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Khaled Hadj Brahim


Also known as 'Cheb Khaled', he has become the most internationally famous Algerian singer. His popularity has earned him the unofficial title "King of Raï".

Plus de utilisateur: lremy
Creer: 28th Mar 2008
Modifier: 14th Jul 2008
Professional Information
Professional Areas:
Universal Records
singer-songwriter, Intrumentalist
Working primarily in:

Description of Work:

Early Years

Born in Sidi-El-Houri in Oran Province of Algeria, Khaled Hadj Brahim began recording in his early teens under the alias Cheb Khaled (Arabic for "Young Khaled"). At the age of 14 Khaled formed his first band, "Les Cinq Etoiles", and began playing at wedding parties and local cabarets, his first single, "Trigue Lycée", was recorded soon to become involved with the early-1980s Raï movement, incorporating western instruments and studio.

Music and Politics

Algerian Islamic fundamentalists were violently opposed to Raï because of its sometimes irreverent tone and the fact that raï singers freely addressed taboo (to islamists) issues like romantic love, drugs, and alcohol. Singers like Khaled articulated socially progressive, more modern themes that many younger people identified with, a way of rebelling against the constraints of the older generations and more traditional Islam. As Khaled says himself, "in rai music, people can express themselves. We break taboos" This open embracing of taboo subjects in Islamic culture can be witnessed in the video of Khaled's hit song, "Didi", showing women provocatively dressed and dancing, both taboos in Islamic culture.

The themes and nature of his music and lyrics infuriated fundamentalists when it was officially declared by the Algerian government to be one of the country's native music styles. In response, fundamentalists sent death threats to some raï artists. The danger forced Khaled to move to Paris in 1986 .

After dropping "Cheb" from his name, he released his self titled album Khaled, which established his reputation as a superstar in France and among maghrebian emigrants around the world. His audience has continued to expand throughout the 1990s, and he has collaborated with several hip hop artists. Khaled had achieved superstar status in France, his homeland Algeria and the Arab world. His signature song, Didi, became extremely popular in several countries, including India. However, his popularity in the US, the UK and other countries has been limited to a small but devoted cult following.


Live albums


Biographical Information
Khaled Hadj Brahim
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Feb/29/1960
Interests: Politics, tradition and culture
Website: http://www.kha...
Place of Origin: Algeria

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