Celebrated firebrand Lebanese singer Melhem Barakat passed away Friday after struggling with illness. He was 71.
The respected singer and music composer, who launched his career in the 60s, kept making hits for over 50 years. But recently according to media reports he was admitted to the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Beirut more than a month ago, local media reported. Barakat was one of the few Arab singers to perform in colloquial Lebanese Arabic, a stylistic choice that he defended throughout his career. He refused to sing in any other dialect and he would shame other Lebanese singers for singing in Egyptian or Khaleeji.
Among Barakat’s most popular songs are “Two Moons at my Door,” and “Habibi Inta (You are my Love)”. He was married twice and is survived by four children–three from the first marriage and one from his second. Born in the Mount Lebanon town of Kfarshima in 1945, Barakat showed an innate talent from an early age and was influenced by Egyptian singer Mohammad Abdel Wahhab.
Melhem left school early at age of 16 and went to study music instead. He started his career by singing in Lebanon and Syria, and then he composed songs for the likes of Walid Toufic and Sabah. during the civil war he has a rough time and struggled with making money or finding work.
Melhem Barakat 2015 ملحم بركات ٢٠١٥