Algerian singer Rachid Taha died on Wednesday of a heart attack while sleeping at his Paris home at the age of 59.
Taha was born on September 18, 1958, in Sik al Wakaa, west of Algeria.
He rose to fame in the early nineties of the last century, singing both in French and Arabic and introduced English in some of his songs. He was famous for his rebellious style and sang about racism, the problems of immigrants, women’s issues and identity.
The song "Ya Rayih Win Mafassar” is considered one of Taha’s most famous song that contributed to the Rai genre of Arabic music. It became associated with him despite it being originally sang by Algerian folklore singer Dahman al-Harashi.
He was also famous for songs in 1996, including Olé Olé, Diwan in 1998, and the album Made in the City in 2000, and the song “Abdelkader Ya Boualem” in 1999 with Cheb Khaled and Cheb Faudel that was performed during a big Paris concert. The album achieved significant sales in France, America and the wider Arab world.
The late artist was also famous for his good looks and was once elected the “Most Attractive Man in the World” several times, most recently in 2012 when he was 53. He had inspired many by his music, which varied between Rai, folk, techno and rock and roll.
Rashid Taha was preparing to release a new album early in 2019 before his demise on Wednesday.