Rashid Beibutov (December 14, 1915 – June 9, 1989) was an Azerbaijani singer and actor.
He sang in Azerbaijani, Russian, Persian, Turkish, Armenian, Hindi, Urdu and Bengali among
Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, he worked in Yerevan's Philharmonia and Opera House from 1938 to 1944.
He moved to Azerbaijan SSR after Tofig Guliyev's Tofig Guliyev, was President of Azerbaijan's Composer's Union and one
of Azerbaijan's most beloved songwriters
invitation in 1945. He became popular when he played the lead role of Askar, the wealthy peddler, in a movie Arshin Mal Alan
("The Cloth Peddler") which was based on a 1913 musical comedy by Uzeyir Hajibeyov.
Rashid's father, Majid Beibutov was a well-known singer too.
He toured and performed concerts in several countries including: the United Kingdom, Finland,
Iran, Turkey, China, Albania, Bulgaria, Belgium, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Chile, Argentina.
In Azerbaijan, the name Rashid Beibutov is automatically linked to the history of Azeri
popular music. His vocal masterpieces range from proud hymns devoted to the beauty of the
Motherland to tender, lyrical confessions of love.
He is especially remembered for his portrayal of Askar, the rich, merchant in search of love
in the 1945 movie version of Uzeyir Hajibeyov's music comedy, "Arshin Mal Alan."
Rashid Beibutov's rare talent did not develop overnight. However, once he was discovered,
his fame spread like wild fire, and he toured tirelessly, giving concerts one after another
all over the world. Even though travel for those who lived behind the
"Iron Curtain" was generally restricted, exceptions were made for Rashid.
In Azerbaijan, he became a soloist with the State Philharmonia (1946-56) and was given major roles with the State Opera
(1953-60 with interruptions). For example, he sang the role of Balash in Fikrat Amirov's "Seville". He was an organizer
and instructor of the State Concert Ensemble (1957-59). In 1966 he created the State Song Theater and became its soloist
and Artistic Manager. Today the theater building honors his memory, " Beibutov Theater".
Rashid loved to sing the popular songs of the countries where he toured. At the same time,
he liked to translate Azerbaijani songs into their languages, especially those from the role
of Asgar-as in English, Persian, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, and Russian and other languages. He
had a good ear and exceptional linguistic ability. He could imitate the accent of a native
Englishman, German, or Frenchman. Some people even went so far as to say he could sing Russian
better than the Russians themselves. Upon hearing a song for the first time, he had the
ability to repeat it, though he never did perform on stage until he had worked on it, at least,
three or four months.
Even today, singers try to imitate the nuances of his interpretations. But Rashid was
naturally gifted. It's no exaggeration to call him a genius for his exceptional talent in music.
At 73, when he died that his voice was just as remarkable as it had been when he was 45.
He took good care of it. Admittedly, he drank and had a lot of love affairs. But he never
smoked. He was quite handsome, though admittedly short, and rather on the heavy side.
He used to try to appear taller by wearing thicker heels on his shoes. But when you heard him
sing on stage, his voice was gigantic. Had there not been so many restrictions on traveling
outside the Soviet Union, he probably would be known and remembered all over the world today.