5 Arab Music Icons for your music player

Translations on screen


Internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter and actress, Om Kalthoum remains one of the most popular Arab artists of all time. Her image still appears in popular culture; art, street art, clothing, books etc. Om Kalthoum was born in the Nile during the final years of the 19th century, but the exact date is unknown. Her calibre was recognised internationally, referred to as “The Lady” by Charles De Gaulle and “The Incomparable Voice” by Callas.


Turquoise in Arabic, is Lebanon’s star of the Middle East and her songs are still widely played today, of 1500 estimated songs, on 800 have been released. Fairuz is the mother of celebrated artists, Ziad (singer) and Rima (photographer) Rahbani. Much of her music expresses her patriotic pride for Lebanon and the Middle East.


In addition to his singing career, Abdel Halim was an actor, conductor, business man, music teacher and movie producer, considered one of the Middle Eastern music greats. Since he was 11, he struggled with a disease which he didn’t allow to inhibit his artistic success.

His song ‘Khosara’ was recorded and used by Jay-Z in way that the millionaire was able to avoid paying royalities.


Syrian born singer and sister of Arab music legend (Farid Al Atrach) was a singer and actress. Her family migrated to Egypt during her childhood. As her profile grew alongside that of her brother’s she became the only female singer to have been considered serious competition to the renowned icon, Om Kalthoum.


Prominent Egyptian musician and the creator of Libya’s national anthems pre and post Gaddafi, Abdel Wahab is noted for his rich tone and his introduction of Western musical principles into Arabic music.


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