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Exiled Iranian singer Marzieh dies

Marzieh, born Ashraf os-Sadat Mortezai, died on 13 October 2010 in Paris, France, where she had lived since 1994. Her granddaughter, Janan Khoram, told Radio Farda Marzieh had battled cancer for several years.

The mezzo-soprano began her career in the early 1940s and collaborated with several master Persian songwriters and lyricists, including Ali Tajvidi, Parviz Yahaghi, Homayoun Khorram, Moeini Kermanshahi and Bijan Taraghi.

She also performed for many world leaders, including the Shah of Iran, Queen Elizabeth II and former U.S. President Richard Nixon.

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She was banned from performing in her homeland following the Islamic Revolution of 1979, when Iran became a theocracy led by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

She eventually left Iran in the 1990s due to political repression and joined the main opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) organised by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) in Paris in 1994.

Marzieh re-emerged years later and performed several concerts in Los Angeles, California and at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1993, 1994 and 1995 and became a highly public supporter of the Iranian resistance.

She gave her last major performance in Paris in 2006, aged 82.

Marzieh is survived by a son and a grandchild.

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