By: Mir M.Hosseini
Iran's most famous female pop star made her first appearance in Dubai after more than 20 years. About 30,000 people, most flying in from Iran attended the concert. Googoosh had been banned from performing in her home country since the Iranian revolution in 1979. She could not leave the country either due to a travel restriction.
The news came as a surprise for many Iranian fans around the world who know most of her songs by heart. A backward interpretation of Islam bans females from singing. The Sharia laws that went into effect after the 1979 revolution put many other restrictions on music and other sorts of arts. Many artists had to flee the country together with millions of other Iranians who could not get used to the strict rules. The Iranian music which has a very rich historical background and has been the source of many genres of music, thus reached a dead end for some decades. After constant efforts by Iranian individuals, the regime gradually gave restricted permissions to some male artists to perform pop songs, however there's always the risk of not obtaining necessary permissions to be published and distributed. This incredible fact has given birth to two types of Iranian music: legal and illegal.
Born on Feb, 7, 1851 in Tehran as Faegheh Atashin, her Azeri parents called her Googoosh, an Armenian name. Her father sent her on stage when she was 3 and she soon started making enough money to support her whole family. She barely finished primary school and could not continue studying, however because of her talent she learned English well. She started performing on silver screen at the age of seven and performed as the lead actress in 31 movies, two of which were never completed. At the age of 15, she made her first album and at 16 she took off on her first world tour including US and UK. She got married on Feb, 7, 1967 on her 17th birthday.
During the revolution of 1979, Googoosh was in the US but she decided to return home despite the fact that famous artists were being prosecuted and their properties confiscated. She was interrogated several times and spent a month in prison but one of her works during the revolution, a famous song named Agha praising Ayatollah Khomeini somehow saved her life.
Googoosh married two more times and is currently continuing her performances all around the world. She lives in the US. To Iranians young and old, the diva is a living legend. Despite a 150 kilometers distance between UAE and the southern coasts of Iran, Googoosh considered Dubai concerts as a homecoming.
Live pop music was heard in Tehran for the first time since the Iranian revolution on Feb, 7, 1999 during celebrations of the Iranian revolution. An Iranian band playing electric guitars and keyboards entertained several hundred female and male spectators as part of official celebrations.