Google celebrates 76th birthday of late Lebanese singer, composer, actor Melhem Barakat

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Aug 2021

Melhem Barakat was born on 15 August 1945 and passed away on 28 October 2016


Google Middle East marked on Sunday what would have been the 76th birthday of late Lebanese singer, composer and actor Melhem Barakat, with a special doodle.

The doodle was created by Doodler Kevin Laughlin.

Born on 15 August 1945 in Kfarshima, Lebanon, Barakat is considered as one of Lebanon's most distinguished musicians.

"Acclaimed for his unique musical style and extraordinary live performances, Barakat prided himself as one of few musicians to perform primarily in colloquial Lebanese Arabic throughout his iconic career," Google's commentary reads.

Melhem's father was a carpenter and taught him how to play the oud.

Barakat dropped out of school at the age of 18 and chose to pursue a music education at the National Institute of Music. While studying music behind his father's back, Barakat focused on Eastern singing. However he also left the music school in order to embark on a fully fledged music career which at its beginnings took him to perform in musicals and operettas staged by the famed Rahbani brothers. 

"As Barakat’s career progressed, he began to compose original music and developed a signature style that combined classical elements with improvisation. He established a huge fan base across the Arab world and went on to appear in multiple Lebanese films in the 1980s. His powerful voice reverberated across the globe as he toured internationally from Australia to the United States. In addition, he collaborated with some of the Arab world’s most famous singers and continued to compose music throughout his life," Google's note explains.

Barakat's songs became well known across the Arab world, many of them were sung by his ex-wife May Hariri as well as Najwa Karam, Karol Sakr, Shatha Hassoun, Majida El Roumi, Sabah, Samira Tewfik, Wadih El Safi, among others.

Barakat died on 28 October 2016 at Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital in Achrafieh, Lebanon at age of 71.

The doodle's reach covers Middle East and North Africa countries.

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