Nexhmije Pagarusha (7 May 1933 – 7 February 2020) was an Albanian vocalist, musician and actress from Kosovo, often referred to as the queen of Albanian music. Pagarusha gained acclaim as a recording artist in Albania and neighbouring countries for her distinct soprano vocal range, which she displayed performing various Albanian folk songs during her career, which spanned 36 years, from 1948, in her debut in Radio Pristina, to 1984, in her final concert in Sarajevo. Her music style wasn't limited to Albanian music, as she performed rock, pop, funk, opera/classical, and many more.
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Nexhmije Pagarusha was born in the small village of Pagarusha, near the town of Mališevo, in Kosovo. She finished the primary school in Mališevo and then went to Belgrade, where she attended three years in the school of music, in the solo canto section. She began her music career as a singer for Radio Pristina in 1948.
Her musical creative work lasted for almost 40 years, and due to the contrast in genres she performed in, it's not easy to limit Pagarusha as a specific type of singer. Her interpretations in folk music were exactly as perfect as her interpretations in the classic music, especially opera. Pagarusha is loved by the music critics and adored from the music admirers. She is called Bilbili i Kosovës (Nightingale of Kosova), queen of Albanian music, Madam Butterfly, etc.
She gained great popularity not just in her own country but also in other European countries, such as Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria etc. She led several tours with the music ensemble Shota in these countries, and also in Israel. In Kosovo, she gained the title Këngëtare e shekullit (Singer of the century).
The song, Baresha (English: The Shepherdess), is one of her most popular songs. It was composed by her husband, Rexho Mulliqi and the text was written by Rifat Kukaj. Pagarusha played in many theatre stages and movies and also as an actress she won many prizes.
She ended her music career in 1984 after holding a huge concert in Sarajevo. In 2000 she sang a song called Për ty ("For you") in an Albanian TV show, after 16 years of absence. Now she works as a senior adviser for music on Radio Kosova and in Radio Blue Sky, both located in Pristina.
She was awarded the "Honor of the Nation" award (Albanian: Nderi i Kombit) from Albanian president Bujar Nishani in November 2012.
Nexhmije Pagarusha died on February 7 , 2020 from an unknown disease.
Her 40-year musical career is so vast that it's hard to say which genre it belongs to. She is known for her excellent performances in folk music and opera.
Nexhmije Pagarusha was a successful actress, both in film and in theater.
She attended solo canto music school in Belgrade, which she left in her third year and did not go on. It also had its first musical appearance on stage. In 1948 he was accepted soloist on Radio Pristina.
He collaborated with singers from Albania and performed in Albania with the ensemble "Shota" on the occasion of a tour.
"Baresha" is one of the masterpieces of its interpretation. This song was composed by her husband Rexhep Mulliqi with lyrics by the poet Rifat Kukaj.
Nexhmije Pagarusha performed in a concert of classical music the Albanian translated works of Beethoven, Puccini, Verdi, etc. This concert was the first of its kind. Unfortunately, none of the technical organizers had remembered to record this concert! Unfortunately, not all concerts and repertoire of songs sung by her have been recorded, since, as she once said, only music was important to her; she and the music were one. She is thought to have performed over 150 songs.
Nexhmije Pagarusha Albanian music icon, was known as a woman who throughout her career has served her country with art and honor. /KultPlus.com
Pagarusha has interpreted more than 150 songs. Some of her most successful ones are:
Baresha (English: The Shepherdess)
Ani mori nuse (English: Alright, oh young bride)
Mora testin (English: I took the test)
Kur më shkon si zog n'hava (English: When you fly like a bird in the sky)
Kur më del në derë (English: When you show up at my doorstep)
Ke selvitë (English: At the cypresses)
Ç'u ngrit lulja në mëngjes (English: How'd the flower rise in the morning)
Çil njat zemër plot kujtime (English: Open that heart full of memories)
Dallëndyshe (English: Swallow bird)
Një lule (English: A flower)
Zambaku i Prizrenit (English: Prizren's lily)
Sytë për ty i kam të njomë (English: My eyes for you are wet)
Makedonska krvava svadba, Albanian: Dasma e përgjakur, Bloody Wedding (1967) as Nedžmije Pagaruša
Jugovizija, Albanian: Jugovizioni, Jugovision (1973)
Gëzuar viti i ri, Happy New Year (1976)
E kafshoja terrin, Biting the darkness (1977)
I ikuri, Gone (1980)
Tre vetë kapërcejnë malin, Three people overpass the mountain (1981)
Lepuri me pesë këmbë, The Five-Legged Hare
Fluturimi i Micakut, Micak's flight
Daullet e të çmendurve, The drums of the crazy ones
Rexha i nënës në grazhd të kalit, Mother's son Rexha in the stall
Vrasësit bëjnë dasmë natën (1997), The killers throw a wedding at nighttime
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