King of Algerian Rai music, “Cheb Khaled” has been granted Moroccan citizenship, Moroccan media reported on Thursday.
Khaled Hadj Ibrahim, known internationally by his nickname “Cheb Khaled,” was officially offered Moroccan citizenship by a royal decree issued on Aug. 20, Moroccan media reported.
Moroccan press has linked Khaled’s new citizenship to his strong friendship with the country’s king.
A singer, songwriter and instrumentalist, Khaled has recorded music since he was a teenager, and it his long-term popularity combined with his ties to King Mohammed VI that have afforded him Moroccan citizenship.
Khaled rose to stardom with hit songs “Abdel Qader Ya Bou’lam” and “Didi,” which was released in 2992. “Didi” was ranked among the top ten in the French Singles Chart and remained among the top 50 for 20 weeks.
It is this popularity that earned him the unofficial title “King of Rai” and saw him performing in Twiza festivals in the Moroccan northern region of Tanja.
But Khaled’s music is enjoyed worldwide, not just in the Middle East.
In 2010 he performed Didi at the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and his 2012 hit “C’est la vie”, was produced by Moroccan-Swedish producer RedOne and peaked at number 4 in the French music charts.