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Bülent Ersoy
Portrait of Bülent Ersoy
Bülent Ersoy performing during a concert
Background information
Birth name Bülent Erkoç
Also known as Diva
Born (1952-06-09) 9 June 1952 (age 71)
Istanbul, Türkiye
Genres Turkish classical music, Arabesque
Occupation(s) Singer, actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1974–present

Bülent Ersoy (Turkish pronunciation: [byˈlænt ˈæɾsoj]; born 9 June 1952) is a transgender Turkish singer and actress. She is known as one of the most popular singers of Turkish music, nicknamed Diva by her fans. Ersoy has many famous hits such as 'Ümit Hırsızı" (Hope Thief), "Geceler" (Nights), "Beddua" (Curse), "Maazallah" (God Forbid), "Biz Ayrılamayız" (We Cannot Break Up), "Sefam olsun" (I Enjoy Myself), and "Bir Tanrıyı bir de beni sakın unutma" (Never Ever Forget God and Me). Ersoy has published more than thirty albums so far and has made a name for herself in Turkish music history.


1952–1973: Early life

Bülent Ersoy was born in 1952 in Malatya. For the purposes of performance, Bülent changed her surname from Erkoç (brave ram) to Ersoy (brave lineage) following Müjdat Gezen's recommendation. Ersoy began her career as a male singer, in the genre of Turkish classical music, and became an actor early on. Her grandparents played classical Turkish music and she first took private lessons and then studied at Istanbul Municipal Conservatory. Already one of Turkey's most popular singers and actors, she gained international notoriety in April 1981 after having sex reassignment surgery in London by a British plastic surgeon. She kept the name "Bülent" even though it is a typically masculine name.

Stage prohibition and restriction period

After the operation, Ersoy found herself in opposition to 1980 Turkish coup d'état of Kenan Evren. In a crackdown on "social deviance," Ersoy's public performances were banned along with those of other transgender people. To circumvent the ban, she petitioned the Turkish courts to legally recognize her as a woman. The petition was rejected in January 1982. ..... In 1983, she left Turkey in protest of the Evren regime's repressive policies and continued her career in Germany. Along with her musical career, she made several Turkish movies in Germany. Later on in the decade in 1989 Evren left office and many of his policies were rescinded.

2011–12: Aşktan Sabıkalı

Bülent Ersoy TSM konser 05
Classical Turkish music artists Bülent Ersoy, Muazzez Abacı and Adnan Şenses, 2012

In late 2010, Ersoy announced that she had listened to nearly 1,500 songs in the last 2 years and found it difficult to choose the best songs for the album. Her new album Aşktan Sabıkalı (Love Convict), was released on 3 October 2011. The album includes a song written by Can Tanrıyar called "Alışmak İstemiyorum" (I Don't Wanna Get Used to It), and a classic by Orhan Gencebay: "Bir Teselli Ver", (Give Me Solace). There also is a song by Gülşen titled "Aşktan Sabıkalı", after which the album is named. Another piece in the album is a duet sung with Tarkan, titled "Bir Ben Bir Allah Biliyor" (Only I and Allah know ), which was popular as it was performed by two of Turkey's leading artists. On 22 December, Ersoy released a music video for the song, nearly three months after it was first played on the radio.

2013 onwards

In her appearances on TRT in 2013, Ersoy was keen to stress that her pop-arabesque songs were only a 'vice' to earn an income and classical music, which she received her University education in, is where her true allegiance and support lies. Although her last album was released in 2011, her last album where she sang classical and Alaturka (Turkish style) songs was in Alaturka 2000, after which she hasn't produced any material covering Alaturka or Classical material.

In late 2015, Ersoy stated in a press conference how Orhan Gencebay had mentioned to her that no one prominent had been producing Alaturka for the last couple of years. She stated that it was their mutual plan to 'get together' and think about what to for an album in this area. In early 2016, Ersoy said that she had listened to hundreds of songs and wasn't satisfied with what was brought to her (this being songs in the Pop/Arabesque genre). Although it's unclear as to when her next production will be, Ersoy seems to have returned from her semi-retired status and is producing new material. She announced that she would publish a new song written by Tarkan, named "Ümit Hırsızı", which was released in March 2019


  • 1973: Ah Tut-i Mucize Guyem
  • 1975: Şöhretler
  • 1975: Konser 1
  • 1976: Toprak Alsın Muradımı
  • 1976: Bir Tanrıyı Bir de Beni
  • 1976: Konser 2
  • 1977: Konser 3
  • 1978: Orkide 1
  • 1978: Ölmeyen Şarkılar (eternal songs)
  • 1979: Orkide 2
  • 1979: Meyhaneci (the innkeeper)
  • 1980: Beddua
  • 1981: Mahşeri Yaşıyorum
  • 1981: Yüz Karası
  • 1983: Ak Güvercin (white dove)
  • 1983: Ne Duamsın Ne De Bedduam (you are neither in my prayers nor in my curses)
  • 1984: Düşkünüm Sana
  • 1985: Yaşamak İstiyorum
  • 1986: Anılardan Bir Demet
  • 1987: Suskun Dünyam
  • 1988: Biz Ayrılamayız
  • 1989: Avustralya Konseri
  • 1989: İstiyorum
  • 1989: Seçmeler
  • 1989: Bizim Hikayemiz
  • 1990: Öptüm
  • 1991: Bir Sen Bir de Ben
  • 1992: Ablan Kurban Olsun Sana
  • 1993: Türk Sanat Müziği Konseri 1
  • 1993: Türk Sanat Müziği Konseri 2
  • 1993: Türk Sanat Müziği Konseri 3
  • 1993: Türk Sanat Müziği Konseri 4
  • 1993: Şiirlerle Şarkılarla
  • 1993: Sefam Olsun
  • 1994: Akıllı Ol
  • 1995: Alaturka 1995
  • 1995: Benim Dünya Güzellerim
  • 1997: Maazallah
  • 2000: Alaturka 2000
  • 2002: Canımsın
  • 2011: Aşktan Sabıkalı
  • 2018: Alaturka

2021: Okenem askim ve alaturka 2021

  • "Dolmamış Çilem" (1980)
  • "Ümit Hırsızı" (2019)



  • Sıralardaki Heyecan (1976)
  • Ölmeyen Şarkı (1977)
  • İşte Bizim Hikayemiz (1978)
  • Beddua (1980)
  • Söhretin Sonu (1981)
  • Acı Ekmek (1984)
  • Asrın Kadını (1985)
  • Tövbekar Kadın (1985)
  • Benim Gibi Sev (1985)
  • Efkarlıyım Abiler (1986)
  • Yaşamak İstiyorum 1 (1986)
  • Yaşamak İstiyorum 2 (1986)
  • Kara Günlerim (1987)
  • Biz Ayrılamayız (1988)
  • Anılar (1989)
  • İstiyorum (1989)


  • Bülent Ersoy Show (1995–1996; 2013–2014) – Presenter
  • Bülent Ersoy'la Hatırla Bakalım (2005) – Presenter
  • Popstar Alaturka (2007–2009) – Judge
  • Beyaz Show (2012) – Guest
  • Arkadaşım Hoşgeldin (2015) – Guest appearance
  • Bu Tarz Benim (2015) – Guest judge
  • Var Mısınız Yok Musunuz (2016) – Contestant
  • Dünya Güzellerim (2017) – Herself
  • Çukur (2017) – Guest appearance
  • Popstar 2018 (2018) – Judge
  • Kuaförüm Sensin (2020) – Judge
  • Benzemez Kimse Bize (2021) – Presenter

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bülent Ersoy para niños

  • List of Turkish musicians
  • Music of Turkey
National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Distinguished Hispanic diplomats
Raymond Telles
Esteban Torres
Romualdo Pacheco
Raúl Héctor Castro
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