Washington, D.C., Oct. 1, 2003 - Googoosh, a beloved singer whose songs have been embraced by generations of Iranians, is scheduled to give the Voice of America (VOA) her first exclusive interview since leaving Iran three years ago. On Friday, Oct. 3, she will appear on VOA's Persian-language television/radio program Roundtable with You.

After the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, Googoosh's music was banned inside the country and she was forbidden from performing. For more than 20 years, she made no new recordings or stage appearances. In 2000, after she was allowed to leave Iran, she embarked on a world tour where she drew sellout audiences in cities including Toronto, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Her music outsells that of any other Iranian artist.

"We're honored that Googoosh has chosen the Voice of America to broadcast this rare interview since leaving Iran," said VOA Director David S. Jackson. "We've gotten hundreds of emails from her fans who are looking forward to the opportunity to call in and speak with her."

Since leaving Iran, Googoosh has not granted any interviews except for a press conference in Toronto a few days before her first concert. In her Oct. 3 appearance on VOA, Googoosh will discuss her life and career with Ahmad Baharloo, the host and executive producer of Roundtable with You.

News of the Googoosh interview has generated tributes and photos from Googoosh fans around the world. Many have been posted on the VOA Persian website www.VOAnews.com/persian. The show's call-in format will give her fans the opportunity to interact with her directly.

VOA also plans to record part of Googoosh's live concert in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 4 for future broadcast.

Roundtable with You, a 90-minute call-in show, airs Fridays at 1800 UTC (10:30 p.m. in Iran). In addition, VOA reaches millions of people daily with other Persian-language television programs, including VOA's nightly newscast News and Views, and a youth-oriented magazine program Next Chapter, as well as short-wave radio broadcasts. Programs are also available in audio and video at www.VOAnews.com/persian.

VOA went on the air in 1942 and today broadcasts more than 1,000 hours a week of news, information, educational, and cultural programming to a worldwide audience of 94 million people. Programs are produced in Persian and 54 other languages. VOA is funded by the U.S. government.