Icon of Arab music Sabah dies in Lebanon

Music and film diva Sabah passes away at 87 after a six-decade long career in the entertainment industry.

    Sabah, an actress and singer considered an icon in the Arab World, has died, Lebanese media reported.

    Al-Nahar newspaper said the Lebanese diva passed away on Wednesday morning at her residence at the age of 87. The Lebanese official news agency confimed her death, saying she passed away in Beirut.

    During her more than six-decade long career, Sabah, who was born as Jeanette Gergis Al-Feghali, released over 50 albums and acted in 98 films.

    Today, Lebanon lost a legend. Sabah is gone but she remains in our hearts.

    Her memory will remain in the minds and hearts of millions. 

    Nancy Ajram, Lebanese pop singer

    She is reportedly the first Arabic singer who performed at Olympia in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, and Piccadilly Theatre in London and Sydney Opera House in Sydney, according to the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper.

    The deceased singer was born in Bdadoun, a Lebanese town in the Baabda-Aley province.

    She is known for her multiple marriages, tying the knot with at least nine men.

    She brought out her first song in 1940, while her parallel screen career began three years later in Egypt, the centre of the Arabic film industry.

    She held Egyptian, Jordanian and US citizenship as well as Lebanese, and continued to perform and make television appearances into her 80s.

    In Lebanon, she was humorously mocked for refusing to leave the limelight, clinging to youth through surgeries, marriages to younger men and garish outfits.

    Sabah was nicknamed "Shahroura", Arabic for "singing bird" and "the Sabbouha," a diminutive for "Sabah" by millions of fans across the Middle East.

    "Today, Lebanon lost a legend. Sabah is gone but she remains in our hearts," famed Lebanese pop singer Nancy Ajram said on Twitter.

    "Her memory will remain in the minds and hearts of millions," she tweeted.

    Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt wrote on Twitter: "She was a great singer of a Lebanon that my generation knew, that will never come back".

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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