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Googoosh (Hollywood Bowl 2018).png
Googoosh at the Hollywood Bowl in 2018
Faegheh Atashin

(1950-05-05) 5 May 1950 (age 70)
  • Singer
  • actress
Years active1953–1979, 2000–present
Mahmoud Ghorbani
m. 1967;div. 1972)

m. 1975;div. 1976)

Homayoun Mesdaghi
m. 1979;div. 1985)

m. 1991;div. 2005)
Parent(s) Saber Atashin
Nasrin Atashin
Musical career
Labels Avang, Caltex, MZM, Pars Video, Taraneh, RCA Italiana, RCA Victor, Barclay
Website Official website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Faegheh Atashin (Persian : فائقه آتشین, born 5 May 1950), better known by her stage name Googoosh (Persian : گوگوش; also romanized as Gūgūsh; Persian pronunciation:  [guːˈguːʃ] ), is an Iranian singer and actress, and one of Iran's most popular and enduring entertainers, whose career spans over 60 years. [1] [2] Googoosh has enjoyed significant popularity since the beginning of her career, ultimately becoming a cultural icon inside Iran and abroad. [3] [4] [5]


She is mainly known for her contributions to Iranian pop music, but she has also starred in a variety of Persian movies from the 1950s to the 1970s. [6] [7] She achieved the pinnacle of her fame and success towards the end of the 1970s. In the 1970s, Googoosh was widely emulated by Iranian women, as they copied her clothing (miniskirts) and her short haircut (known as the "Googooshy"). [1] Following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, she remained in Tehran until 2000 and did not perform again due to the ban on female singers. Younger generations of Iranians have rediscovered her music via bootleg recordings. [8] After leaving Iran in 2000, she performed a total of 27 concerts in European and North American countries in that year. [9] Recent projects include a new collaboration with Iranian singer-songwriter Hassan Shamaizadeh from her 2012 album Ejaz, as well as serving as head judge and head of academy for the popular reality show Googoosh Music Academy broadcast on London-based satellite channel Manoto 1. [10]

Since her return to the stage in the summer of 2000, she has performed in concerts and venues all around the world, including the Madison Square Garden in New York, the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and The Royal Albert Hall in London. [11] She has recorded songs in many languages including Persian, Azerbaijani, Turkish, English, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Armenian and French. [12] She has a significant following outside of Iran and has even received the attention of European and African media and press. [13] Her overall impact and contributions to Iranian pop music made her the most iconic female pop singer in the Persian speaking world. [14]


Early life

Googoosh began singing and acting at a young age with her father, Saber
Googoosh at the age of 4 and her mother Nasrin Atashin.jpg
4-year-old Googoosh with her mother Nasrin Atashin

Googoosh was born Faegheh Atashin on 5 May 1950 [15] in Ghubba Street, Khorramdarreh, to parents Nasrin and Saber Atashin, Saber being an Iranian Azerbaijani and Nasrin being an Azerbaijani immigrant from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. [16]

Even though her birth certificate has recorded her date of birth as 7 February 1950, Googoosh has said that her mother has told her she was actually born on 5 May. [15]

At the age of three, Googoosh began doing stage performances after her father saw her doing impersonations of singers while they were on the road together. When she was 6 , they family moved to Tehran where they discovered her brilliant talents. [6]

Career before the Revolution (1953–1979)

Googoosh performing on stage in Tehran Googoosh singing.jpg
Googoosh performing on stage in Tehran

During the 1970s, Googoosh began a meteoric rise to fame and success as she drove the edge of Iranian pop music further and further. Known for her flamboyant outfits and fashion sense, Googoosh wowed her pop-culture-hungry fans in Iran and abroad with her trademark hairdos and hip-elegant style, inspiring many Iranian women to copy her hairdos. Her music ranged from upbeat 1960s and 1970s pop, given a traditional-tinged edge, [17] to declamatory, emotional ballads dealing with love and loss, comparable to the chanson style of music by artists like Édith Piaf. Her music was popular among non-Persian-speaking audiences as well. The Spanish singer Julio Iglesias covered the song Bavar Kon. [18] She starred in over 25 movies, one of which was to be the most commercially successful Iranian motion picture of all time. Googoosh performed many times for the royal family and was a favorite of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's wife and children. She performed at the party given for the 17th birthday of Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran. [19]

At the time of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Googoosh was in Los Angeles. However, feeling homesick, she decided to return to Iran. In response to why she remained in Iran after the revolution, she said that it was "out of love of her for her homeland". [20] Despite being a symbol of many things that the revolution tried to overturn, especially related to perceptions of excessive Westernization, Googoosh remained in Iran for years afterward. [21] After the revolution, Googoosh, like other artists, was forbidden from performing and her material was banned. She would not perform again until Mohammad Khatami's presidency, during which she was allowed to tour outside of the country.

Comeback (2000–present)

Googoosh in at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto Googoosh in concert.jpg
Googoosh in at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto

Googoosh left Iran for Canada in 2000, after 21 years being in Iran, after the Iranian revolution. [9] BMusic's Taghinia, says "Googoosh is the siren of that era [Pre-revolution] and important in that she's really a direct link to Iran's past." [22] Chicago Tribune considers the return of Googoosh to be "more than just a pop milestone" but instead "a cultural marker, a measure of the way change occurs in a society that for more than two decades has tried to resist the tide of globalization by living in self-imposed isolation." [4]

In 2000, Googoosh sang in public, away from her homeland, for the first time after 21 years of silence to the acclaim of many long-time fans. [23] [24] The Googoosh Comeback Tour was a series of concerts starting in July 2000. She began with a sold-out concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on 29 July 2000 (with an audience of more than 12,000), [20] and eventually brought the tour to a conclusion in Dubai on 21 and 24 March 2001 on the occasion of the Iranian New Year, Nowruz. Her concert in Dubai was considered a homecoming for her, and out of the more than 20,000 members of the audience, seventy percent of them were Iranians who had crossed the Persian Gulf to hear her. [25] [26] The two Dubai concerts held special importance: it was the tour finale, and Googoosh was rumored to be planning to return to Iran. Therefore, many people believed it might be their last chance to see her. She later claimed that she felt like singing at home.

In 2000, a feature-length documentary called Googoosh: Iran's Daughter was released which chronicled the singer's life and her icon-status while detailing the socio-political turmoil that led to the 1979 Revolution in Iran. Made by Iranian-American filmmaker Farhad Zamani, the documentary began production in 1998 and was made at a time when Googoosh was still forbidden to give interviews. [27]

In January 2009, she ended her work and career with Mehrdad Asemani, citing "creative differences," and in March 2009 began a new work relationship with her current management team. On 21 and 24 March of that year, during Nowruz, Googoosh performed in Dubai.

Googoosh and other speakers participated in a 22 July 2009 protest at the United Nations which attracted exiles from Iran. They stood in front of a banner with names of Iranian protestors whom they believed were still incarcerated and of other protestors, written in red, who had been killed. During this protest, Googoosh made a speech stating that she entered politics because of the outcome of the 2009 Iranian presidential election. She said, "I have come here to be the voice for the sad mothers who lost their loved ones in peaceful demonstrations. I have come here to be the just voice of the grass-roots and spontaneous movement among my compatriots and to show my solidarity." [28]

Googoosh in one of her concerts, 2006 Googoosh in concert (2010).png
Googoosh in one of her concerts, 2006

Beginning in 2011, she served as head-of-academy and head-judge alongside Hooman Khalatbari and Babak Saeedi for the widely popular talent show/singing competition Googoosh Music Academy, which was broadcast on the London-based Iranian satellite channel Manoto 1 and was their most watched program. [29] Googoosh Music Academy lasted three seasons. In December 2010, Googoosh held a very notable concert in the Kurdish region of Iraq, to which tens of thousands of Iranians came from Tehran and beyond.

In March 2011, Googoosh released a snippet of a new song she was working on, titled Bedrood, via YouTube. In April 2011, she debuted her latest project. The singer launched her own cosmetic collection sold online, titled Googoosh Cosmetics. In April 2011, she held a concert at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as a record breaking performance at the same venue on 27 October 2012, as a part of her worldwide Ejaz Tour. [30] Also on 26 March 2013 she performed at London's Royal Albert Hall for the first time, [31] where other notable Persian vocalists such as Elaheh, Ebi and Marzieh have performed memorable concerts in the past.

In 2012, Googoosh released her 6th studio album since her comeback, titled Ejaz. The album consisted of 10 tracks, featuring collaborations with Hassan Shamaizadeh (Hayahoo) and three songs wherein she collaborated with her fellow Googoosh Music Academy judge Babak Saeedi and with Raha Etemadi (Nagoo Bedrood and Noghteye Payan and Hese Mobham). She also collaborated with Alireza Afkari and Roozbeh Bemani on three songs (E'jaz and Baraye Man and Behesht). Another single Bi Manoto was a musical rendition of a poem by the Persian poet Rumi. The poem came to Googoosh's attention while she was banned from singing at the time of the Iran–Iraq War. She stated that she felt inspired by the lyrics and therefore created her own melody and was finally presented with the opportunity to record it as she had long hoped to do. [32]

In February 2014, she released a music video of the song Behesht, in support of the gay and lesbian community in Iran, which faces significant challenges in its struggle for equal rights, including the ongoing threat of the death penalty for convictions related to sexual orientation. [33] This made her the first prominent Iranian with a huge following to speak out against homophobia in Iran.

On 21 March 2015, Googoosh released her 7th album titled Akse Khosoosi (Private Portrait) including 11 tracks from different songwriters and composers such as Babak Sahraee, Nickan Ebrahimi, Babak Amini (Googoosh band leader). The first song of this album is Che Ziba Bood, which is also the last song that was composed by Varujan.

Despite the political and personal hardships she has endured, Googoosh has continued to be a beloved figure over the last half century. [34]

Personal life

Googoosh playing tennis in 1970s Googoosh, Playing tennis 1970s.jpg
Googoosh playing tennis in 1970s

Googoosh has three half-brothers on her father's side and a brother and sister on her mother's side. One of her brothers has died in his youth. [16]

Googoosh's first husband was Mahmoud Ghorbani, a music promoter who had helped Googoosh make a name for herself throughout the 1960s. Googoosh and Ghorbani married in February 1967. [35] They had a son, Kambiz. [36] After about six years of marriage, Ghorbani and Googoosh divorced in late 1972. In 1975, Googoosh married Iranian actor Behrouz Vossoughi; they divorced fourteen months later in 1976. During their brief marriage they were considered to be the country's biggest celebrity power couple. In 1980, Googoosh was imprisoned for nearly one month after the Iranian Revolution. During the late 1970s, Googoosh became involved with Homayoun Mesdaghi, and married him in 1979. Six years later, in 1985, she divorced Mesdaghi. She then married director Masoud Kimiai in 1991. They divorced in 2005.

In 2018, in reply to a question by interviewer about how she stays young, she said, "Love, music and lots of fruit!". [7]


An album cover which contains the Bigharar song Bigharar-googoosh.jpg
An album cover which contains the Bigharar song

Studio albums

Albums (since her return to music in 2000)



Poster for Googoosh's 1972 award-winning film Bita Googoosh in a poster of the film Bita (1972).jpg
Poster for Googoosh's 1972 award-winning film Bita
Googoosh acting as a child Googoosh acting.jpg
Googoosh acting as a child
YearPersian Title [37] English Title
1960فرشتۀ فراریRunaway Angel
بیم و امیدFear and Hope
1963پرتگاه مخوفThe Cliff of Fear
1965شیطون بلاThe Naughty One
1966گدایان تهرانThe Beggars of Tehran
فیل و فنجانBig and Small
حسین کُردHoseyn-e Kord
1967چهار خواهرFour Sisters (with Leila Forouhar)
دروازه تقدیرThe Gate of Fate
گنج و رنجTreasure and Toil
در جستجوی تبهکارانIn the Search of Criminals
1968سه ‌دیوانهThe Three Morons
شب فرشتگانThe Night of Angels
ستاره هفت آسـمانThe Star of Seven Skies
1969گناه زیباییThe Sin of Beauty
جنجال عروسیThe Wedding Brawl
پنجره The Window
1971احساس داغHot Feeling
آسـمون بی‌ستارهStarless Sky
1975هـمسفر Travelling Mate
نازنین Nazanin
مـَمَل آمریکاییAmerican Mamal
شب غریبانNostalgic Night
1976ماه عسلHoneymoon
1977در امتداد شب Along the Night
1979امشب اشکی می‌ریزدTonight Someone Cries

Googoosh also acted in two other movies: Mard-e keraye-i (مرد کرایه‌ای) and Hagi Firuz (حاجی فیروز), but the production of each of these films was suspended during the final stages for unknown reasons. Googoosh has also acted in many television shows and commercials in Iran.

Awards and achievements

Googoosh on the cover of Javanan e Emrooz Magazine, 1974 Googoosh on Javanan e Emrooz.JPG
Googoosh on the cover of Javanan e Emrooz Magazine, 1974

See also

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