Izeta Selimović (born 27 March 1939), known by her stage name Beba Selimović, is a Bosnian sevdalinka-folk singer and was one of the leading female singers of the 1960s and 1970s in Yugoslavia, along with Zehra Deović, Nada Mamula and Silvana Armenulić.
Early life and family:
Izeta Selimović was born in Trebinje, located in the Herzegovina region of modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, while it was a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The Selimović family originally hails from Bileća. Being the youngest of five children in a Bosniak family, she was called beba (baby) by her older siblings and took that as her stage name when she became a professional singer.
At the age of four, Selimović moved to Sarajevo with her family in 1943, during World War II, where she completed her schooling.
Aged 14, she was one of six people chosen out of 300 candidates to sing for Radio Sarajevo, which kicked off her professional career in 1954 as a soloist for the station. Her first single, Po mojoj bašti zumbuli cvjetaju (English: In My Garden Hyacinths Bloom), was released in 1958. Selimović retired in 1988 following the release of her final studio album. Although her recorded songs have appeared on many compilation albums since the late 1980s, she has not recorded any new music since then.
During her long career, she sang exclusively in two genres: Bosnian folk and sevdalinka. She has recorded songs with multiple Bosnian sevdalinka singers such as Zaim Imamović, Zehra Deović, Nada Mamula, Safet Isović and Meho Puzić. She was good friends with Isović and Puzić until their deaths in 2007.
Selimović married young and became a mother at the age of 20 and was later widowed. She and her husband had two sons together, Samir and Senad. Her second marriage was to violinist Dževad Šabanagić. The couple currently live in Sarajevo and they survived the Siege of Sarajevo during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was one of the speakers at the funeral for Safet Isović on 3 September 2007.
Although retired from public life and opting to rarely grant interviews, she agreed to be interviewed for a November 2014 article with the newspaper Dnevni avaz. Selimović said that she had retired years ago and ignores requests to perform on television, saying she had given the opportunity to younger generations to "continue."
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license