Algerian-French singer Rachid Taha dies at 59

Rachid Taha, who blended Arabic music with rock and techno and at times wore blue contact lenses to protest anti-Arab prejudice in France, where he made his home, has died. He was 59. (AP Photo)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Algerian-French singer Rachid Taha dies at 59

  • The singer who thrillingly blended Arabic music with rock and techno died overnight after suffering a heart attack at his home in the Paris suburbs
  • Taha was scheduled to film the music video for one of the new songs, Je suis Africain, this weekend

 JEDDAH: French media reported on Wednesday the death of the Algerian-French singer Rachi Taha at the age of 59.

Taha died from a heart attack he suffered early on Wednesday in Paris, according to a statement by his family sent to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“It is with regret and immense sadness that his son Lyes, his family and relatives, his friends and his record label Naive, announce the death of artist Rachid Taha, following a heart attack overnight at his home in the Lilas (near Paris),” the statement said.

Rachid Taha, an Algerian singer and activist, was born in 1958 in Sig, a town on Algeria’s northwest coast. At the age of 10 he moved with his family to Lyon in France.

He is known for his unique mixture of music; he merged traditional Algerian rai music with electronic rock.

In the 1990s, Taha released a remixed version of the song Ya Rayah (You, The One Leaving), a traditional Algerian song by Dahmane El Harrachi in his album “Diwan,” which featured Algerian Chaabi songs. The song hit number 11 on the French music charts and earned Taha international fame.

Taha was preparing to release a new album “Believe” in early 2019, according to Le Parisien.

Lebanese singer Elissa (@elissakh) said on Twitter, “I am so saddened to know about the death of Rachid Taha. Such a unique artist. May he Rest In Peace.”

Anissa Bouziane (@AnissaBouziane) tweeted, “Heartbroken to hear of Rachid Taha’s untimely passing. When in 1998, I interviewed him for WBAI NYC — he said: “Well my music is like a pair of “baboushes” that traveled (from the coast of North Africa) and then became American boots, Taha, your inspiration lives on. #RachidTaha"


A female 007? Lashana Lynch set for surprising starring role

Cast member Lashana Lynch attends the "Bond 25" film launch at Ian Fleming's home "GoldenEye" on April 25, 2019 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (AFP)
Updated 15 July 2019
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A female 007? Lashana Lynch set for surprising starring role

DUBAI: The upcoming James Bond film is reportedly set to introduce a female version of the spy.

According to the Daily Main, British actor Lashana Lynch will be introduced as the new 007. She won’t play the role of Bond, but will instead play the role of the agent who replaces Bond.

A film insider told the Mail on Sunday that her character will be tasked with tracking Daniel Craig’s character and bringing him out of retirement.

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“There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M (played by Ralph Fiennes) says, ‘Come in 007,’ and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman,” the insider said, adding: “It’s a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he’s been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman.”

Oscar-winner Rami Malek is set to play the villain in the upcoming film. 

Bond 25 is being directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and was co-written by  Phoebe Waller-Bridge.