Hayedeh (Persian: هایده‎‎), also transcribed as Haideh or Haydeh, born Ma’soumeh Dadehbala (معصومه دده بالا, April 10, 1942 – January 20, 1990) was a popular singer of Persian classical and pop music with a contralto vocal range. She was active for more than two decades and is considered as one of most popular singers of 20th-century Persia.[1]


Birth name Ma’soumeh Dadehbala
Also known as Hayedeh
Born 10 April 1942
Tehran, Iran
Origin Tehran, Iran
Died 20 January 1990 (aged 47)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Genres Persian Classical
Pop music
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 1967–1990
Associated acts Mahasti


Early life and career

Hayedeh was born in Tehran as Ma’soumeh Dadehbala, the elder sister of singer Mahasti, also born in Tehran.[2]

Her professional career began in 1968 as a singer on a Persian traditional music Tehran Radio program called “Golhaa-yeh Rangarang” (Colorful Flowers) ( گلهای رنگارنگ) directed by Davoud Pirnia. Hayedeh studied Avaz (Persian vocal music) with the Persian violinist and composer Ali Tajvidi. “Azadeh” which was composed by Ali Tajvidi, and was written by Rahi Moayeri, was Hayedeh’s first official hit. It was first performed in 1968 on Radio Tehran with the Gol-ha Orchestra.[3]

Hayedeh and Anoushiravan Rohaniat the National Iranian Radio and TV, Tehran, 1975

In the 1970s Hayedah added Persian pop music to her classical Persian repertoire. In this period Hayedeh worked with several songwriters, such as Fereydoun Khoshnoud, Jahanbakhsh Pazouki, Anoushiravan Rohani and Mohammad Heydari. “Bezan Tar”, “Gol-e Sang”, “Nowrouz Aamad”, and “Soghati” were among her works during this period.

After the revolution and leaving Iran[edit]

On August 29, 1978, shortly before the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Hayedeh emigrated to the United Kingdom. She stayed there for three years and moved to the United States in 1982 to continue her career.

Hayedeh in a concert at Royal Albert Hall, London, 1987

Hayedeh lived in Los Angeles from 1982 until the end of her life. The growth of the Persiancommunity in Southern California due to the increasing number of people leaving Iran after the revolution bolstered Hayedeh’s career in the 1980s.

Heyedeh released many successful albums during this time and all her songs were bootlegged in Iran. Hayedeh’s political and nostalgic songs such as “Rouza-ye Roshan Khodahafez”, “Faryad” and “Zendegi” became very popular with the Persian (Iranian) exile community. Some of her other hits were “Rouzaye Roshan”, “Ghesseyeh Man”, “Zendegi”.[1]

Her songwriters and producers in the US were mostly Farid Zoland, Sadegh Nojouki, Mohammad Heydari and Andranik. Lyricists she worked with were Ardalan Sarfaraz, Homa Mir-Afshar and Bijan Samandar. The lyricist that wrote more than 30 of Hayedeh’s songs and hits was her best friend Leila Kasra (aka Hedieh) whom was featured in many of her albums reciting her poems. During her exile, Hayedeh regularly appeared on the Los Angeles-based Persian TV channels IR TV, Jaam-E-Jam.


Tomb of Hayedeh in Los Angeles

On January 20, 1990, some hours after a concert at the Casablanca Club in San Francisco, California, Hayedeh died from a heart attack at the age of 47. She had had a history of diabetes and hypertension as well as alcohol and drug abuse and was a smoker which led to her poor health shortly before her death.

Khosrow Motarjemi, a Persian IT expert in California, recorded a video of this three and a half hour concert, which for unknown reasons has never been officially released. That night Hayedeh told the audience: “Life is like an express train…I am going to the House of God. Who knows what will happen in the future; I may not be alive tomorrow…”, then she performed one of her last songs, “Man Mikham Be Khoune ye Khoda Beram” (I want to go to the House of God). The song’s lyricist, Leila Kasra (Hedieh) who was Hayedeh’s best friend, died of cancer seven months before Hayedeh.

On Wednesday, January 24, 1990, Hayedeh was buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. She had been recording an album shortly before her death and was due to finish recording it after she returned from her concert in San Francisco.

Personal life

Hayedeh married three times and had three children named Kamran, Keyvan and Noushin Nouri, all of whom live in the USA.[citation needed]


Hayedeh’s albums are still best sellers and her songs are constantly played on Persian TV and radio channels. Many of her ageless songs are sung by famous Persian pop singers. Houshmand Aghili performed Hayedeh’s “Sarab”, Parviz Rahman Panah remixed her “Saal”, Shahla Sarshar performed a tragic song called “In Memory of Hayedeh”, singer Amir did a cover of Hayedeh’s song “Soghati” in 2008 and Mahasti performed three songs in memory of her late sister.[1]

According to Prof. Erik Nakhjavani in Encyclopædia Iranica: “Analogues to Delkash, before her, Hayedeh sang with technical authority and passionate energy. Her laryngeal control made it possible for her to produce a series of graceful vibrato and glissando vocalizations required by the Avaz Persian vocal music. She could smoothly pass from the upper reaches of her alto voice to the lower, fuller, and darker range of the contralto. This mixture of strong laryngeal strength and learned vocal technique gave her alto-contralto voice a rare, powerful resonance and texture in the performance of the Avaz. Furthermore an acute sense for musical timing, the rhythmic flow of vocal music, affective musical phrasing, and poetic delivery enabled her to express and interpret effectively any songs she sang.”[3]

Documentary Film

Hayedeh documentary premiere in Amsterdam, January 2009

Persian pianist and journalist Pejman Akbarzadeh has made a documentary about Hayedeh which was screened in Amsterdam in January 2009 for the first time. The documentary had its US premier in May 2009 at Noor Film Festival in Los Angeles and nominated as the Best Documentary at the festival. The film was also screened at 9th International Exile Film Festival (Sweden) and 4th Iranian Film Festival in the Netherlands.

The documentary was released on DVD on January 20, 2010, the 20th death anniversary of Hayedeh, by “Persian Dutch Network” in Amsterdam.[4]

Partial discography

  • Gol Vaajeh
  • Shabe Eshgh
  • Sogand
  • Bezan Tar
  • Ay Zendegi Salam
  • Shanehayat
  • Nashanideha
  • Kharabati
  • Ya Rab
  • Padeshaheh Khooban
  • Ruzhaye Roshan
  • Shahre Ashoub
  • Ghesseye Man
  • Aroosak

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