CultureMain SliderMusic

Umm Kulthum listed among ‘The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time’

The American magazine Rolling Stones published its list of “The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time,” where Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum ranked in the 61st place, surpassing several modern and old artists.

Rolling Stones said that Umm Kulthum has no real equivalent among singers in the West.

“For decades the Egyptian star represented, and to an extent still does, the soul of the pan-Arab world”, it said.

“Her potent contralto, which could blur gender in its lower register, conveyed breathtaking emotional range in complex songs that, across theme and wildly-ornamented variations, could easily last an hour, as she worked crowds like a fiery preacher.”

Umm Kulthum was born to a humble family in a rural village called Tamay al-Zahayra, in Senbellawein, Dakahlia Governorate, and her real name is Fatima, the daughter of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Sayyid al-Beltagy, and sources have differed on the date of her birth.

Her family’s main source of income was their father who worked as a vocalist at the wedding parties of the village. Umm Kulthum learned singing from him at an early age, as she began singing lessons with him. Then, at the age of twelve, she began singing with him at weddings, marking the beginning of her artistic career before her arrival in Cairo.

Her death in 1975 brought millions into the Cairo streets to mourn, and while her influence among Arab singers is incalculable, it extended far beyond it, the magazine said.

Related Articles

Back to top button