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Hayedeh in 1977
Background information
Birth name Ma'soumeh Dadehbala
Born (1942-04-10)April 10, 1942
Tehran,[1] Iran
Died January 20, 1990(1990-01-20) (aged 47)
San Francisco, California
Genres Persian classical music, Persian Pop music, Persian folk music
Occupations Singer
Years active 1967–1990
Labels Ahang-e Rouz, Appolon Records, Taraneh Records, Caltex Records, Avang Records
Associated acts Mahasti

Hayedeh (Persian: Hāyede‎) born Ma'soumeh Dadehbala (Persian: Masume Dadebālā‎) (April 10, 1942 – January 20, 1990) was a Persian classical and Pop singer with a contralto vocal range. Hayedeh is considered one of the most influential and iconic 20th century Persian vocalists.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Hayedeh was born in [ tehran ].[1][3]

Hayedeh studied Avaz (Persian vocal music) with the famous Persian violinist and composer Ali Tajvidi. Hayedeh's professional career began in 1967 at the age of twenty five as a singer on a Persian traditional music Tehran Radio program called "Golhaa-yeh Rangarang" (Colorful Flowers) (Persian: گلهای رنگارنگ) directed by Davoud Pirnia.

Hayedeh performed her first hit song "Azadeh" which was composed by Tajvidi on the lyrics of Rahi Mo'ayeri. Performing this work with Golha Orchestra introduced Hayedeh's vocal talent to Persians who warmly received it.[4] The song was later released by Ahang-e Rooz Records in 1968 in Tehran.

Hayedeh and Anoushiravan Rohani at the National Iranian Radio and TV, Tehran, 1975

In the 1970s Hayedah added Persian pop music to her classical Persian repertoire. In this period Hayedeh worked with several songwriters, such as Fereydoun Khoshnoud, Jahanbakhsh Pazouki, Anoushiravan Rohani and Mohammad Heydari. "Bezan Tar", "Gol-e Sang", "Nowrouz Aamad", "Eide Tou" and "Soghati" were among her memorable works during this period.[2]

Hayedeh is the older sister of another famous Persian singer, Mahasti who had started her career also but died in 2007 from cancer.

After The Revolution and In Exile[edit]

On August 29, 1978 shortly before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Hayedeh emigrated to the United Kingdom. She stayed there for three years and moved to the USA in 1982 to continue her career and live close to her sister Mahasti.

Hayedeh lived in Los Angeles from 1982 until the end of her life. The growth of the Persian community in Southern California due to the increasing number of people leaving Iran after the revolution bolstered Hayedeh's career in the 1980s. Heyedeh released many successful albums during this time and many songs of her were bootlegged in Iran as well. Hayedeh's political and nostalgic songs such as "Rouza-ye Roshan Khodahafez" and Faryad became very popular with the Persian (Iranian) exile community. Some of her other hits were "Shabeh Eshgh" (Night of Love), "Ravi" (Story Teller), "Ye Eshareh" (One Sign), "Ghesseyeh Man" (My Story), "Zendegi" (Life) and "Narges-e Shiraz" (Narcissus of Shiraz).

Hayedeh performing in Royal Albert Hall, London

Hayedeh's songwriters in the USA were mostly Farid Zoland, Sadegh Nojouki, Mohammad Heydari and Andranik. Lyricists she worked with were Ardalan Sarfaraz, Homa Mir-Afshar, Iraj Razmjou but the lyricist who wrote most of Hayedeh's songs and hits was her best friend Leila Kasra (a.k.a. Hadieh). She was featured in two of her albums reading her songs. Kasra died in 1989 a few months prior to Hayedeh's death, after a long struggle with breast cancer.

During the 1980s, Hayedeh played sold-out venues in the United States, Canada, Europe, and other places in the world such as Royal Albert Hall in London.

Hayedeh also regularly appeared on the Los Angeles-based Persian TV channels such as Jaam-E-Jam TV, IR TV and Jonbesh TV.[1] In some of her TV programs Hayedeh criticized Iran's fundamental regime and was a supporter of the Persian monarchy of Mohammad Reza Shah.


Hayedeh documentary premiere in Amsterdam, January 2009

The first ever-made film about Hayedeh has been produced and directed by Persian pianist and journalist Pejman Akbarzadeh in 2009. The 100-minute documentary about Hayedeh was screened in Amsterdam in January 2009 for the first time.[5]

The documentary had its US premier in May 2009 at Noor Iranian Film Festival in Los Angeles and nominated as the "best documentary" at the Festival.[6] Hayedeh Legendary Persian Diva was also screened at 9th International Exile Film Festival (Sweden), 4th Iranian Film Festival (The Netherlands) and Austrian Film Archive in Vienna.[7] In September 2009 the semi-official Fars News Agency in Tehran criticized Pejman Akbarzadeh for making a film about the "corrupt monarchist singer, Hayedeh".

Hayedeh documentary has been released on 20 January 2010, the 20th anniversary of her passing. The DVD has been released by Persian Dutch Network in Amsterdam.[5] The short version of the film has been aired by Voice of America.

Personal life[edit]

Hayedeh married and divorced three times and had three children named Kamran, Keyvan and Noushin Nouri, all of whom live in the US. Her eldest grandson "Soheil", who is the first-born son of Keyvan Nouri, is currently pursuing a career as a freelance composer in Los Angeles. The public fascination with Hayedeh's personal life, as is true for all great performers, attracted a great deal of scrutiny of her private affairs. However, as is customary, most of Haydeh's so-called trivia were based on rumors.


On the afternoon of Saturday January 20, 1990, the day after her concert at the Casablanca Club in San Francisco, California, Hayedeh died from a heart attack at the age of 47. Hayedeh had complained of discomfort since the morning but her doctor in Los Angeles had assured her that it was nothing serious. Hayedeh had a history of heart problem, diabetes and hypertension. Her father was also a diabetic who died from a heart attack. Her two older brothers died of heart attacks too. She also dealt with depression after being exiled from Iran up until her death.

Hayedeh's death shocked and saddened Persians around the world. On January 24, 1990, Hayedeh was buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Her funeral was attended by thousands and most of the Persian singers and entertainers in exile.

Khosrow Motarjemi recorded a video of this three and a half hour concert, which for unknown reasons has never been officially released.[8] That night Hayedeh told the audience: "Life is like an express train...I am going to the House of God. Who knows what will happen in the future; I may not be alive tomorrow...", then she performed one of her last songs, "Man Mikham Be Khoune ye Khoda Beram" (I want to go to the House of God). The song’s lyricist, Leila Kasra (Hedieh) who was Hayedeh's best friend, died of cancer a few months before Hayedeh.

Hayedeh was recording an album shortly before her death and was due to finish recording it after she returned from her concert in San Francisco. Hayedeh was last interviewed one week before her death by Javanan Magazine. The interview was released a day after her death, the issue became a bestseller. In the interview Hayedeh said that she was tired of rumors about her and said that she was going to continue her work and expand it even more.


Hayedeh and Mehyar Bahraminasab (tombak player), Hamburg, 1988

Hayedeh's albums are ageless masterpieces[citation needed] and are still best sellers. Persians of all kinds of generations are rediscovering her music (inside and outside of Iran). Her songs are constantly played on Persian TV and radio channels. Many covers of her songs are sung by famous Persian pop singers. Houshmand Aghili performed Hayedeh’s "Sarab," Parviz Rahman Panah remixed her "Saal", Shahla Sarshar performed a tragic song called "In Memory of Hayedeh," singer Amir did a cover of Hayedeh's song "Soghati" in 2008 and Mahasti performed three songs in memory of her late sister.

In 2010 Rastin did a cover on her song "Saghi". She is considered the queen of Persian music by most Iranians. To this day she still is one of the few Persian female vocalist with a contralto voice.

According to Prof. Erik Nakhjavani in Encyclopædia Iranica: "Analogues to Delkash, before her, 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 Persian vocal music. She could smoothly pass from the upper reaches of her alto voice to the lower, fuller, and darker range of the contralto. This mixture of strong laryngeal strength and learned vocal technique gave her alto-contralto voice a rare, powerful resonance and texture in the performance of the Avaz. Furthermore an acute sense for musical timing, the rhythmic flow of vocal music, affective musical phrasing, and poetic delivery enabled her to express and interpret effectively any songs she sang."[9]

As of 2007 Hayedeh's albums are sold on iTunes.

Partial discography[edit]

  • Gol Vaajeh
  • Shabe Eshgh
  • Sogand
  • Bezan Taar
  • Ay Zendegi Salam
  • Shanehayat
  • Nashanideha
  • Kharabati
  • Ya Rab
  • Padeshaheh Khooban
  • Ruzhaye Roshan
  • Shahre Ashoub
  • Ghesseye Man
  • Aroosak

See also[edit]


External links[edit]