Iran, also known as Persia, is a Middle Eastern country known for its art. This includes literature, architecture, painting, and of course, music.
While it’s not the first place that springs to mind when you think about singers, there are some awe-inspiring musicians that have come out of Iran. While many are from the city of Tehran, which is known as the cultural epicenter of the country, Iranian singers are a myriad of artists who have different styles and passions.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at 11 of the most famous Iranian singers and their success in music. Let’s get started.
Cultural icon Googoosh was born Faegheh Atashin in Tehran, Iran. Her 70-year-long career in Iranian pop music began early in her childhood as she performed with her father at the age of three and appeared in several Iranian films.
In the ’60s and ’70s, her music focused on upbeat pop anthems with a traditional Persian edge. However, she was also known for writing chanson ballads of the heart about love and loss.
After the Iranian revolution in 1979, Googoosh had to retire from making music. Women were no longer allowed to sing in public, which prevented her from sharing any of her work.
Luckily for fans, Googoosh decided to move to Canada in 2000, which allowed her to make a musical comeback. She even released a new album in 2012 called Ejaz.
2. Mohammad Reza Shajarian
Next up, we have Mohammad Reza Shajarian. He was one of the most renowned Iranian musicians. The Mashhad-born singer was an Ostad of traditional Persian music.
Shajarian had a passion for music from a very early age. At the age of 12, he went against the wishes of his father and began studying Radifs, which are a type of old Persian song that is passed down orally. This led to him developing his unique vocal style, which was inspired by several Persian singers from previous generations.
In addition to being an impeccable vocalist, Shajarian both played and created several folklore musical instruments—the ShahrAashoob, Del-o-Del, Baarbad, Kereshmeh, Sorahi, Tondar, Saboo, and Saghar.
Unfortunately, in 2020, Shajarian lost his life to a kidney cancer that he had been fighting for almost 20 years. Before this, he was banned from releasing music in Iran due to his support of the Iranian Green Movement.
Born Ebrahim Hamedi, Ebi is a Khorramdareh-born Iranian pop star. Throughout his 50-plus-year music career, he has broken countless records and won an astounding number of awards.
His career started in Tehran. Ebi then worked towards international fame in 1977, when he moved to Los Angeles, California, to tour the United States two years before the Iranian revolution. After the revolution, like Googoosh, his songs were illegal to play.
Despite the restrictions of his home country, his fanbase is ever-growing. Some of his most famous songs include “Shekar” and “Navazesh.” His albums Tapesh and Moalleme Bad are two of his most popular works.
4. Shadmehr Aghili
Born in Tehran, Shadmehr Aghili is an Iranian pop singer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer who studied at the Tehran Conservatory of Music.
He released his first instrumental album, Bahar e Man, in 1997. His career flourished from there. He also starred in the movie Par e Parvaz (2000), which was the best seller of the year, of which he also wrote the soundtrack.
When Aghili moved to Canada later in his life and released his first album there, Khiali Nist, he began to see international acclaim. Some of his most well-known songs include “Too Binahayate Shab” and “Jange Delam.”
5. Dariush Eghbali
Like many other famous singers from Iran, Dariush Eghbali was born in the capital city Tehran. Even as a child, he would perform and sing at his school. In his 20s, he got his first taste of public recognition on national television.
He gifted the public the songs “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and “Dastaye To (Your Hands),” the former considered as his most legendary work and the latter as the most enduring song in Iranian music history.
Having had clashed with drug addiction in his early years, and overcoming, Eghbali is deeply involved in bringing addiction awareness to the world through Amnesty International. He is now one of the most recognizable singers of his generation.
6. Siavash Ghomayshi
Iranian singer Siavash Ghomayshi was born in Ahvaz, a large city in Southwest Iran. He began composing music at the age of 12 and received a formal education in music from the Royal Society of Arts in London, England.
In addition to composing music, Ghomayshi has also performed as the lead singer in bands such as The Avengers And The Insects. When he moved back to Iran in his 20s, he had a well-seasoned musical career.
After his return to his home country, Ghomayshi’s career as a composer began to soar from there. He was even able to incorporate electronic elements into his work. Still, the work that he produced during his singing career remains iconic.
7. Andranik Madadian
The fans of Andranik Madadian may simply know him by his stage name, Andy. He is an Iranian-Armenian performer who is best known for his songs and his acting.
As a World Music Award nominee, he has received international acclaim. He even recorded a version of “Stand By Me” with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora as a mark of world peace.
Some of Madadian’s most well-known songs include “Tehran” and “The Good Fight” and has several well-received albums, such as Future Features, Beegharar, and Ghahremanane Vatan. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame immortalizes his gift for music.
Our next singer is a Persian classical and pop singer. Hayedeh is known for her iconic voice and great vocal range.
She was born in Tehran, Iran, to a family that had a clear knack for music. Her younger sister, Mahasti, would even go on to become a famous singer in Iran as well.
Hayedeh began her career with studies in Avaz, which is a form of classical Person vocalism. Later in her life, she turned her attention to pop music, singing songs such as “Nowrouz Aamad” and “Soghati.”
Like many other Iranian singers, Hayedeh later moved out of Iran due to the revolution and found a home in Los Angeles, California. She continued her musical career there until her death from a heart attack in 1990.
Emblematic Iranian singer Moein began his career as a radio singer and is known for his ability to excel in a variety of genres. Because of his impressive and emotional singing voice, fans often call him “the prominent voice of love.”
He gained popularity in Iran with the release of his 1983 album Miparastam. Now, with over 20 albums and 25 singles on his discography, Moein is certainly a prolific artist. Some of his best hits include “Kabeh,” “Sobhet Bekhir,” “Bibigol,” and “Havas.”
Moein has sung jazz, pop, and traditional Persian music and is still very much active in his career to this day. He has recently released the album Maandegar (2022) for fans to enjoy.
10. Sirvan Khosravi
Iranian singer and producer Sirvan Khosravi was born in Tehran, where he first began to learn music as a child. He took up singing shortly after beginning to play the keyboard at the age of 11.
Since his first album, To Khial Kardi Beri, in 2005, he has received international success. This was followed by Sa’ate 9 in 2009, which was also a critical success.
Being one of the younger singers from Iran, Khosravi has a long career before him. Even in 2020, he was still charting overseas in Hong Kong. Some of his well-known albums include Road of Dreams, Unplugged, Borderless, and Monologue.
11. Mohsen Yeganeh
Lastly, we have Mohsen Yeganeh. Born in Gonbad-e Kavus, an Iranian city known for its towering historical monument, in 1985, he is the youngest singer in our list.
His music career began when he taught himself to play the guitar, but soon he branched out to playing the piano and keyboard. He eventually began writing his own pop music.
Now, Yeganeh is known for his work on the Persian pop scene and has even performed at the Fajr International Music Festival, Iran’s most prestigious music festival.
In their English translation, some of his best singles include “Your Hair,” “Selfish,” and “I Promise You.” Albums such as Sale Kabiseh and Nafas Haye Bi Hadaf have brought him international success.
Summing Up Our List Of Famous Singers From Iran
The world has Iran to thank for some fantastic singers. They not only come from all over the country to spread the legacy of traditional Persian music, but they also bring their own flair to other genres such as rock and roll and jazz.
Some of these Iranian singers moved to different countries like the UK and the United States while pursuing their musical careers, but they all have one thing in common: their Persian roots.
But this is just a fraction of the talented Iranian singers out there. Who did we miss off that should be on our list? Let us know and we’ll add them in!