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
0

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"


Spice Girls add new tour dates as fans snap up tickets

Updated 11 November 2018
0

Spice Girls add new tour dates as fans snap up tickets

  • The group originally announced six dates in 2019, but is expanding the number due to popular demand
  • The Spice Girls stormed to worldwide fame in 1996 after the release of their first single “Wannabe,” spreading their message of girl power

LONDON: Best-selling 90s girl band the Spice Girls added extra dates to their UK tour on Saturday after fans from around the world raced to buy tickets when they went on sale.
The band — minus “Posh Spice” Victoria Beckham, now a fashion designer — originally announced six dates in 2019, including a finale at Wembley Stadium in London.
But after a flood of interest when tickets went on sale online, they added several more dates, including more at Wembley, Britain’s biggest venue.
“Thank you everyone for such an amazing reaction, so excited to see you,” the official @SpiceGirls twitter account said.
On social media, many fans shared their joy at being able to see once again a band they loved in childhood, with one typical Twitter user posting: “My 12-year-old self is freaking out.”
But others expressed frustration after spending hours online without getting through, and at seeing tickets at inflated prices swiftly appear on resale sites.
The Spice Girls stormed to worldwide fame in 1996 after the release of their first single “Wannabe,” spreading their message of girl power.
They went on to sell 85 million albums worldwide.
Only two of their 11 singles failed to reach number one on the British charts, while their first three singles all hit the US top five.
The five-piece split in 2000 but reunited for a world tour in 2007.
They got together again to perform at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony and also collaborated then for the launch of the Spice Girls musical “Viva Forever!.”