What did Bob Dylan once say about Egyptian diva Umm Kulthum
Just like Umm Kulthum has done for Egypt, Dylan was awarded the Nobel literature prize for revolutionizing the American song
Despite the uproar caused by his winning the Nobel Literature Peace Prize, most Arabs were joyous with their reactions toward American Singer Bob Dylan.
The reason being his admiration in the past to their own iconic diva singer, Umm Kulthum.
In a vintage interview dating back to 1978, Dylan, the first musician awarded Nobel prize, was asked about his admiration for the legendary Umm Kulthum. He was quoted as saying: “She is great, she really is… She is really great.”
During the same interview Dylan replied to question about musicians he listened to: “I like Middle Eastern music a lot, Umm Kulthum, she was a great Egyptian singer. I first heard of her when I was in Jerusalem.”
He added: “I think she is popular all over the Middle East, she did mostly love and prayer-type songs, her father chanted those prayer, she was so good that he allowed her to sing professionally. She is gone now but not forgotten”, according to Interferenze website.
The Nobel Literature Prize was awarded last week to Dylan for his outstanding contribution to musical and literary culture, but he himself has remained silent and made no public statement about the honor as of yet.
According to Australian song-writer, Robert Froster, Dylan once asked international singer, Nana Mouskouri, when the two met in New York 1969, about her favorite singer, she quickly replied “Umm Kulthum.”
Dylan was stunned as the Creek singer, considered to be one of the bestselling music artists in the world, shared his admiration for the Arab idol.
*This article first appeared on AlArabiya.net.