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French-Algerian Rai Star Rachid Taha dies at 59

Algerian Rai Star Rachid Taha (L) performing during his concert in Izmir, Turkey [Evren Atalay/Anadolu Agency]

Algerian-born singer Rachid Taha has died of a heart attack at home in Paris aged 59, his family said.

Taha was born on Algeria’s north-west coast in 1958 and moved with his family to Lyon aged 10.

He rose to prominence as the lead singer of Arabic-language group Carte de Séjour, which blended Western punk rock with Algerian Maghrebi music.

His other famous songs include a version of Douce France with Carte de Séjour, as well as his cover of song Ya Rayah as a solo artist.

“All those memories: the success of Ya rayah, the historic ‘1,2,3 soleils’ gig, the parties, the chats and laughter all night long! How sad…! RIP dear friend”,  French producer Pascal Nègre wrote on Twitter.

Taha was preparing to release a new album with the label Believe.

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