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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - The popular Turkish singer Muslum Gurses, adored by many for his melancholic, Arabic-inspired songs, has died. He was 59.

Deniz Sener, a cardiologist at Istanbul's Memorial Hospital said the singer, nicknamed "Muslum Baba" or "Papa Muslum," died of heart failure on Sunday. He had been hospitalized since by-pass surgery in November.

Gurses, who recorded more than a dozen albums, was best known for his mournful tunes blending Turkish folk instruments with Arabic melodies. Some fans have been so enthralled by his songs they earned a reputation for cutting themselves with razor blades at his concerts.

He had acquired a cult following among the young with his interpretation of Turkish pop and rock sounds.

Gurses is survived by his wife. His funeral was scheduled for Monday in Istanbul.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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