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Turkish singer Muslum Gurses dies

The Associated Press, Sunday, March 3, 2013, 6:36am (PST)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The popular Turkish singer Muslum Gurses, adored by many for his melancholic, Arabic-inspired songs, has died. He was 59.

Deniz Sener, a cardiologist at Istanbul's Memorial Hospital said the singer, nicknamed "Muslum Baba" or "Papa Muslum," died of heart failure on Sunday. He had been hospitalized since by-pass surgery in November.

Gurses, who recorded more than a dozen albums, was best known for his mournful tunes blending Turkish folk instruments with Arabic melodies. Some fans have been so enthralled by his songs they earned a reputation for cutting themselves with razor blades at his concerts.

He had acquired a cult following among the young with his interpretation of Turkish pop and rock sounds.

Gurses is survived by his wife. His funeral was scheduled for Monday in Istanbul.

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