6 December 1931
24 September 1996 (aged 64)
Zeki Müren (1931-1996) was a prominent Turkish singer. He was famous for his compelling voice and precise articulation in his singing of both established Turkish classical music and contemporary songs.
Müren grew up in the provincial capital city of Bursa in western Turkey. From 1950 to 1953 he studied decorative arts in Istanbul at the Fine Arts Academy while launching his musical career. Müren’s first album was issued in 1951, at which time he was a regular singer on Istanbul Radio. In 1955 he produced his first Gold Record.
In his forty-five-year professional career Müren composed more than one hundred songs and made more than two hundred recordings. He was celebrated as the "Sun" of classical Turkish music and was affectionately called "Pasha". For many years he reigned as "Artist of the Year".
Müren was also a gifted poet, publishing "Bıldırcın Yağmuru" (The Quail Rain) in 1951. Additionally, he acted in Turkish cinema, starring in eighteen films and writing many of their musical scores.
Müren dressed effeminately, wearing large, ornate rings and heavy make up, especially in the later years of his life. Popular opinion holds that he was homosexual, although he never made a public statement to this effect. Sexual choices were not a consideration in Turkey.
He died during a tv show on TRT in the city of Izmir on 24 September 1996.
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