Mon, 21 Nov 2022 - 10:27 GMT
Mon, 21 Nov 2022 - 10:27 GMT
CAIRO – 21 November 2022: Multitalented Arabic singing legend Fayrouz, known as “The Moon’s Friend”, was born on November 21, 1935.
Fayrouz is a living legend, one of the last singers from her era still alive and performing.
She is a witness to the golden age of Arabic music, alongside other legends; Umm Kalthom and Mohamed Abdel Wahab. She formed a new wave of Arabic music, combing oriental folk tunes with international music trends like jazz and blues.
Fayrouz is her stage name
Born in 1935, Nehad Wadie' Haddad, known as Fayrouz, was born to a middle class family in Lebanon.
She started her career at the age of six after joining the Lebanese Radio choir in 1940. Shortly after, Halim El Roumi, director of Lebanese Radio, composed her first song.
She worked with Lebanese composers the Rahbani Brothers
In 1950, Fayrouz’s started an ambitious music project with the Rahbani Brothers, developing traditional Lebanese music. Together they made influential contributions to the history of oriental music.
A symbol of universality
Her songs tackled various universal and national themes such as the Palestinian political plight, adolescence, Christmas hymns, pastoral Lebanese, love and family.
Formed a new wave of Musical Theater and Operettas
Cooperation between Fayrouz and the Rahbani Brothers grew to include musical sketches, films and plays such as “Mais El Reem” (The Deer's Meadow), “Loulou,” “Biyaa’el Khawatem” (Ring for Sale), and “Hala Wi El Malek” (Hala and the King).
These works ignited Arabic musical theater and brought Lebanese folk heritage back to life.
Her career in theater and cinema included 15 plays and three films.
Including “Baya el-Khawatim,” which was directed by the legendary Egyptian director Youssef Chahine.
Fayrouz’s modern music
After the death of her husband Assi El Rahbani, she collaborated mainly with her son Ziad El Rahbani. He moved her music in another direction, combining Fayrouz’s catchy voice with symphonic melodies.
In 2017, the iconic singer released a new album entitled “Bebalee” (In My Thoughts).
The album borrows compositions form a number of international composers and singers including John Lennon, Frank Sinatra and Tino Rossi.
Almost 1,000 releases
Fayrouz has released more than 800 songs, performed all over the world and received honors from a number of countries including Egypt, Syria, France, the USA and Jordan.
Some of her most popular songs include “Kifak Enta” (How Are You), “Ana Li Habibi” (I Am for My lover), “Shat Iskandaria” (Alexandria’s Beach), “Zahrat El Madaeen” (The Most Beautiful City), “Al Quds” (The Holy One), “Saaltak Habibi” (I Asked You, My Love), “Adish Kan Fi Nas” (Many People Here), “Haboo Baadon” (They Loved Each Other), just to name a few.
The Greek Fayrouz
Fayrouz's musical influence crosses borders reaching to the other side of the Mediterranean.
The iconic Greek singer Haris Alexiou followed the musical footpath of Fayrouz, incorporating Greek folk music, maintaining the same spiritually calming mood as Fayrouz.
Alexiou is known as “The Greek Fayrouz,” not only for her music but also for her personal style.
Through interviews and in concerts, Alexiou has expressed her passion towards Fayrouz’s music.
Alexiou covered one of Fayrouz’s songs, which she sang in Arabic.