik “Andy” Madadian is an Armenian-Iranian singer-songwriter and actor. He was born on April 2, 1958. In the early ’80s Andy was discovered by popular TV personality and promoter Alireza Amirghassemi.
He was paired with vocalist Kouros, with whom he formed a popular, successful duo. Andy & Kouros recorded four albums between 1985 and 1992.
Andy subsequently became one of the most famous Persian pop singers to date.
On June 24, 2009, Andy, Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi recorded a version of the Leiber and Stoller standard Stand by Me, described by producer Don Was as a “Worldwide solidarity with the people of Iran“.
Leila Forouhar is an Iranian pop and classical singer and actor.
She was born on April 16th of 1961 in Isfahan, Iran. Leila is the daughter of the late Iranian actor Jahangir Forouhar, who had already established a solid background in the Iranian entertainment industry by the early 1970s.
In 1964, Leila started acting in movies like as Wild Rooster, and Morad and Laleh. Leila started to sing when she was 14 years old. In 1974, Leila began a new direction to her career when she announced her break into the music industry. After a few voice tests, Leila was immediately given an opportunity to record an album.
She left Iran after the Iranian Islamic Revolution. She was the first Persian singer who has performed concerts in Dubai, Tajikistan, and Japan for the first time. Leila is very popular among Middle East countries like Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Armenia and also in the United States.
One of her best sold album was “Planet of Harmony” that consisted of famous songs in different languages like English, Italian, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Afghani, Armenian, Turkish, and Kurdish.
Hassan Sattar known simply as Sattar is an Iranian singer with specialization in both Persian pop and classical music. He was born in 1949 in Tehran.
His fame started at the age of 22 when he released a song called “Khaneh Be Doush“. Young, talented, and extremely handsome, he soon became an Icon all over the Middle East.
Sattar first started his work as a traditional Iranian music singer in early ’70s, but his music slowly turned to Middle Eastern pop in late ’70s.
His voice can’t be easily classified in common classical vocal ranges since traditional Iranian music has its own criteria for categorizing singers; but in some sense, he can be considered as a tenor.
In 1978, Sattar migrated to the United States and continued his singing career in Los Angeles, California. Sattar is an award winning vocalist, who won two Golden Lioness Awards from The world Academy of Arts, Literature and Media – WAALM in 2005. He also received a Doctorate Honoris Causa in Music from IFSI Institute in London in 2004.
Mohammad Reza Shajarian
Mohammad Reza Shajarian is an internationally and critically acclaimed Iranian traditional singer, composer and Master of Persian music.
Shajarian is considered as one of the most celebrated world music artists. His singing is widely believed to be technically flawless, powerful, and strongly emotional.
In Persian classical Dastgah music, singing is the most difficult art to master and Shajarian is the embodiment of the perfect singer and a major source of inspiration.
In 1999 UNESCO presented him with the prestigious Picasso Award, one of Europe’s highest honors.
Shahram Nazeri is one of Iran’s most celebrated singers and a master of the Persian classical and Sufi repertoires.
Nazeri was the first vocalist to set Rumi’s poetry to Persian music thirty-five years ago. He established a tradition of Sufi music within both Persian classical music and Kurdish music, and his music was instrumental in introducing Western musical audiences to both Sufism and to the poetry of Rumi.
The New York Times has dubbed him the “Persian Nightingale” and the Christian Science Monitor has called him “Iran’s Pavarotti”.