Published: 2017-11-21 12:37
Last Updated: 2017-11-21 15:41
The neighbour of the moon, the song that will never get old, Lebanon’s ambassador to the stars, and the Queen of Arab Music.
These are some of the many titles given to Fairouz, the Lebanese singer who features in every Arab’s morning and many memories of our childhood, and who today celebrates her 82nd birthday.
For decades Fairouz has been the inspiration for love stories across the Arab world.
She is also a cultural icon who has written songs about peace, humanity, heritage, childhood, and love.
Her songs combine powerful lyrics with moving music and are often embedded with stories from Fairouz’s life.
You’ll hear Fairouz’s voice around the Arab world as people leave their homes in the morning. Her songs ring out from taxis, buses and cafes, and crackle from radios on the streetside surrounded by old men chatting.
Nihad Haddad, her real name, was born on November 21 1935 in Lebanon.
Known for her unique singing voice during her childhood, Fairouz used to sing during school shows and on holidays, where Mohammed Flayfel, a well-known Lebanese musician noticed her.
She was also introduced to the Rahbani brothers, Assi and Mansour, who discovered her talent and brought it to the world. Fairouz married Assi in 1955.
They had four children, Ziad who is a well-known musician and composer, Rima, the photographer and film director, and Layal and Hali.
Fairouz has also featured in around 20 Lebanese musicals, composed by Rahbani Brothers, including Mais El Reem, Biyya'el Khawatem, Al Mahatta and many others.
She has recorded around 1500 songs during her life, of which only 800 were released.
Her last album was released in September 2017, called: “Bebalee”. It was composed by her daughter, Reema Rahbany.
“Baa’lbak’s fifth column, Fairouz,” as she is affectionately known, is a source of pride for many Arabs.
Here you can listen to her best songs: