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Umm Kulthum Ranks Among the Top 200 Singers in Music History


The American magazine "Rolling Stone" has unveiled its list of the 200 greatest singers in history, which it featured in a report on its official website titled "The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time." This compilation distinguishes itself by focusing on the most influential singers rather than those with the greatest vocal prowess. The magazine emphasizes that the absence of some well-known singers from the list doesn't diminish their talent; instead, the selections were based on the artists' impact and musical legacy.

Notably, the late Egyptian singer Kawkab Al Sharq, Umm Kulthum, is the sole Egyptian and Arab artist to secure a place on the list, ranking 61st according to the magazine's criteria. The list encompasses singers from various eras, including contemporary stars like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé, as well as legends such as Whitney Houston, Freddie Mercury, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, and Adele.

"Rolling Stone" is an American music-focused magazine that debuted on November 9, 1967. Over the years, it has consistently highlighted the most influential singers in music across genres and regions. In 2008, the magazine first published its list of the top 100 singers, using an extensive voting process involving renowned musicians to ensure the rankings were grounded in facts. After 14 years, the magazine has decided to expand the list by adding another 100 singers and vocalists.

The magazine's report praises Umm Kulthum, stating, "Umm Kulthum, the Egyptian singer, stands unmatched among Western singers for decades. She embodies the essence of the Arab world with her unparalleled ability to emotionally navigate complex songs, often of considerable length. Her mastery extends to intricate themes, all while captivating audiences like a bonfire."

It goes on to say, "Upon her passing in 1975, millions mourned in the streets of Cairo. Her influence among Arab singers is immeasurable, and it reaches far beyond. American composer and singer Bob Dylan regarded her as 'great,' and Beyoncé prominently featured 'Enta Omri' in her 2016 tour choreography. Rock singer Robert Plant admitted, 'When I first heard how she [Umm Kulthum] danced across the scale to land on a beautiful note I couldn't even imagine singing, she was great, and I was able to add a lot,' according to Rolling Stone."

It's worth noting that the list does not include Michael Jackson, the iconic king of pop music, despite his status as the most famous, popular, and best-selling music artist globally, with estimated sales exceeding 350 million records worldwide. Michael Jackson was also recognized as one of the most significant and influential figures in the history of music, earning more than 21 entries in the Guinness Book of Records for various achievements in music, dance, and fashion.

Umm Kulthum, known by various titles including Thouma, The Arab League, The Six, The Lady of Arab Singing, The Sun of Authenticity, Her Isma, Kawkab al-Sharq, The Harp of the East, and The People's Artist, was an Egyptian singer and actress. She was born in the Dakahlia Governorate in the Egyptian Khedive on December 31, 1898 AD, or officially, according to civil records, on May 4, 1908 AD. She passed away in Cairo on February 3, 1975 AD. Umm Kulthum is regarded as one of the most prominent singers of the twentieth century and began her artistic journey in her childhood. She gained fame in Egypt and throughout the Arab world.