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”