Composer, vocal artist, actor. He was born on August 4th, 1944, in Samsun. He graduated from Samsun 19 Mayıs High School. He started his musical education at the age of six by taking violin and mandolin courses from Emin Tarakçı, who was a Crimea immigrant, graduated from the Conservatory in Russia and a former opera singer. At seven years old, he learned playing bağlama (T.N. a local instrument with three double strings) and learned to play tambour at in twelve. He wrote his first song at the age of ten named Kara Kaşlı Esmerdi Kim Bilir Kimi Sevdi. He made his first professional composition at the age of fourteen named Ruhumda Titreyen Sonsuz Bir Alevsin. During secondary and high school years, he played classical string tambour in music societies in Samsun, Edirne and Istanbul. He also played bağlama in different Turkish Folk Music societies. He was among the founders of People’s Houses in Samsun and Istanbul. Besides, he worked as a teacher at music courses for a while.
After continuing his studies at the conservatory, he started to work for the Ankara Radio on 1964 and Istanbul Radio on 1966. The same year, he won a degree in a nation-wide bağlama playing competition together with Cinuçen Tanrıkorur and Arif Sağ. He played for TRT Radio in the “Yurttan Sesler” radio program for ten months. In 1967, after leaving voluntarily the TRT Radio, he accompanied many artists like Muzaffar Akgün, Yıldız Tezcan, Ahmet Sezgin, Şükran Ay, Sabahat Akkiraz, Nuri Sesigüzel with his bağlama. He was the music directorship of some Turkish movies like “Kızılırmak, Karakoyun”, “Ana”, “Kuyu”. He started to be known as a composer and bağlama virtuoso after composing works like Sevemedim Karagözlüm, Sabır Taşı, Goca Dünya. After releasing his first album named Bir Teselli Ver / Yorgun Gözler; he became country wide famous in 1969. Thus, besides being composer and instrumental performer, he came to the fore as a commentator. He was introduced to cinema via being the music director of the films and Gencebay’s debut in a movie as an actor was in Bir Teselli Ver by Lütfi Akad as the leading role. During his career, he was deemed worthy for many awards. He was given the title of “State Artist” by the Ministry of Culture on 1998. In 1990, he was given the Montu Merit Doctorate Award (Honorary Doctorate Degree) jointly by the leading universities of US, Egypt and Israel and Hacettepe University. In 2011, he was deemed worthy for Honorary Award by Kral TV’s Music Awards.
ALBUMS: Batsın Bu Dünya (1971- 74 compilation), Hatasız Kul Olmaz (1974- 76 compilation), Yarabbim (1979), Aşkı Ben Yaratmadım (1980), Leyla ile Mecnun (1983), Dil Yarası (1984), Emrin Olur (1988), Ya Evde Yoksan (1989), Sen de Haklısın (1992), Gönül Dostu (1995), Orhan Gencebay Klasikleri (1998), Yürekten Olsun (2004), Orhan Gencebay Film Müzikleri (2007), Berhudar Ol (2010).
MOVIES (AS AN ACTOR): Bir Teselli Ver (1971), Sev Dedi Gözlerim (1972), Ben Doğarken Ölmüşüm (1973), Dertler Benim Olsun (1974), Batsın Bu Dünya (1975), Hatasız Kul Olmaz (1977), Aşkı Ben Mi Yarattım (1979), Yarabbim (1980), Ben Topraktan Bir Canım (1980), Feryada Gücüm Yok (1981), Leyla ile Mecnun (1982), Kan Çiçeği (1989), Utan (1990), Dil Yarası (1984).
REFERENCE: Nazife Güngör / (Arabesk - Sosyokültürel Açıdan Arabesk Müzik (2. bas. 1993), Vural Sözer / Müzik Ansiklopedik Sözlük (2005), Meral Özbek / Popüler Kültür ve Orhan Gencebay Arabeski (8. bas. 2008), Martin Stokes / Türkiye'de Arabesk Olayı (2008), Coşkun, Ahmet Hakan Coşkun / Ne Olur Sev Beni (2009), İhsan Işık Ünlü Sanatçılar (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 5, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013), Orhan Gencebay (imdb.com, 14.12.2019), Orhan Gencebay (sinematurk.com, 14.12.2019), Orhan Gencebay (sinemalar.com, 14.12.2019), Orhan Gencebay (beyazperde.com, 14.12.2019), Orhan Gencebay Albümleri (izlesene.com, youtube, muzikdinle.com.tr, 14.12.2019).