Googoosh in 2009
|Birth name||Faegheh Atashin|
|Born||5 May 1950|
|Genres||Iranian pop music|
|Years active||1953–1979, 2000–present|
|Labels||Avang, Caltex, MZM, Pars Video, Taraneh|
Faegheh Atashin (Persian: فائقه آتشین, born 5 May 1950), better known by her stage name Googoosh (Persian: گوگوش; also Romanized as Gūgūsh; Persian pronunciation: [guːˈguːʃ]), is an Iranian singer and actress, and one of Iran’s most popular and enduring entertainers, whose career spans over 60 years. Googoosh was not only a popular singer since the beginning of her career, but by time she became a cultural icon, inside Iran and abroad. Today, Googoosh continues to appeal to a new generation of fans.
She is known for her contributions to Iranian pop music, but also starred in a variety of Persian movies from the 1950s to the 1970s. She achieved the pinnacle of her fame and success towards the end of the 1970s. In 1970s, Googoosh was widely emulated by Iranian women, as they copied her clothing (miniskirts) and her short haircut (known as the “Googooshy”). Following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, she is famously known for remaining in Tehran until 2000 and not performing again due to the ban on female singers. Still, her following grew. Younger Iranian people have rediscovered her music via bootleg recordings. After leaving Iran in 2000, she performed a total of 27 concerts in European and North American countries in that year. Recent projects include a new collaboration with singer/songwriter Hassan Shamaizadeh from her 2012 album Ejaz, as well as serving as head judge and head of academy for the popular reality show Googoosh Music Academy which is broadcast on London based satellite channel Manoto 1.
Since her return to the stage in the summer of 2000, she has performed concerts all around the world, including some of the biggest and most prestigious venues in the world like Madison Square Garden in New York, Air Canada Centre in Toronto, The Royal Albert Hall in London. She has recorded songs in multiple languages such as Persian, Azerbaijani, Turkish, English, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Armenian and French. Outside of Iran, she has a significant following in many other Middle Eastern as well as Central Asian countries, and has even caught the attention of European and African media and press. Her overall impact and contributions to Iranian pop music, made her the most iconic female pop singer in the Persian speaking world.
Childhood and career before the Revolution (1953–1979)
Googoosh was born Faegheh Atashin on 5 May 1950 in Sarcheshmeh Street, Tehran, to parents Nasrin and Saber Atashin, Saber being an Iranian Azerbaijani and Nasrin being an Azerbaijani immigrant from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.
She began doing impersonations of some of the singers of the time while being taken on the road with her father. When her father discovered this talent, he put her on stage at the age of three and she was from then on a professional paid performer.
During the 1970s, Googoosh began a meteoric rise to fame and success as she drove the edge of Iranian pop music further and further. Known for her flamboyant outfits and fashion sense, Googoosh wowed her pop culture hungry fans in Iran and abroad with her trademark hairdos and hip-elegant style. Iranian women changed hairdos with Googoosh and she was always one step ahead of them with a new look. Her music ranged from upbeat 1960s and 1970s pop, given a traditional-tinged edge, to declamatory, emotional ballads dealing with love and loss, which at times edged towards chanson and Édith Piaf territory. Among the singers who have re-sung her songs, Julio Iglesias can be mentioned for re-singing the song Bavar Kon. She starred in over 25 movies, one of which was to be the most commercially successful Iranian motion picture of all time. Googoosh performed many times for the royal family and was a favorite of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's wife and children. She performed at the party given for the 17th birthday of Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran.
At the time of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Googoosh was in Los Angeles; however, feeling homesick, she decided to return to Iran. In response to why did she remain in Iran after the revolution she said it was "out of love of her for her homeland". Interestingly, despite being a symbol of everything that revolution tried to overturn, like modernization and westernization, Googoosh remained in Iran for years afterward. After the revolution, Googoosh, like other artists, was forbidden from performing and her material was banned. She would not perform again until Mohammad Khatami's presidency, during which she was allowed to tour outside of the country. In the time she was unable to perform, she kept herself occupied at home by taking care of her house and reading. As she had no intention of leaving Iran, she adapted to her new life. Most interesting, many Iranians born after the Islamic Revolution embraced her as the symbol of pre-revolutionary Iran, of freedom.
Googoosh left Iran to Canada in 2000, after 21 years being in Iran, after the Iranian revolution. BMusic's Taghinia, says "Googoosh is the siren of that era [Pre-revolution] and important in that she's really a direct link to Iran's past." Chicago Tribune considers the return of Googoosh to be "more than just a pop milestone" but instead "a cultural marker, a measure of the way change occurs in a society that for more than two decades has tried to resist the tide of globalization by living in self-imposed isolation."
In 2000 Googoosh sang in public, away from her homeland, for the first time after 21 years of silence. As for the fans who last heard her sing in pre-revolutionary Iran, the possibility of hearing Googoosh live in America could be interpreted like some fantastic dream. The Googoosh Comeback Tour was a series of concerts starting in July 2000. Having previously left Iran, where women are forbidden to perform, amidst spectacular media attention, she began with a sold out concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on 29 July 2000 (with more than 12,000 audience), and eventually brought the tour to a conclusion in Dubai on 21 and 24 March 2001 on the occasion of the Iranian New Year, Nowruz. Her concert in Dubai was considered a homecoming for her and out of total number of audience who were more than 20,000, seventy percent of them were Iranians who had crossed the Persian Gulf to hear her. The two Dubai concerts held special importance: it was the tour finale, and Googoosh was rumored to be planning to return to Iran. Therefore, many people believed it might be their last chance to see her. She later claimed that she felt like singing at home.
In 2000, a feature-length documentary called Googoosh: Iran's Daughter was released which chronicled the singer's life and her icon-status while detailing the socio-political turmoil that led to the 1979 Revolution in Iran. Made by Iranian-American filmmaker Farhad Zamani, the documentary began production in 1998 and was made at a time when Googoosh was still forbidden to give interviews.
In January 2009 she ended her work and career with Mehrdad Asemani, citing "creative differences" and in March 2009 began a new work relationship with her current management team. On 21 and 24 March of that year, during the Nowruz holiday, Googoosh performed in Dubai.
Googoosh and other speakers participated in a 22 July 2009 protest at the United Nations which attracted exiles from Iran. There they stood in front of a banner with names of Iranian protestors that they believed were still incarcerated and the names of other protestors, written in red, who had been killed. During this protest, Googosh made a speech stating that she entered politics because of the outcome of the 2009 Iranian presidential election. She said, "I have come here to be the voice for the sad mothers who lost their loved ones in peaceful demonstrations. I have come here to be the just voice of the grass-roots and spontaneous movement among my compatriots and to show my solidarity."
In 2010, she'd won a coveted spot on the TV show Googoosh Music Academy, a wildly popular American Idol-style competition filmed in London. In 2011, she served as head-of-academy and head-judge alongside Hooman Khalatbari and Babak Saeedi for the widely popular talent show/singing competition Googoosh Music Academy which is broadcast on the London-based Iranian satellite channel Manoto 1 and is their most watched program. Googoosh Music Academy lasted three seasons. In December 2010, Googoosh had a very notable concert in the Kurdish region of Iraq. Tens of thousands of Iranians came from Tehran and beyond.
In March 2011, the Popstar released a snippet via YouTube of a new song she was working on titled "Nagoo Bedrood". In JULY 19 2010
Googoosh debuted her latest project. The singer launched her own cosmetic collection sold online, aptly titled "Googoosh Cosmetics". In April 2011 she held a legendary concert at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, CA as well as a record breaking performance at the same venue on 27 October 2012, as a part of her worldwide "Ejaz" Tour. Also on 26 March 2013 she performed at London's famous Royal Albert Hall for the first time, where other notable Persian vocalists such as Elaheh, Ebi and Marzieh have performed memorable concerts in the past.
In 2012 she released her 6th studio album since her comeback, titled Ejaz. The album consisted of 10 tracks, featuring collaborations with famous Iranian singer/songwriter Hassan Shamaizadeh ("Hayahoo") and three songs wherein she collaborates with her fellow judge Babak Saeedi and Raha Etemadi ("Nagoo Bedrood" and "Noghteye Payan" and "Hese Mobham"). She also collaborated with Alireza Afkari and Roozbeh Bemani on three songs ("E'jaz" and "Baraye Man" and "Behesht"). Another single "Bi Manoto" was a musical rendition of a poem by famous Persian poet Molana (Rumi). The poem came to Googoosh' attention during her years banned from singing at the time of the Iran–Iraq War. She felt inspired by the lyrics and therefore created her own melody and was finally presented with the opportunity to record it as she had always wanted during the production of the album.
In February 2014, she released a video (Music Video of Song "Behesht") in support of the gay, and lesbian, community in Iran, which faces significant challenges in its struggle for equal rights, including the ongoing threat of the death penalty for being convicted of being lesbian, and gay. This made her the first prominent Iranian with a huge following to speak out against homophobia in Iran, the video has sparked discussion about issue affecting Iran's LGBT communities.
On 21 March 2015, Googoosh released her 7th album titled Akse Khosoosi (Private Portrait) including 11 tracks from different songwriters and composers such as Babak Sahraee, Nickan Ebrahimi, Babak Amini (Googoosh band leader). The first song of this album is "Che Ziba Bood", which is also the last song that was composed by Varujan.
Despite the political and personal hardships she has endured, Googoosh has continued to be a beloved figure over the last half century.
Googoosh has three half-brothers on her father's side and a brother and sister on her mother's side. One of her brothers has passed away on his youth.
Googoosh's first husband was Mahmoud Ghorbani, he was a music promoter who had helped Googoosh make a name for herself throughout the 1960s. Googoosh and Ghorbani married in February 1967. They had a son, Kambiz. After about six years of marriage, Ghorbani and Googoosh divorced in late 1972. In 1975, Googoosh married Iranian actor Behrouz Vossoughi and they divorced fourteen months later, in 1976. During their brief marriage they were considered to be the country's biggest celebrity power couple. In 1980, Googoosh was imprisoned for nearly one month after the Iranian Revolution. During the late 1970s, Googoosh became involved with Homayoun Mesdaghi. She married him in 1979. Six years later in 1985, Googoosh divorced Mesdaghi. She then married director Masoud Kimiai in 1991; they divorced in 2005.
In 2018, in reply to a question by interviewer about "how do you stay young?", she said "Love, music and lots of fruit!".
- 1970: Do panjereh (Two Windows)
- 1970: Fasle Tazeh
- 1971: Mordâb (The Swamp)
- 1971: Nimeye gomshodeye man (My Lost Half)
- 1972: Kuh (The Mountain)
- 1974: Do mâhi (Two Fish)
- 1974: Hamsafar (Co-Traveler)
- 1975: Pol (The Bridge)
- 1975: Mosabbeb (with Dariush)
- 1977: Dar emtedâde shab (Along the Night)
- 1978: Ageh bemuni (If You Stay)
Albums (Since she returned to music)
- 2000: Zartosht (Zoroaster)
- 2004: Akharin Khabar (Latest News)
- 2005: Mânifest (Manifest)
- 2008: Shab-e Sepid (White Night)
- 2010: Hajm-e Sabz (Green Volume)
- 2012: E'jaz (Miracle)
- 2015: Akse Khosoosi (Private Portrait)
- 2004: QQ Bang Bang , on YouTube
- 2011: Ye Harfaei (Live Performance in Manoto 1)
- 2014: Nostalgia (ft. Ebi)
- 2014: Do Panjereh (ft. Ebi)
- 2014: Ki Ashkato Pak Mikoneh (ft. Ebi)
- 2015: Hamzad (New Arrangement)
- 2016: Hastamo Nistam
- 2017: Do Panjereh (Music Video)
- 2017: Sogand (Oath)
- 2018: Mosalase Khatereha (The Memory Makers) (ft. Hassan Shamaizadeh)
- 2018: Ajab Jaei
- 2018: Shahed (Witness)
- 2018: 40 Sal (40 years) (ft. Siavash Ghomayshi)
- 2019: Eshghe Kamyab (Rare love)
|Year||Persian Title||English Title|
|1960||فرشتۀ فراری||Runaway Angel|
|بیم و امید||Fear and Hope|
|1963||پرتگاه مخوف||The Cliff of Fear|
|1965||شیطون بلا||The Naughty One|
|1966||گدایان تهران||The Beggars of Tehran|
|فیل و فنجان||Big and Small|
|حسین کُرد||Hoseyn-e Kord|
|1967||چهار خواهر||Four Sisters (with Leila Forouhar)|
|دروازه تقدیر||The Gate of Fate|
|گنج و رنج||Treasure and Toil|
|در جستجوی تبهکاران||In the Search of Criminals|
|1968||سه دیوانه||The Three Morons|
|شب فرشتگان||The Night of Angels|
|ستاره هفت آسـمان||The Star of Seven Skies|
|1969||گناه زیبایی||The Sin of Beauty|
|جنجال عروسی||The Wedding Brawl|
|1971||احساس داغ||Hot Feeling|
|آسـمون بیستاره||Starless Sky|
|مـَمَل آمریکایی||American Mamal|
|شب غریبان||Nostalgic Night|
|1977||در امتداد شب||Along the Night|
|1979||امشب اشکی میریزد||Tonight Someone Cries|
Googoosh also acted in two other movies: Mard-e keraye-i (مرد کرایهای) and Hagi Firuz (حاجی فیروز), but the production of each of these films was suspended during the final stages for unknown reasons. Googoosh has also acted in many television shows and ground-breaking commercials in Iran.
Awards and achievements
She has won the following awards:
- 1971: at Italy's prestigious San Remo Festival, she was awarded a prize as best singer—sealing her fame as an international singing star.
- 1971: first prize and golden record at the Midem trade fair in Cannes for her 7" record (as "Gougoush") featuring two songs in French produced by Barclay Records: "Retour de la Ville" (A-side) and "J'entends Crier Je T'aime" (B-side).
- 1972: Performed at the Carthage Music Festival
- 1972: First medal of arts of Tunisia
- 1973: The best actress for Bita in Iranian Sepas film festival.
- 1973: Recorded soundtrack (produced by RCA Records) of San Remo Music Festival.
- 1973: Performed at Cantagiro Music Festival.
- 2014 : Best Iranian Female Singer (World Music Awards)
- 2017 : Best Music Video For Do Panjereh (Directed by Yasmin Asha)(Festigious Film Awards March 2017)
- Two awards from Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles for record breaking performances
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Googoosh was born Faegheh Atashin in 1951 on Sarcheshmeh Street, in an old part of Tehran, to Azerbaijani immigrant parents from the former Soviet Union.
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- Video on YouTube
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