On Friday, April 5, the Los Angeles City Council recognized and celebrated Hayedeh, one of the most celebrated singers in Persian culture. The presentation was made by Councilmember Paul Koretz, who represents the 5th Council District, which is home to the largest population of Persians in Los Angeles. In his presentation, Koretz noted Hayedeh’s incredible voice, as well as her importance to not only the Persian community but to Los Angeles as a whole. He presented members of her family with a certificate of recognition for her legacy.
Hayedeh was born on April 10, 1942, in Tehran, Iran. She began her professional career as a singer in 1968, singing on a Persian traditional music radio program. In the ’70s, she expanded her classical repertoire to include pop music. Shortly before the Islamic Revolution in Iran, in August 1978, Hayedeh emigrated to the United Kingdom, where she remained for three years. In 1982, she moved to Los Angeles, where her career continued to grow, due in part to the vast growth of the Iranian community in Southern California after the revolution. Hayedeh continued her performing career and remained in Los Angeles until her unexpected death in 1990.
On Sunday, April 7, the celebration of Hayedeh’s life and career continued at a memorial service held at her resting place, Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, in honor of what would have been her 77th birthday a few days later. More than 1,500 people attended to recognize the singer, as well as her younger sister, Mahasti, another popular Iranian singer who died in 2007. Guests included Koretz, County Assessor Jeffrey Prang, songwriter Farid Zoland, Iranian lyricist Jahanbakhsh Pazooki, and Dr. Manouchehr Ganji, the former minister of education in Iran. Iranian artists Saatar, Morteza, Jamshid Alimorad, Rastin and Arash Avin also were in attendance.
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Twenty-nine years after her death, Hayedeh’s popularity and influence remain as strong as ever. She will forever be remembered as one of the most influential performers in Persian culture, as well as an important member of the Los Angeles community.