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Award-winning Persian-American singer Shakila has performed both classical and pop music in languages including Persian, Kurdish, Turkish, Spanish, and English. Inspired by the poet Rumi, many of her songs deal with love, peace, and spirituality while her voice has drawn comparisons to Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Norah Jones. Born in Tehran and based in San Francisco, Shakila began singing as a child and was so gifted that she performed on an Iranian talent show at age nine. As a teen, she studied Persian and Western classical music with Mahmoud Karimi, then moved to San Diego to study music at Palomar College. She released her debut album, Kami Ba Man Modaaraa Kon, in 1990; two years later, Geryeh Dar Ragbar followed. For her third album, 1993's Gheybate Noor, she signed to the Persian label Taraneh Records. She moved to the Los Angeles label Caltex for 1997's Ersiehaayeh Aatefie and released albums for them until the late 2000s, during which time she won the Persian Music Academy Award in 2006. She founded Shakila Enterprises in 2013, and released a string of singles that expanded her music into Latin and Western pop styles, among others. In 2015, Shakila released the album 11:11 City of Love, which won a Global Music Award and was nominated for a One World Music Award. She released several singles in 2016, including the charting "Splashing Tears." ~ Heather Phares

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