Lebanese diva Fairouz, one of the Arab world's most beloved singers for decades, performs at the annual festival of Beiteddine in the Chouf region 31 July 2001 (AFP)
Lebanese diva Fairouz, one of the Arab world's most beloved singers, turned 80 on Friday.
Fairouz was born Nihad Wadie Haddad to a poor family in Zuqaq el-Balatt neighborhood in Beirut in 1935.
In the 1960s and 1970s she achieved regional and international fame with dozens of popular songs. She also starred in several musicals and films.
She collaborated with the renowned composers Rahbanni brothers for decades. She was married to one of the siblings, the late Assi Rahbani, who had a huge impact on her singing career.
In recent years, she formed a musical duo with her eldest son, composer and musician Ziad Rahbani.
She has dedicated much of her work for the Palestinian and Arab struggle against Israel, as well as for peace in war-torn Lebanon.
Among the diva's most popular hits are Habbaytak Bissayf (I Loved You in the Summer), Saalouni Al-Nass (People Asked Me), Zahrat Al-Madaeen (The Flower of All Cities—a reference to Jerusalem) and Le Beirut (For Beirut).
Her most famous musicals include Mais Al-Reem (The Deer's Meadow), Al-Mahatta (The Station) and Biyyaa Al-Khawatem (The Ring the Salesman).
Fairouz has also starred in several films including Bent Al-Hares (The Daughter of the Guard) and Safar Barlak (A Trip to Barlak).
The award-winning Arab star performed in Egypt on a number of occasions, and on one occasion giving a concert at the Giza Pyramids.