Zehra Deovic, Bosnian sevdalinka & folk singer, Died at 76

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Zehra Deovic was born on December 9, 1938, and died October 30, 2015.

He was a Bosnian sevdalinka-folk singer and was one of the leading female singers of the 1960s and 1970s in Yugoslavia, along with Silvana Armenulic, Nada Mamula and Beba Selimovic.

Zehra started working at Radio Sarajevo in 1960 and released her first album two years later.

She lived and worked in Sarajevo until her death.

Zehra was born in Foca, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina), to Bosniak parents Halim and Abida Deović.

Her father died in 1941 and she relocated as a World War II refugee to Sarajevo in 1943 with her mom and two siblings.

After three years, they returned to Foca.

As a child, Zehra joined Foca’s youth cultural club “Jedinstvo” (Unity) and first began performing with them in major cities of Yugoslavia in 1953.

During these tours she had the chance to perform alongside the famous folk singers of the time, such as Vuka Šeherović.

In 1960, she moved back to Sarajevo for schooling and auditioned for Radio Sarajevo with the folk song “Dvije su se vode zavadile”.

Zehra passed and was given a recording contract with the Zagreb-based label Jugoton.

Zehra released her debut studio album Pjesme iz Bosne on 11 December 1962.

Through her career, she was a frequent participant in the annual music festival in Ilidža, in addition to multiple other music festivals in the region.

Zehra passed away after a long illness on October 2015 at age 76.

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