Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Rihanna. Madonna. Shakira. GooGoosha? Meet The Latest Pop Princess (Update)

Gulnara Karimova, aka GooGoosha
Gulnara Karimova, aka GooGoosha
Move over Rihanna, Madonna, Adele, Pink, Shakira, Ke$ha, Fergie, and Beyonce. There's a hot new one-named female singer in town.
Gaga, meet GooGoosha, whose eponymous first album in English went on sale on iTunes,, and elswhere across the United States, Europe, and Asia on June 5.
Who is GooGoosha?
Her website, lavishly adorned with all manner of glamour shots of the blonde bombshell, says she's a "poet, mezzo soprano, designer, and exotic beauty." Many citizens in her native, impoverished Uzbekistan would describe her as a robber baron and a thief with shadowy links to mafiosi. (UPDATE: The website appears now to have been taken offline.)
Everyone else knows her as Gulnara Karimova, the 39-year-old jet-setting, jewelry-making, fashion-designing, and fabulously wealthy daughter of Islam Karimov, who has ruled Uzbekistan -- one of the world's worst abusers of human rights and press freedoms -- with an iron fist since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
GooGoosha is said to be Karimov's pet name for his eldest daughter. (Oh, isn't that cute. Maybe there's a gooey chewy center underneath Karimov's crusty carapace after all?)

She's sung in Uzbek before...

...but this is her first English-language effort.

GooGoosha's website describes her album as "an exotic potpourri of sounds and a personal testimony to the power of deeply felt emotions," a "very brave approach through modern pop, trip-hop and soft rock."
What do others think?

GooGoosha's website says that "Billboard" magazine published a "stellar review" of the album's debut single, "Round Run," in April. However, the link on her website takes readers to this less-than-stellar critique:
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.
A search on pulls up no references at all to GooGoosha.
Likewise for a "great interview" that supposedly did, also in April, with GooGoosha about "taking the independent route in the music business." A link on her website takes readers to the same gobbledygook paragraph, while a search on reveals no such interview.
(Note to GooGoosha: Fire your web team.)

Those unschooled in the ways of music criticism might describe GooGoosha as an unabashed Madonna wannabe -- bland, pseudo-exotic pop, featuring lots of lush but lifeless harmonies, banal lyrics (the only thing on the album written by GooGoosha herself, it seems), and lots of those bleeps and blips that were all the rage back in 2009.

Imagine if Enya and Moby had a love child.
Well, take a listen to "Round Run" and judge for yourself:
Googoosha's "Round Run"
GooGoosha's "Round Run"i
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Tags: Gulnara Karimova

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 07, 2012 14:50
If it's not the Eurovision silliness or the soccer tournament, then RFE/RL will distract us with this pop music fiasco instead of focusing on the real issues, like the continued violations of Israeli rights by Palestinians.

by: Sey from: World
June 07, 2012 15:51
I am always amazed at the RFE/RL staff, they are not only political analysis, critiques, they are also music skeptics! And I'm saying this in a positive tune, it is one of the reasons I love this website.

One is always compelled to look for mystery when searching for these "Eastern stars", because you can't hardly find anything relevant to them unless you speak Russian. In this case, that sense of "mystery" is complete silence, there is nothing about this woman.

Also, you forgot to mention that on the BUY ALBUM or CD section, it leads you directly into the Amazon and Apple websites. It is beyond me why would anyone create a whole website full of nothing, apparently just for the looks...But hey, she's "Googoosha"....

by: Anonymous
June 07, 2012 18:38
she could win hearts and help improve Uzbekistan's image by doing something for children, by convincing her father that an autocratic regime is not very progressive, etc.
well, being creative is not bad. creativity in the service of others though, for achieving knowledge that might help others, for instance, is surely more desirable.
still waiting

by: justin from: uzbekistan
June 08, 2012 10:52
Well, well she is at it again. To those who know this wonderous woman of so many diverse talents this latest effort to put herself before the public is not unusual. She has not only been stealing the wealth of her country and people hand over fist, protected by her adoring Daddy, but has also stolen talent from designers for her so called fashion and jewellery ranges. As to her singing that you may judge for yourself.
As to doing any good for her people. She has hitched herself on to the likes of UNESCO and the British Council to give herself some credibility. Unfortunately it is a well known fact that if these two organisations, plus a few others, were not acceptable to her,and did her bidding, they would be thrown out of the country

by: Kamola from: Otajanova
June 09, 2012 15:57
Gulnara just made an album for her listeners, I don’t think, she cares that someone doesn’t like it. And, see, I’m just proud that she’s from my own country, and you’ve already placed her in the same line with Rihanna, Madonna etc. I’m not agree with you, about the album conclusions. Her lyrics are trivial, but listening to them – it’s understandable they’re goin’ from the soul. Just listen to the voice feeding. And the music ain’t pop. I really expected it’s gonna be something kinda pop-music, but it’s trip-hop, deep-house and so on, guys. Just try to feel the music, getting deeper into it. Okay, the article’s a bit funny from other hand, but I don’t think your humor is applied.

by: Donnn from: Amsterdam
June 09, 2012 17:15
Actually there is not much to discuss here. The authors are just supporters of the western stereotypes. There is no analysis and real understanding of the situation. While there is a crisis in Europe such money wasters should better not work and live on the taxpayers shoulders.
In Response

by: Anonymous
June 09, 2012 18:58
I also support the previous comment. On the one hand there is an album of a talented singer Googoosha, the result of the creativity and inspiration. On the other hand labels and unfair comments. Reality vs. Virtuality.

by: X
June 09, 2012 19:14
This story does not feet other stories about the philanthropic activity of Gulnara. I think she tries hard to promote national arts, education and social projects. I respect her anyway.

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
June 10, 2012 03:12
It's certainly good that Radio Liberty is trying to diversify on their waves information on what is happening in the world-from Buranovskie grannies to GooGoosha..
But strangely... from the attention of gentlemen of RL slips other information, that the аbkhaz gunmen destroyed georgian churches, cemeteries and established in the occupied land- apartheid and racism аnd that support this lawlessness another well-known musician from Russia, who plays the piano with one finger and sings a song-"Where begins motherland"...

In my opinion it's time to start talking about a "musical career" of newly appeared "musician" from Russia.... under his music аbkhaz gunmen destroyed the cemetery...

by: Elise
June 10, 2012 07:11
People, to set Googoosha in one row with Rihanna, Madona, Shakira and Gaga is a typical attempt to present Googoosha not in a best way. This is typical sophistical manner, meant for kids. Googoosha is neither better nor worse than Madonna or Shakira, she is simply different, with an another image of world-view and creativity.

by: Anonymous
June 12, 2012 01:47
Googoosha? So her father just gave her the name of the most popular pre-revolutionary Iranian pop singer ever and expects her to become an international sensation who projects an image of Uzbekistan as a progressive state. I guess that's because Islom Karimov is the Shah of Uzbekistan. The fact is that this bit... woman... happens to flaunt her wealth and privilege to her poor subjects. And besides the politics of her position as daughter of the dictator Islom Karimov, her music is derivative and she has no talent. How about a GooGoosha album burning?

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