Batir Zakirov

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Batir Zakirov (April 26, 1936 – January 23, 1985) was an Uzbek and Soviet singer, painter, actor and a prominent cultural figure, who is considered to be the founder of Uzbek pop music. He was awarded the title of People's Artist of the USSR at age 29.[1]


Batir Zakirov studied at the Tashkent Institute of Theater and Arts named after Ostrovskiy.

In 1972, Batir Zakirov created the first in the East and the third in Soviet Union troupe titled Music Hall. Together with famous Russian director Mark Zakharov and a leading actor of Moscow Theater of Satire Alexander Schirwindt, Zakirov created a musical titled 1973rd journey of Sinbad the Sailor. Many prominent singers such as Vladimir Vysotsky, Irina Ponarovskaya and bands such as Poyushchiye Gitary, Yalla (band) from many countries of USSR performed in Music Hall too.[2]

He was one of the founders of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic State Estrada Orchestra.

Batir Zakirov was awarded with the title of People's Artist of the USSR and became one of the youngest male singers to be granted this award in USSR (at the age of 29).[3]

In 1964 he spend several months in Kremlin Hospital, (currently Central Clinical Hospital) followed by a lung surgery.[4]

Batir Zakirov died on January 23, 1985 in Tashkent.

Songs and performances

Batir Zakirov gained a wide popularity due to singing in many languages including Uzbek, Russian, Arabic, French, and many others. A song "Ya Zahratan Fi Khayali" (يا زهرة في خيالي - "Flower of my imagination) by one of the most important figures of 20th Century Arab music [5] Farid al-Atrash, performed by Batir Zakirov at the International Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow in 1957 made him extremely popular.

In 1966 Batir Zakirov became the only Uzbek and one of very few Soviet singers singing at the Olimpia (Paris).[6] He performed Enrico Macias's famous song Les Filles De Mon Pays in French.[7]


Roles in movies

Family and personal life

Batir Zakirov is the eldest brother of Farrukh Zakirov, leader of Yalla (band) from Uzbekistan.

In 1957 he married an actress Erkli Malikbaeva and had two sons: Bakhtiyor Zakirov and Bakhodir Zakirov. They got divorced in 1974.

His second marriage was with a ballet dancer Galina and their daughter Rukhshana Zakirova was born in 1976.


  1. Great Soviet Encyclopedia «Узбекская Советская Социалистическая Республика XVI. Музыка»: «... народные артисты Узбекской ССР Н. Хашимов, К. Закиров, С. Ярашев, С. Беньяминов, В. А. Гринченко, Р. Б. Лаут, Б. Д. Давыдова, К. Исмаилова, Б. Закиров ...» (in Russian). Accessed 2012-02-04
  2. Batir Zakirov and "Music hall". Official website of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. Accessed 2012-02-04
  3. National Information Agency of Uzbekistan UzA - Рустам Шагаев «Пой, лира Батыра!»: «... в 29 лет удостоиться звания Народного артиста!» (in Russian) in 1965. Accessed 2012-02-04
  4. Solovei uzbekskoy estrady (Singing Bird of the Uzbek Pop) (in Russian). Created 2011-04-30. Accessed 2012-02-04
  5. World music: the rough guide. Africa, Europe and the Middle East 1999 p330 ed. Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham, Richard Trillo "The late Farid el-Atrache and Asmahan - a brother and sister team - are claimed by the Syrians and Lebanese"
  6. Olimpiyskiye gastroli (Tour to Olimpia) (in Russian). Accessed 2012-02-05
  7. Les filles de mon pays par Batyr Zakirov (in French). Accessed 2012-02-04