Umm Kulthum Essentials

Umm Kulthum (one of a dozen Latin spellings of her name) was one of the Arab world's greatest singers. Active from the '20s until her death in 1975, she cast an enormous shadow both in life and in death, and her recordings still sell briskly today. Her extraordinary voice and technical skill as a singer meant that prominent composers and poets vied to work with her, and they provided her with one of Egypt's most impressive catalogs of songs—in addition to the ones she wrote herself. This playlist features a few of her best-loved performances and signature tracks.

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