Music and Dance
The Libyan music industry is dwarfed by that of neighbouring Egypt. Egyptian singers such as the late Umm Kulthum, the great classical singer who died in 1975, are still extremely popular. There is a story that the 1969 coup was actually postponed by a day in order not to disturb her concert in Benghazi. Among modern Libyan singers are Mohammed Hassan, Mohammed Sanini, and Salmin Zarou. Traditional music from Murzuq, called murzqawi, forms the basis of many Libyan songs. Nowadays, it is often played on the accordion before wedding celebrations. Another genre popular at weddings is maaluf, from Andalusia, in which a group sings or recites poems of religious character or about love.
Television programs such as Lebanese Star Academy and Super Star have been closely followed for several years, contributing to the emergence of new talent. In 2004 the Libyan Ayman al-Aatar won the Lebanese Super Star. When new rounds of Star Academy were held in the Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel in Tripoli, 400 people volunteered for the auditions.
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