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Macedonia's 'Romany Music Queen' Dies At 73

Esma Redzepova performs in Switzerland in 2006.

Macedonia's "Romany music queen" Esma Redzepova has died aged 73.

Redzepova died in the capital, Skopje, following a short illness, hospital and family sources said on December 11.

One of the first vocalists to sing in the Romany language, she performed in some of the world's greatest music halls over the course of her career, which spanned more than five decades.

In her songs, Redzepova mixed traditional Roma and Macedonian music with contemporary sounds, including pop and electro music.

It was at a world festival of Romany music held in India in 1976 where she was acclaimed as the Queen of Romany Song.

Redzepova also fought against racism and prejudice and spoke out for the emancipation of Roma women.

Her humanitarian work extended to fostering 47 children over her lifetime.

Redzepova was married to composer Stevo Teodosievski, who was not from the Roma community.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and the BBC