Uploaded on Feb 21, 2008
abdel halim best song.He was born Abdel Halim Ali Ismail Shabana in El-Halawat, in Ash Sharqiyah Governorate, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Cairo, Egypt. Abdel Halim was the fourth child of Sheikh Ali Ismail Shabana. He had two brothers, Ismail and Mohammed, and one sister, Aliah. Abdel Halim's mother died from complications after giving birth to him, and his father died five months later, leaving Abdel Halim and his siblings orphaned at a young age. Abdel Halim was raised by his aunt and uncle in Cairo.
His musical abilities first became apparent while he was in primary school, and his older brother Ismail Shabana was his first music teacher. At the age of 11 he joined the Arabic Music Institute in Cairo and became known for singing the songs of Mohammed Abdel Wahab. He graduated from the Higher Theatrical Music Institute as an oboe player.
While singing in clubs in Cairo, Abdel Halim was drafted as a last-minute substitute when singer Karem Mahmoud was unable to sing a scheduled live radio performance in honor of the first anniversary of the 1952 Revolution, on June 18, 1953. Abdel Halim's performance was enormously popular with the live audience, and was heard by Hafez Abd El Wahab, supervisor of musical programming for Egyptian national radio, who decided to support the then unknown singer. Abdel Halim took Hafez Abdel Wahab's first name as his stage-surname in recognition of his patronage.
Abdel Halim went on to become one of the most popular singers and actors of his generation, and is considered one of the four greats of Egyptian and Arabic music, along with Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Farid Al Attrach.
Abdel Halim never married, although rumours persist that he was secretly married to actress Souad Hosni for six years. Both Abdel Halim and Souad Hosni's friends continue to deny the marriage even to this day. Interestingly, Souad Hosni died on Abdel Halim's birthday (June 21) in 2001.
Despite this, Abdel Halim only truly fell in love once, in his youth. He fell in love with a young woman whose parents refused to allow them to marry. After four years, her parents finally approved, but the girl died of a chronic disease before the wedding. Abdel Halim never recovered from her loss, and dedicated many of his saddest songs to her memory, including Fi Youm, Fi Shuher, Fi Sana (In a Day, a Month, a Year) and the poignant Qariat el-Fingan (The Fortune-teller).
At the age of 11 Abdel Halim contracted Bilharzia -- a parasitic water-born disease -- and was periodically and painfully afflicted by it. During his lifetime, many artists and commentators accused Abdel Halim of using his Bilharzia to gain sympathy from female fans. His death of the disease put to rest such accusations.
Abdel Halim died on March 30, 1977, a few months short of his 48th birthday, while undergoing treatment for Bilharzia in King's College Hospital, London. His funeral (in Cairo) was attended by thousands of people -- more than any funeral in Egyptian history except those of President Nasser (1970) and Umm Kulthum (1975). Four women committed suicide on hearing of his death. He is buried in Al Rifa'i Mosque in Cairo.
His music can still be heard every day across the Arab world, and he is still considered one of the four 'greats' of Arabic music. Further, he is today seen as the most famous and popular singer in the Arab world, insofar as he is the artist whose discs have been the most sold since his death (second only to Umm Kulthum).
Abdel Halim Hafez's song Khosara enjoyed international fame in 1999 when producer Timbaland used elements from it for Jay-Z's song Big Pimpin''. Two complete bars from "Khosara" were rerecorded, not sampled, and used without permission from the song's producer and copyright holder, Magdi El-Amroussi. Jay-Z's use of a rerecording, and not a sample, may allow Jay-Z to avoid paying royalties for the use of the song.
His most famous songs include Ahwak ("I love you"), Khosara ("A pity"), Gana El Hawa ("Love came to us"), Sawah ("Wanderer"), Zay el Hawa ("It feels like love"), and El Massih ("The Christ"), among the 260 songs that he recorded. His last, and perhaps most famous song, Qariat el-Fingan ("The fortune-teller"), featured lyrics by Nizar Qabbani and music by Mohammed Al-Mougy. He starred in sixteen films, including "Dalilah", which was Egypt's first colored motion picture.
Along with Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Magdi el-Amroussi, Abdel Halim was a founder of the Egyptian recording company Soutelphan, which continues to operate to this day as EMI Arabia. The company was founded in 1961.
In 2006 a feature film about his life, "Haleem", was released starring the late actor Ahmad Zaki in the title role, produced by the Good News Group.
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