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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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