Dubai: Often called the ‘Madonna’ of Iran, Googoosh fans in the UAE can be a part of the iconic pop star’s last tour – aptly named the ‘Final Chapter’.
Googoosh told Gulf News in an email interview, ““I want to end on a ‘high note’.
Googoosh will perform in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, January 20, as part of a three-month music series – Saadiyat Nights. Five-time Grammy winner Mariah Carey serenaded the crowds on January 6 kicking off the event.
A 21-year hiatus
Googoosh has been one of the biggest names in Iranian music for decades, but the last time she performed there was 1979, after the country banned women singers as part of the Islamic Revolution. When she stepped off the stage then, Googoosh already had 200 songs in her repertoire, in Persian, English, Italian and Spanish.
After a 21-year-hiatus Googoosh went back on stage in 2001 – also performing in Dubai that year at the World Trade Centre. The UAE was her first GCC-stop during that tour. Since then she has performed multiple times in the country, most recently during Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Talking about her favourite city to perform in, Googoosh said, “Tehran, a city I haven’t been able to sing in for 45 years. So for the past years it’s mainly the cities near Iran, such as: Istanbul, Dubai or the country of Kuwait that reminds me of singing in Iran.”
“I can’t wait to have my first ever performance in Abu Dhabi.”
The star, most often dubbed the ‘Madonna of Iran’, commented on the comparisons with the legendary singer: “Although we are two completely different artists and characters, I think that it’s the courage they see in her boldness or certain images that might remind them of me, but overall there’s not many similarities.”
What’s next for Googoosh?
The charismatic singer, who has a steadfast fanbase across the world, is only ending her touring career.
“The age is getting close to a number that makes me want to spend more time at home, focus on my new charity foundation, I’ve also have my own perfume line which is launching in 2024,” Googoosh said.
“My memoir has just finished its editing phase and will also be published within the next 12-14 months. Touring makes it hard to focus on other things and I feel that I have more to explore.”
For the first edition of Saadiyat Nights, the star has planned ‘unique’ performances.
She said, “Being that it’s a tour and most of its aspects have been pre-produced and arranged for the stage I’ve decided to keep each night as unique as possible. Meaning that we are still changing visuals, songs, light designs for each period of the tour.”
Googoosh added, “For Abu Dhabi… I’ve already made five song changes which is somewhat unusual, but I know that the taste varies depending on which part of the world I’m singing in.”
The line-up for the music series includes British star Sting, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, and Lebanese legend Magida El Roumi. On Thursday, the event organisers announced that the 9-week series would end with performances by award-winning singers John Legend and Sir Tom Jones.
Googoosh will perform on Saturday at 8pm, and tickets are available online starting at Dh200 per person. Doors open at 5pm.