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Everybody Loves Fairuz


by Melodee Pugh



Fairuz, often referred to as the “First Lady of Lebanese Music,” is an iconic figure in the Arab music industry. With a career spanning over six decades, she has captured the hearts of millions with her enchanting voice, captivating performances, and timeless songs. Fairuz’s influence extends far beyond the music scene, as she has become a cultural symbol of unity and resilience in the Arab world.


Born Nouhad Wadie Haddad on November 21, 1935, in Beirut, Lebanon, Fairuz’s journey to stardom began at a young age. Her exceptional talent was discovered by the renowned Rahbani brothers, Assi and Mansour, who recognized her unique voice and potential. Together, they formed an unstoppable trio that revolutionized Arab music.


Fairuz’s early career was marked by a series of captivating performances in Lebanese theaters, earning her a loyal fan base. Her enchanting voice and powerful stage presence were unrivaled, and she quickly became a favorite among Arab audiences. As she continued to captivate hearts with her emotive performances, Fairuz’s popularity began to extend beyond the borders of Lebanon.


Throughout her career, Fairuz has released countless hit songs that have become anthems for love, peace, and the Arab identity. Her ability to convey deep emotions through her music resonated with listeners from all walks of life. Fairuz’s songs served as a soundtrack for generations, with lyrics that touched on universal themes of longing, hope, and the beauty of the Middle East.


More than just a singer, Fairuz is a symbol of unity and resilience in a region often plagued by political conflicts. Her music transcends borders and unites people, reminding them of their shared heritage and common humanity. In times of turmoil, her voice has provided solace and healing, serving as a beacon of hope for many.


Today, Fairuz’s musical legacy continues to live on, with her songs being cherished by both old and new generations. Her impact on Arab culture and music cannot be overstated, as she has paved the way for countless artists who followed in her footsteps. Fairuz’s enduring popularity and influence are a testament to her unmatched talent and unwavering dedication to her art.


In this article, we will delve deeper into Fairuz’s early life, rise to stardom, cultural impact, and personal life. We will explore her musical legacy, retirement, and comeback, as well as her international recognition. Join us on this journey to discover why everybody loves Fairuz.


Early Life and Career

Born Nouhad Wadie Haddad on November 21, 1935, in Beirut, Lebanon, Fairuz grew up in a modest neighborhood and faced the hardships of war during her formative years. Despite the challenging circumstances, her love for music blossomed early on, and she discovered her singing talent at a young age.


At the age of only 10, Fairuz joined a choir at the Lebanese Radio Station and began performing traditional Arabic songs. Her exceptional voice immediately caught the attention of musicians and composers in Lebanon. Among them were the Rahbani brothers, Assi and Mansour, who would play a pivotal role in shaping Fairuz’s career.


Recognizing her immense talent, the Rahbani brothers took Fairuz under their wing. Assi composed powerful and emotive melodies, while Mansour penned poetic and thought-provoking lyrics that resonated with audiences. Together, they formed a powerful trio that would revolutionize Arab music.


Fairuz’s career took off in the late 1950s when she began performing in Lebanese theaters. Her unique voice, coupled with the Rahbani brothers’ innovative compositions, captivated audiences and earned her a growing fan base. Fairuz’s performances were marked by her enchanting presence on stage, as she effortlessly conveyed deep emotions through her music.


As her popularity soared, Fairuz started collaborating extensively with the Rahbani brothers, releasing a series of successful albums and singles. Their partnership resulted in iconic songs that have stood the test of time and continue to resonate with listeners. Fairuz’s versatility as a vocalist allowed her to effortlessly transition between different genres, including classical Arabic music, traditional folk songs, and contemporary pop.


With her poignant performances and powerful vocals, Fairuz became a national treasure in Lebanon. Her music reflected the hopes, dreams, and struggles of the Lebanese people, capturing the essence of their emotions and aspirations. Fairuz’s artistry transcended barriers, earning her recognition and adoration not just in Lebanon but across the Arab world.


Stay tuned as we explore Fairuz’s rise to stardom, her enduring cultural impact, and her remarkable musical legacy in the following sections.


Rise to Stardom

Fairuz’s rise to stardom can be attributed to her exceptional talent, captivating performances, and the enduring partnership with the Rahbani brothers. Together, they created a musical revolution that changed the landscape of Arab music and propelled Fairuz into the spotlight.


During the 1960s and 1970s, Fairuz and the Rahbani brothers dominated the Lebanese music scene, captivating audiences with their innovative approach to music. They fused traditional Arabic melodies with modern instrumentation and poetic lyrics, creating a unique and groundbreaking sound that resonated with listeners.


Fairuz’s ability to convey deep emotions through her music was unparalleled. Her rich, soulful voice had a mesmerizing quality that drew in audiences and left them spellbound. Whether performing romantic ballads, patriotic anthems, or introspective songs about love and longing, Fairuz had a knack for connecting with listeners on a profound level.


One of the defining moments in Fairuz’s career came in 1969 with the release of the musical “Al Mahatta” (The Station). The play, written by the Rahbani brothers, featured Fairuz in the leading role, and its success propelled her to even greater fame. The songs from “Al Mahatta” became instant classics, solidifying Fairuz’s status as a superstar.


As Fairuz’s popularity grew, she performed in venues across Lebanon and the Arab world, captivating audiences with her powerful stage presence. Her concerts became cultural events, attracting fans from different generations and backgrounds. Fairuz’s ability to connect with her audience on an emotional level created a sense of unity and shared experience among concert-goers.


Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Fairuz continued to release hit albums and perform in sold-out concerts. She enjoyed immense success and critical acclaim, earning numerous awards and accolades for her contributions to music. Fairuz’s vibrant career spanned multiple decades, inspiring a new generation of artists and cementing her status as an unparalleled legend.


As we delve deeper into Fairuz’s cultural impact and her enduring musical legacy, we will discover how her songs have become more than just a form of entertainment – they have become an integral part of Arab culture. Join us as we explore the profound influence of Fairuz’s music and the lasting mark she has left on the world.


Cultural Impact

Fairuz’s cultural impact extends far beyond her musical contributions. She has become an icon of unity, resilience, and national pride in the Arab world. Her songs have served as a soundtrack to the lives of millions, capturing the essence of Arab culture and reflecting the hopes, dreams, and struggles of the people.


One of the reasons for Fairuz’s enduring popularity is her ability to transcend social and cultural barriers. Her music resonates with listeners from all walks of life, regardless of age or background. Her lyrics, often poetic and deeply meaningful, touch on universal themes of love, loss, and the search for identity.


Moreover, Fairuz’s music has played a significant role in shaping the Arab identity. Her songs have become anthems of national unity, patriotism, and pride. Many of her compositions express a profound love for Lebanon, highlighting the country’s rich heritage and its ability to overcome adversity. Fairuz’s messages of unity and resilience have resonated with generations, especially during times of political turmoil or social upheaval.


In addition to her music, Fairuz is also known for her graceful demeanor and modesty. She has been a role model for young aspiring artists, embodying the ideals of humility, authenticity, and artistic integrity. Fairuz’s impact goes beyond her music; she has become an embodiment of the finest elements of Arab culture and values.


Fairuz’s performances and concerts have become cultural events in their own right. Her shows attract fans of all ages, creating an atmosphere of celebration and togetherness. Whether performing in Lebanon or on international stages, Fairuz’s concerts are a testament to the enduring power of her music and her ability to unite people through art.


Furthermore, Fairuz’s influence on fashion, style, and aesthetics cannot be overlooked. Her elegant sense of fashion, characterized by traditional Arab attire combined with a modern twist, has inspired generations of artists, designers, and fashion enthusiasts.


Through her music and persona, Fairuz has left an indelible mark on Arab culture. Her songs continue to be performed and cherished by new generations, ensuring that her cultural legacy endures. Fairuz’s influence extends beyond the music industry, as she remains a symbol of Arab identity, unity, and resilience.


In the following sections, we will dive deeper into Fairuz’s musical legacy, her personal life, and her international recognition. Join us on this journey to explore the unparalleled contributions of the beloved Fairuz.


Musical Legacy

Fairuz’s musical legacy is unparalleled, spanning over six decades of iconic songs, timeless performances, and cultural significance. Her innovative approach to music, emotive vocals, and powerful storytelling have made her an enduring figure in the Arab music industry.


One of the defining aspects of Fairuz’s legacy is her ability to seamlessly blend traditional Arabic melodies with modern instrumentation. She, along with the Rahbani brothers, transformed the landscape of Arab music by marrying classical Arabic music with contemporary sounds. This fusion created a unique and captivating style that continues to inspire artists to this day.


Fairuz’s songs encompass a wide range of themes, from love and longing to national pride and political commentary. Her lyrics, often penned by Mansour Rahbani, are known for their poetic depth, profound metaphors, and thought-provoking commentary on social issues. Through her music, Fairuz has become a voice for the people, addressing their joys, sorrows, and aspirations.


Over the years, Fairuz has released countless hit songs that have become classics in the Arab world. Tracks like “Zahrat Al Madaen” (The Flower of Cities), “Ya Tayr” (Oh Bird), and “Kan Enna Tahoun” (Once, I Was Innocent) have resonated with listeners and continue to be celebrated for their emotional impact and lyrical excellence.


Furthermore, Fairuz’s albums have become cultural milestones. Each release has been eagerly anticipated, and her records have consistently topped the charts, breaking sales records in the process. Her albums are a testament to her lasting popularity and the unwavering loyalty of her fan base.


Beyond her impressive discography, Fairuz’s influence can be seen in the careers of countless artists who were inspired by her music and style. Many artists have covered her songs, paying tribute to her iconic status. The impact of Fairuz extends to various genres and generations, demonstrating the timeless appeal of her music.


Moreover, Fairuz’s concerts became legendary events filled with emotion, passion, and a sense of unity. Her live performances showcased not only her vocal prowess but also her ability to connect with the audience on a deep level. Concert-goers were treated to unforgettable experiences, with Fairuz’s shows becoming cultural touchstones.


In recognition of her tremendous contributions to music, Fairuz has received numerous accolades and awards throughout her career. She has been honored with prestigious titles, both in Lebanon and internationally, solidifying her status as an iconic figure in the music industry.


Fairuz’s musical legacy is not just limited to her fans but extends to the broader cultural landscape of the Arab world. Her impact remains immeasurable, with her songs and performances continuing to inspire, uplift, and resonate with audiences across generations.


Stay tuned as we explore Fairuz’s personal life, her retirement and comeback, and her international recognition in the upcoming sections, unraveling the incredible journey of this extraordinary artist.


Personal Life

While Fairuz is primarily known for her extraordinary music career, her personal life has also been the subject of fascination for her fans. Despite maintaining a relatively private persona, certain details about her personal life have emerged over the years.


Fairuz’s partnership with Assi Rahbani extended beyond the professional realm. They were married and had four children together: Ziad, Layal, Hali, and Rima. Ziad Rahbani, in particular, has followed in the footsteps of his parents and has become a renowned composer and musician in his own right.


The family dynamic played an integral role in Fairuz’s musical journey. Assi Rahbani’s compositions formed the foundation of her repertoire, and their collaboration was instrumental in her rise to stardom. Despite their professional success, their marriage faced challenges, and they eventually separated in the early 1980s. However, they continued to work together professionally and maintained a strong bond for the sake of their children.


Throughout her career, Fairuz emphasized the importance of family and her Lebanese heritage. She made it a priority to instill a sense of cultural pride in her children, ensuring that they were connected to their roots and traditions. This commitment to preserving and celebrating Lebanese culture has further endeared her to her fans.


Despite her fame and success, Fairuz has remained modest and down-to-earth. She is known for her humility, shying away from the trappings of celebrity and focusing on her artistry instead. Fairuz values her privacy and has managed to maintain a low-profile personal life, allowing her music to speak for itself.


As an artist, Fairuz’s personal experiences and emotions often found their way into her music. Whether singing about love, longing, or the beauty of her homeland, her performances were infused with authenticity and a deep emotional connection. Fairuz’s ability to convey genuine emotions resonated with audiences and contributed to her enduring popularity.


While Fairuz has kept her personal life away from the public eye, her impact as an artist and cultural icon remains undeniable. Through her music, she has touched the hearts of millions and become a beloved figure in the Arab world.


In the next section, we will explore Fairuz’s retirement from the music industry, her eventual comeback, and the international recognition that has solidified her status as a global sensation.


Retirement and Comeback

In the early 2000s, Fairuz made a surprising announcement that she would retire from performing and recording music. The news saddened her devoted fans, who had grown up with her music and regarded her as an irreplaceable icon. Fairuz’s retirement marked the end of an era in Arab music.


During her retirement, Fairuz focused on spending time with her family and enjoying a quieter life away from the public eye. However, her absence from the music scene was deeply felt by her fans, who longed to hear her angelic voice once again.


After a 5-year hiatus, Fairuz made a momentous comeback in 2007, much to the delight of her fans worldwide. She returned to the stage with a series of highly anticipated concerts, which were met with overwhelming demand and sold-out venues.


Fairuz’s comeback concerts were not just a celebration of her return, but also a reflection of her enduring popularity and the timeless quality of her music. The concerts were filled with nostalgia, as fans of all ages came together to witness the iconic singer perform her beloved classics live once again.


Her comeback was not limited to live performances. Fairuz also released new material, much to the excitement of her fans. Her albums after her comeback, such as “Eh Fi Amal” (There is Hope) and “Beirut Hal Zarafat” (Beirut the Fair), showcased her continued artistic growth and ability to connect with her audience.


Fairuz’s retirement and subsequent comeback demonstrated her indomitable spirit and the power of her music. Despite stepping away from the limelight, her talent and influence remained undiminished. Her comeback was met with an outpouring of love and support from fans around the world, reaffirming her status as a living legend.


To this day, Fairuz continues to enchant audiences with her live performances and new releases. Her concerts continue to draw massive crowds, and her music continues to inspire and resonate with listeners of all ages.


Join us in the next section as we explore the international recognition that Fairuz has received for her extraordinary talent and profound impact on the global music landscape.


International Recognition

While Fairuz’s fame initially spread throughout the Arab world, her remarkable talent and unique artistic style soon garnered international recognition. Her music transcended language barriers, captivating listeners from various cultural backgrounds and earning her acclaim on a global scale.


Fairuz’s international breakthrough came in the 1970s when she performed at the Olympia music hall in Paris, France. Her captivating stage presence and soul-stirring voice left the audience in awe, earning her critical acclaim and a dedicated following outside of the Arab world. This performance marked the beginning of her international success.


Through her subsequent international tours and performances, Fairuz introduced Arab music to new audiences around the world. Her concerts were met with overwhelming enthusiasm, as listeners were captivated by her emotive performances and the beauty of the Arabic language.


As a testament to her widespread popularity, Fairuz has received several international honors and accolades. She has been awarded the Order of the Cedar by the Lebanese government, recognizing her significant contributions to culture and the arts. Additionally, she has been bestowed with prestigious international awards, such as the UNESCO Mozart Medal and the International Music Council’s International Music Prize.


Fairuz’s influence can also be seen in the work of various western artists who have been inspired by her music. Her songs have been covered and sampled by acclaimed musicians, showcasing her enduring impact outside of the Arab world.


Moreover, Fairuz has played a vital role in presenting Arab culture to the global stage. Her music serves as a bridge between different cultures, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Middle East. Through her performances and compositions, Fairuz has shattered stereotypes and showcased the rich cultural heritage of the Arab world.


Today, Fairuz continues to be celebrated as a symbol of cultural unity and artistic excellence internationally. Her music has left an indelible mark, inspiring generations of musicians and captivating audiences around the globe. Fairuz’s ability to transcend cultural boundaries with her powerful voice and heartfelt performances cements her status as a global musical icon.


As we conclude our exploration of Fairuz’s extraordinary career and impact, one thing becomes abundantly clear: her influence and legacy are not limited to any specific region, but rather resonate with listeners from all corners of the world.



Fairuz, the “First Lady of Lebanese Music,” has left an indelible mark on the world of arts and culture. With her enchanting voice, captivating performances, and timeless songs, she has become a cultural icon in the Arab world and beyond.


From her early career in Lebanese theaters to her international recognition, Fairuz’s rise to stardom was marked by her exceptional talent and artistic collaboration with the Rahbani brothers. Together, they revolutionized Arab music, creating a unique fusion of traditional melodies and contemporary sounds that resonated with audiences.


Fairuz’s influence extends beyond her music. She embodies unity, resilience, and national pride in the Arab world. Her songs have become anthems of love, hope, and cultural identity, uniting people and providing solace during times of turmoil. Fairuz’s graceful demeanor and modesty have made her a role model for aspiring artists, and her impact can be seen in fashion, style, and cultural aesthetics.


Despite her retirement, Fairuz made a triumphant comeback, reminding the world of her timeless talent. Her concerts continue to mesmerize audiences, and her new releases showcase her artistic growth and ability to connect with listeners. Fairuz’s legacy is defined by her ability to touch hearts, inspire generations, and leave an enduring imprint on Arab culture.


Internationally, Fairuz’s music has earned her acclaim and recognition. Her performances at iconic venues and the honors she has received showcase her universal appeal and the power of her music to bridge cultural divides.


In conclusion, Fairuz’s accomplishments and contributions to arts and culture are immense. Her musical legacy, personal authenticity, and profound impact on individuals and societies have solidified her status as a global musical icon. Fairuz’s enchanting voice and timeless songs will continue to captivate hearts and inspire generations to come, ensuring that her legacy lives on for years to come.