Zeki Müren

Turkish Classical Music Artist, Actor/Actress

06 December, 1931
24 September, 1996
Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts (Mimar Sinan University Fine Arts Faculty)
Other Names
Sanat Güneşi

Turkish Classical Music singer, movie star (B. 6th December 1931, Bursa - D. 24th September 1996, Izmir). He was called as “Sanat Güneşi” (T.N. Sun of Art) by his fans. He completed his primary and secondary education in Bursa. His father, who was a civil engineer, was the first one to discover his musical talent and his interest in music.  He took solfege and classical music methods courses from Tamburi (T.N. Tambour Player) İzzet Gerçeker. He composed his first composition on 1946. He continued his education in İstanbul Boğaziçi High School as a boarding student. He was trained by Agopos Efendi, a famous musician also father of Arşavir Alyanak a movie director and by Kirkor Efendi who was an oud player (udi) in 1949. In the following years, he took music courses from the instructors named Refik Fersan and Şerif İçli about modes, principles and theories on Turkish Classical Music; he made compositions with Şükrü Tunar. He composed his first song named “Zehretme bana hayatı cananım” in the same year. When Suzan Güven announced his song as “an acemkürdi song of Zeki Müren from Bursaon the İstanbul Radio, Müren was a high-school student at the age of seventeen.

Zeki Müren began his higher education in Sabiha Gözen Atelier at the department of Higher Decoration at Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts (Mimar Sinan University- Fine Arts Faculty) in 1950. He passed an exam and joined the singers of İstanbul Radio in the same year. When Perihan Altındağ Sözeri, one of the singers’ of İstanbul Radio, became ill on a sudden occasion on 1st January 1951, he was invited to sing instead of her. Music career of Müren, who displayed a marvelous live performance for 45 minutes, started to rise after this concert.

Müren shoot a movie called as “Beklenen Şarkı” (T.N. the Expected Song), his first movie, in which he shared co-star position with Cahide Sonku, deity of movie sector, along with his great success in music. His voice was already well-known but people were curios about his appearance. This movie, which could be classified as a musical for including his ten nice compositions, became a top movie thanks to surge of masses who wanted to view him. As a highly appreciated actor, he played leading roles in seventeen more movies and signed contracts against record breaking amounts for his time. In 1955, he was again in the leading role in the play called “Çay ve Sempati” in Arena Theatre. The movies derived their names from his own compositions such as Berduş, Hayat Bazen Tatlıdır, Altın Kafes, Bir Yaz Yağmuru. He became the most popular voice and celebrity of his time. He appealed to ears with his accentuated and elegant singing style as well as to eyes with his glamorous and interesting costumes that he designed for himself. Müren who made his instrument players team wear the same clothes for the first time in Turkey, became unique on the stage and turned his performance almost into a visual feast. Thus, he became to be called as “Sanat Güneşi” (T.N. “Sun of Art”) by the contributions of tabloid press.

Zeki Müren proved his artistic skills with his great performances. He collected his poems he wrote in different time periods and published them as a book and cassette named as “Bıldırcın Yağmuru” in 1965. As television became an increasingly important part of daily life, he passed from stages to the television. He was also interested in painting and pattern design as an amateur. He opened several exhibitions and displayed his skills in this field.

He suffered from cardiac failure, hypertension and diabetes in the late 1970’s; therefore he preferred not to be onstage. Having stayed away from the stages, he appeared in video clips, which were the characteristic musical trend of that era. After he had heart attacks in Kuşadası (1980) and once again in Paris (1983), he began to live mostly in his house located in Muğla/Bodrum. In 1984, he gave his last concert in Bodrum Castle, income of which he dedicated for the restoration of ancient theatre. Müren, who desired to remain in the memories with his gorgeous appearance in gleaming costumes, kept himself away from the people. After three years, he died of heart failure that he suffered during a live performance at Izmir Radio, without being able to complete his new cassette in which he would sing seven songs in the form of duets with Ajda Pekkan, Muazzez Abacı and Muazzez Ersoy. After his death, his house was turned into a museum where many of his products from his costumes to pictures are exhibited. Thousands of people came to his funeral ceremony and Müren was buried in Bursa Emir Sultan Cemetery.

Zeki Müren, who had a great success with almost all records of him, was one of the rare artists who were admired in common by people from different classes in spite of his controversial appearance for Turkish community structure. During his arts career for 45 years, he composed more than a hundred songs and released over two thousand records and albums. His records were also sold in countries like Germany, USA, and Greece. Morrissey and Marc Almond, world-wide well known singers from Britain, said Zeki Müren was at the top of their favorite singer. He was awarded with Altın Plak Award (T.N. Golden Record) which was granted in Turkey for the first time for sing song named “Manolyam” on 1955.


 Senede Bir Gün (1970), Pırlanta 1 (1973), Pırlanta 2 (1973), Pırlanta 3 (1973), Pırlanta 4 (1973), Hatıra (1973), Anılarım (1974), Mücevher (1975), Güneşin Oğlu (1976), Nazar Boncuğu (1977), Zirvedeki (1977), Sükse (1978), Kahır Mektubu (1981), Eskimeyen Dost (1982), Hayat Öpücüğü (1984), Masal (1985), Helal Olsun (1986), Aşk Kurbanı (1987), Gözlerin Doğuyor Gecelerime (1988), Ayrılık İşte (1989), Karanlıklar Güneşi (1989), Şarkılar (1989), Dilek Çeşmesi (1989), Bir Tatlı Tebessüm (1990), Doruktaki Nağmeler (1991), Sorma (1992).


 Bıldırcın Yağmuru (poems, 1965).


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