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Will Iran's king of singing come back to the Iranian stage?

After having been struck by cancer, blacklisted Iranian classical singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian may soon be back on the air in the Islamic Republic.
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TEHRAN, Iran — Every year, as spring arrives, prominent Iranian figures release statements or short video clips to congratulate their countrymen, and wish them a prosperous Iranian New Year. However, this year, as Iranians marked Nowruz, they were surprised by one particular video message.

On March 20, Mohammad Reza Shajarian appeared in front of a camera with his head shaved, leaving many Iranians initially confounded about what had happened to him. Shajarian is an acclaimed Iranian classical singer, and is dubbed “Iran’s king of singing.” He started his career as a qari, a reciter of the Quran, and later pursued traditional Iranian music. He has in recent years become a controversial figure over his remarks against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election, which was followed by unrest. Indeed, following his public criticism of Ahmadinejad, Shajarian was banned from holding concerts and releasing music albums.

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