The Algerian singer who at times wore blue contact lenses to protest anti-Arab prejudice in his adoptive France died overnight after a heart attack at his home in the Paris suburb of Les Lilas.
PARIS (AP) — Algerian singer Rachid Taha, who thrillingly blended Arabic music with rock and techno and at times wore blue contact lenses to protest anti-Arab prejudice in his adoptive France, has died. He was 59.
Taha’s record label, Naïve, announced his death in a statement Wednesday on its Facebook page. It said he died overnight Tuesday to Wednesday following a heart attack at his home in the Paris suburb of Les Lilas.
Believe Digital, which owns Naïve, confirmed the veracity of the statement.
Taha had recently finished recording an album due for release in 2019. He was scheduled to film the first music video for one of the new songs, “Je suis Africain” (“I am African”), this weekend, Believe Digital said.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
- Owner of 3D-printed gun company accused of sex with minor WATCH
- Trump Jr. mocks sexual assault claim against Kavanaugh
- New round of US-China tariffs raise fears of an economic Cold War
- Grizzly's rare aggressive attack kills 1, puzzles officials
- Who is Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser of court nominee Kavanaugh?
Born Sept. 18, 1958, in Algeria, Taha would have marked his 60th birthday next week. He moved to France at age 10 with his parents.
With the group “Carte de Sejour” (“Residence Permit”), Taha caused a stir in France in 1986 with a husky-voiced rocky cover of legendary singer-songwriter Charles Trenet’s sentimental, patriotic, “Douce France,” (“Sweet France.”)
The group distributed copies of the song in France’s parliament as lawmakers were debating changes to the country’s nationality laws.