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"


Eva Longoria, Shilpa Shetty head to Dubai

Eva Longoria will be coming to Dubai in December. (AFP)
Updated 12 November 2018
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Eva Longoria, Shilpa Shetty head to Dubai

DUBAI: The honorary chair of the Global Gift Gala, Eva Longoria, is set to touch down in Dubai in December as the charity event heads back to the UAE for its sixth edition.

Set to be hosted on Dec. 13, the Global Gift Gala will take place at Dubai’s Grosvenor House hotel and will feature an auction of high end items and experiences, with the proceeds going toward UAE-based charity Dubai Cares and the Global Gift Foundation, which seeks to help underprivileged children around the world.

The star-studded guest list includes Dubai-based makeup mogul Huda Kattan, who is nominated for the Women Empowerment award, Bollywood superstar Shilpa Shetty and internationally acclaimed self-help guru Deepak Chopra.

Longoria, who recently gave birth to her first child with husband José Bastón, will walk the red carpet at the event, a few years after she hosted the second edition of the charity gala in 2013.

Entertainment for the night includes R&B duo Lion Babe, comprised of Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman, who are also set to take to the stage at Dubai-based urban festival Sole DXB in December.

British artist and “Say You Won’t Let Go” singer James Arthur will also perform at the Global Gift Gala in Dubai.

“This charity gala continues to be a high-profile, high-impact opportunity for donors and supporters to renew their promise to invest in children and young people’s education. We hope to set an example for the coming generations to take the same footsteps and help in creating opportunities to improve the lives of children and young people by giving them proper knowledge and education,” Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares Tariq Al-Gurg said in a released statement.