Vigen or Viguen, born Vigen Derderian (November 23, 1929 - October 26, 2003), known as "Sultan of Pop" and "Sultan of Persian jazz", was a hugely popular Iranian pop music singer and actor. He is famous throughout the Near East.
Vigen was of Armenian ethnicity and during his era, some Iranian artists wanted to be associated with him, among them the country's most established top female singers, Delkash, Pouran and Elaheh.
The legendary Vigen Derderian worked with the best Iranian songwriters and composers, who realized they had to cater for a new youth market, and performed some of his country's most memorable songs.
Born into a relatively poor family of 8 children in the western Iranian city of Hamadan, Vigen was brought up by his older brother, after his father died when he was seven.
During the second world war, his family moved to the northern city of Tabriz then under invasion of the soviet army. He bought his first guitar from a soviet soldier.
Later on he was widely listening to Italian and Spanish singers and using and modifying their music to perform with Persian lyrics.
His brother Karo Derderian was a poet, the Lalaii lyrics were written by him.
By 1951, Vigen had got his first job, performing at the Café Shemiran. One night, a national radio producer heard him, with the result that his first song, Moonlight, was broadcast on Tehran radio - and became an instant hit. More than 600 songs were to follow during his long career. Some of them, such as Red Rose, Rival, and Rain, have become classic Iranian popular songs.
Considered by some fans as the Elvis Presley of Iran, Vigen's good looks and tall, fine physique added to his appeal as Iran's first male pop star - especially among women at a time when ideas of emancipation were taking hold in the 1950s and 60s. He was also one of the first Iranian entertainers to perform with a guitar.
His works were very popular among Iranian people at the time, some of his songs became iconic/folkloric songs in the culture. In 1950's he used to listen to the international music and reproduce them using lyrics written by best writers of the time like Parviz Vakili. Works Solenzara are available in the internet.
Most of his works remained in Iranain culture as folkloric, including: Baroon Barooneh, Mahtab, Asbeh Ablagh, Lalaii, Raghib, Deleh Divaneh.
He celebrated the 50th anniversary of his career at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles in February 2001.
He was discovered by the Iranian director Samuel Khachikian and his first role was in the movie "Chaharrahe Havades (Crossroads of Coincidence)" in 1955.
His other movies: "Zalembala" (1956, Siamak Yasami), "Tappeheh Eshgh" (1960, Khachikian), "Arshin Malaln" and "Cheshmeh Oshagh" (1960, Samad Sabahi),"Atash Khakestar" (1961, Khosro Parizi), "Arooseh Darya" (1965, Arman)
He later on founded a company named "Vigen film", but did not pursue the enterprise.
Vigen died on October 26, 2003 from cancer and is buried at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Cemetery in Westlake Village, California.
Vigen is survived by his wife Karen, one son, four daughters, one stepdaughter and four grandchildren.