Muslim Magomayev (musician)
Magomaev on a postage stamp of Azerbaijan
|Born||Muslim Mahammad oglu Magomayev
17 August 1942
Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union
|Died||25 October 2008
|Title||People's Artist of the USSR (1973)|
Muslim Magomayev (Azerbaijani: Müslüm Məhəmməd oğlu Maqomayev, 17 August 1942 – 25 October 2008), dubbed the "King of Songs" and the "Soviet Sinatra"  was a Soviet and Azerbaijani baritone operatic and pop singer of the 1960s and 1970s. He achieved iconic status in Russia and the post-Soviet countries, including his native Azerbaijan, for his vocal talent and charisma.
Muslim Magomayev represented one of the most respected artistic dynasties in Azerbaijan. His grandfather Muslim Magomayev (1885–1937), a friend and contemporary of the prominent Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov, was one of the founders of modern Azerbaijani classical music. Magomayev's father, Mahammad Magomayev, who died two days prior to the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II while serving as a soldier in the Soviet Army, was a gifted scenic designer; and his mother, Aishet Kinzhalova, was an actress. Magomayev's father was of mixed origin whose parents moved to Azerbaijan from Chechnya and Georgia respectively, whereas his Adyghean-born mother was of mixed Turkish, Adyghe and Russian descent. However, when asked about his ethnicity, Magomayev considered himself Azerbaijani.
Estranged from his mother after his father's death, Magomayev was raised by his paternal grandmother. He learned to play the piano as a child, and began to take voice lessons at the age of 14. As a teenager, he became interested in Italian songs, American jazz, and other styles of popular music. He majored in piano and composition at the Baku Conservatoire.
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He was 19 when he first performed at an international youth music festival in Helsinki. His performance was noted by Yekaterina Furtseva, then Minister of Culture of the Soviet Union, who offered him to be a soloist at the Bolshoi Theatre. Magomayev declined the offer. In 1962, at the age of 20, Magomayev first appeared in Moscow where he performed during the Days of Azerbaijani Culture. He sang an aria from Gounod’s Faust, and the song "Do the Russians Want War?" in a gala concert at the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, and became a celebrity on the spot. A year later, he gave his first solo concert in the Moscow Tchaikovsky Concert Hall to a full house and became a soloist of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. Muslim earned fame in the USSR as an opera singer with his performance in Rossini's "Barber of Seville". He also became known for his arias from Puccini's "Tosca", Hajibeyov's "Koroghlu" and "Shah Ismayil", which was composed by his grandfather.
In 1964 and 1965, Muslim was a visiting artist at La Scala in Milan, but turned down the invitation to sing in the Moscow Bolshoi Theater upon his return. Instead, the singer turned to popular music, becoming a pop idol for several generations of music lovers in the Soviet Union. Muslim Magomayev's popularity in the USSR was overwhelming. He quickly became a cult figure and gave three concerts a day filling huge arenas all across the Soviet Union, while his albums sold millions.
In 1966 and 1969, Magomayev performed in Paris Olympia with great success. The director of Olympia Bruno Coquatrix offered him a contract, and Magomayev was seriously considering an opportunity to pursue an international career, but Yekaterina Furtseva refused to grant the Ministry of Culture's permission, claiming that it needed Magomayev to perform at government concerts. In 1969 he received the MIDEM Gold Disc Award in Cannes for album sales of over 4.5 million units. In 1973, at the age of 31, Muslim was awarded the Soviet Union's highest artistic title: People's Artist of the USSR.
Magomayev was also known as a composer, writing several film soundtracks and songs. In addition, Magomayev acted in films and hosted television and radio broadcasts devoted to prominent musicians of the 20th century.
Magomayev married when he was 19, but the union did not last a year. His daughter from that first marriage, Marina, lives in the United States. He eventually remarried, this time to the opera singer Tamara Sinyavskaya.
In later life, Magomayev struggled with a serious heart condition.
Last period of his life
In 1998, Magomayev officially stopped his musical career and gave only a few performances together with his wife. He died on 25 October 2008 in his flat in Moscow from a heart attack. He was buried in the Alley of Honor in his native city of Baku, next to his grandfather, on 29 October. The funeral ceremony was attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Magomayev's widow Tamara Sinyavskaya, his daughter Marina, as well as state officials and international delegations. Thousands of people came to pay a final tribute to the singer.
Honours and awards
- Istiglal Order (Azerbaijan, 2002)
- Shohrat Order (Azerbaijan, 1997)
- Order of Honor (Russia, 2002)
- Order of the Red Banner of Labour (USSR, 1971)
- Order of Friendship of Peoples (USSR, 1980)
- People's Artist of USSR (1973) 
- People’s Artist of Azerbaijan SSR (1964)
- Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan SSR (1971)
- Honoured Artist of Chechen-Ingush ASSR
- "Azerbaijan" ("Azərbaycan")
- "Melodia" ("Мелодия") - Melody
- "Noktyurn" ("Ноктюрн")
- "Verni mne muziku" (""Верни мне музыку")- Return the Music to me
- "Koroleva krasoty" ("Королева красоты")- The Beauty of the Queen
- "Svadba" ("Свадьба")- Wedding
- "Luchshyj gorod Zemli" ("Лучший город Земли")- The Best City on Earth
- "Blagodaryu tebya" ("Благодарю тебя")- Grateful to You
- "Chertovo koleso" ("Чертово колесо")
- "Serdce Na Snegu" ("Сердце на снегу") - Heart on the Snow
- "Golubaya Tayga" ("Голубая тайга") - Blue Taiga
- "Nam ne zhit' drug bez druga" ("Нам не жить друг без друга") - We Can't Live without our friends
- "Luch Solnca Zolotogo" ("Луч солнца золотого")-
- "Sinyaya Vechnost" ("Синяя вечность")
- "Solncem opyanennyy" ("Солнцем опьяненный")
- Azerbaijani: Müslüm Məhəmməd oğlu Maqomayev; Russian: Муслим Магометович Магомаев
- "Ozon article on Magomayev's death". Ozon.ru. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- "Soviet Sinatra dies after long illness". The Standard. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- Opera singer Magomayev dies at age 66. UPI. 25 October 2008.
- После тяжeлой болезни ушeл из жизни легендарный певец Муслим Магомаев [After a serious illness legendary singer Muslim Magomayev dies]. Channel One (Russia). 25 October 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- "Muslim Magomayev: popular singer known as the "Soviet Sinatra"". Times Online. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
- Муслим Магомаев "Любовь моя — мелодия" (PDF). magomaev.info (in Russian). 1999. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- Дмитрий Гордон (28 October 2008). Муслим Магомаев: "Много раз мы с Тамарой собирались расстаться, но Алиев — мудрейший дядька! — сказал: "Смотри! Если сделал одну ошибку, когда женился, не совершай вторую, поспешив развестись" [Muslim Magomayev: "Many times me and Tamara tried to separate, but Aliyev - wise guy! - said: "Look! If you made a mistake when you married, do not take a second, before hastily divorcing"]. Газета «Бульвар Гордона» № 44 (184) (in Russian). Archived from the original on 31 January 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- Tamara Sinyavskaya in Heart on Snow (documentary film). Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- Aida Huseinova (Autumn 2002). "Muslim Magomayev Celebrates 60th Jubilee". 10 (3). p. 20.
- "Legendary Singer Muslim Magomaev Passes Away". 25 October 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
- Пугачёва стала певицей из любви к Магомаеву [Pugacheva became a singer due to love for Magomayev]. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Муслима Магомаева похоронили рядом с дедом [Muslim Magomayev was buried next to his grandfather]. Komsomolskaya Pravda. 30 October 2008.
- "Famous singer from Azerbaijan Muslim Magomaev dies in Moscow". Caucasian Knot. 25 October 2008.
- "Worldwide famous singer Muslim Magomayev dies". APA. 25 October 2008. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- "Soviet-era pop star Magomayev buried in Azerbaijan". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- "az:Müslüm Maqomayev Fəxri Xiyabanda dəfn edildi" [Muslim Magomayev was buried in honor of Ziyabanda] (in Azerbaijani). 29 October 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
- "Baku says farewell to great Muslim Magomaev". 29 October 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- Музыкальная энциклопедия. Гл. ред. Ю. В. Келдыш. Т 3. Корто — Октоль. 1104 стб. с илл. М.: Советская энциклопедия, 1976 - Soviet Encyclopedia
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Muslim Magomayev (singer).|
- Times Online Obituary. Muslim Magomaev: popular singer known as the "Soviet Sinatra".
- Muslim Magomaev's website
- Muslim Magomaev at the Internet Movie Database
- ITAR-TASS. Moscow pays last respects to famous singer Muslim Magomayev
- Muslim Magomaev on YouTube
- "The Show Must Go On: Memories of Accompanying Azerbaijan's Greatest Singers," By Chingiz Sadikhov, in Azerbaijan International, Vol. 10:3 (Autumn 2002), pp. 60–63.
- Muslim Magomayev discography at Discogs