|date of birth:||17 August 1942|
|place of birth:||Baku, Azerbaijan|
|died:||25 October 2008|
|known for:||freaking Renaissance man...|
|occupation(s):||Singer, actor, composer|
|religion(s):||Ironically, not Muslim|
|spouse(s):||Tamara Sinyavskaya (1974-2008, widow)|
|children:||Marina Magomayeva (b.1961)|
“Bro, do you even Muslim?”
Muslim Magomayev (Azeri: Müslüm Məhəmməd oğlu Maqomayev; Russian: Муслим Магометович Магомаев) was an Azerbaijani baritone of Russian descent (more on that shortly) who was called "the Soviet Sinatra" because he was just that awesome. He was interested in all kinds of music (including Italian stuff, for some reason), such that a fan cannot simply put him into a box. If that made sense. No? Whatever, just keep reading.
Childhood and adolescence
Muslim Magomayev was born 17 August 1943, in Baku, Azerbaijan. He was a total mutt. His mother Aishet was Adyghe, Russian, and Turkish. His father Mohammed (who was killed-in-action in 1945) was Tatar, Georgian, Chechen, and who knows what else. Literally, he was so mixed that much of his ancestry is still unknown! Muslim was so confused by all this that he gave up and said, "Fuck this shit, I'm Azerbaijani."
As a teenager, Muslim Magomayev got interested in Italian music, for what reason nobody knows. Interestingly, Muslim's grandfather, Abdul Muslim Magomayev, was a composer of operas, and we probably should have mentioned that earlier.
In the Russian Wikipedia, this section starts out surprisingly boring, except for a mention of his family being against him giving concerts, for fear of losing his voice. Muslim argued that his voice was already lost, so why did it matter? (...brilliant logic right there)
But then in the 1960s, other stuff happened. Like, he was offered to perform Tosca and Barber of Seville in the Bolshoi Theater, but he was like, "Meh... I don't want to limit myself to operas."
Slightly later, in 1969, Muslim Magomayev performed at the Olympia theater in Paris, and so this one guy offered him a contract for a year. Magomayev was seriously considering this possibility, but the Soviets were like, "uh-uh-uh!" Such sad. But then, he did something WAY badass. When he heard that the Rostov Philharmonic was in financial difficulties, he offered to help raise money for them. So what he did was, he gave a speech at the Olympia that unintentionally ended up lasting more than two hours. For this he was paid 606 rubles, but this got him in trouble with the Ministry of Culture, for he was supposed to be paid 202 rubles! Strangely enough, he had been told that this pay rate was legit, except it wasn't! So he was prosecuted by the Anti-Corruption Squad, which sounds badass but is probably boring. When the aforementioned dude from the Olympia heard about this, he said, "What if I told you you could stay in Paris?"
As the prosecution went on, it was found that in fact, Magomayev didn't do anything wrong. Even so, the bastards at the Ministry of Culture decided to ban him from performing outside of Azerbaijan. Understandably saddened by this, he nonetheless used his time of banishment to finish his studies at the Conservatory of Baku. When the ban was over, he was asked to perform at a concert for the anniversary of the KGB in return for... you know... the fact that they had found no fault in his case.
Also in 1969, Magomayev was awarded first prize at the Festival of Sopot. That's cool.
Something interesting: Magomayev's repertoire included more than 600 songs (so if you are ever bored while reading this, perhaps a quick YouTube search might make it a little more bearable). He also composed at least 20 songs himself, including the über-patriotic "Azərbaycan", of which only the first two verses are in Azeri (the rest of it is in Russian). He also hosted a TV show about the lives of singers around the world, which seems kind of random when you think about it. Also, Magomayev wrote a book about the Italian-American singer Mario Lanza, although why anyone would care is beyond the scope of this article. Now the question is "what did he not do?"
In 1998, Muslim Magomayev retired, saying that "for every talent, God has ordained a certain time, which it may not overstep." This despite the fact that he still sang like a boss. Through his website he managed to stay in touch with his fans. Apparently he was also a serious patriot, or possibly a nationalist; he totally fangirled for Heydar Aliyev and was a member of the All-Azerbaijani Congress.
Departure from life
25 October 2008, Muslim Magomayev died in the arms of his wife Tamara. He was 66 years old. Upon hearing of this, the presidents of all the countries in the USSR drunkenly expressed condolences. Thousands of people attended his funeral, including Tamara, as well as Muslim's daughter Marina, who had flown in from the United States. Someone at the funeral even disrespectfully photographed the dead Magomayev; such pictures are not included here because that is too weird even for Uncyclopedia. Legend has it that my sixth-grade math teacher, who was Azerbaijani, cried until he could cry no more. While praying fervently to Allah.
A school in Baku is named after the singer.
For every YouTube video of Magomayev, there are always several dozen people commenting "Allah rehmet elesin!" (Allah bless you!) This despite the fact that Muslim was not a Muslim.
Muslim Magomayev's widow is the Russian mezzo-soprano Tamara Ilinichna Sinyavskaya. She was actually his second wife; they met in 1972 and were married in 1974. His first wife had been a woman named Ofelia, whom he married when he was 18 years old. It seems that this marriage had been an accident, since it only lasted long enough for their daughter Marina to be born legitimate. Marina currently lives in the United States with her husband Alexander Koslovsky and their son Allen.
Excess of pictures?
When Eduard Khil's version of this song was memetized in 2010, this video was also rediscovered. It shows Muslim Magomayev trolling people at dinner. Some random Russian website proposed memetizing this one as well, calling it Mr Du-du-da. However, since Magomayev had died in 2008, he missed out on the meme.
- Or Ayşe
- For those of you who failed geography, Adyghe is a tribe of Circassians that live in Russia and Turkey. Now we have to find out what "Circassians" are.
- I would insert a Muhammad joke here, but I don't know any good ones
- Possibly Dagestanian?
- This time she married a Russian, Leontii Kafka
- In case anyone is interested, Tatiana has a son, also named Yuri. He is also a singer, and inexplicably has Muslim's surname. Here is his website.
- even more confusingly, his father was also named Mohammed
- Rumour has it that a version exists entirely in Azeri. So far, no one has found it. However, there is definitely a version entirely in Russian.
- So wait, now Azerbaijan is his grandmother? Also, here's a duet with wifey
- Even the Russian Wikipedia doesn't bother to mention her last name