Muslim Magomayev was born 74 years ago
On August 17th 1942 the outstanding Azerbaijani and Russian singer, composer, People's Artist of the USSR Muslim Magomayev was born in Baku.
His father Magomet Magomayev was a theatre artist who died during the war. His mother Aishet Magomayeva was dramatic actress, his grandfather – Muslim Magomayev – was a famous Azerbaijani composer, whose name was given to the Azerbaijan Philharmonic Hall.
In 1961 Magomayev made his debut in the professional song and dance ensemble of the Russian Baku Military District. As a young man, he had the honor of singing the first solo concert at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, where only a few people were "permitted" and where a crowd of fans, besieging the entrance, literally destroyed the massive doors of the lobby. It was then that Muslim allowed himself to have an unscheduled third act and to perform popular songs in English and Italian to his own accompaniment on the grand piano.
In 1962 Magomayev became the winner of the World Festival of Youth and Students in Helsinki for a performance of the song "Buchenwald tocsin." All-Union fame came after his performance at the Kremlin Palace in the final concert of the festival of Azerbaijani art in the same year.
In late 1960's early 1970's a stormy surge in popularity occurred in the biography of Magomayev. He received the first prize at the festival in Sopot, the Cannes Gold Salver award (1969), in 1973 he was awarded the title "People's Artist of the USSR."
His repertoire includes more than 600 songs, and his discography includes 45 gramophone records and 15 CDs. In addition, Magomayev starred in several films, many television programs, he has written songs and music for a variety of films.
In 1998, Magomayev officially stopped his musical career and gave only a few performances together with his wife. He died in Moscow on October 25, 2008 aged 66. The funeral ceremony was attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.