When doing a simple search for “Musicians from the Arab World” one name that came up many times was that of the singer Fairuz. It seems that this Lebanese born musician is considered to be a singing legend by many. She was born in November 1935 as Nouhad Haddad to a poor Maronite and Syriac Orthodox Christian family, but Fairuz describes her childhood as happy, and while in high school she sang in the choir. Her father was reluctant to let her to to the Lebanese music conservatory as Mohammed Fleyfel, a teacher and musician at the conservatory who was impressed by Nouhad’s voice, suggested. Her father eventually allowed her to go, and Nouhad adopted the stage name Fairuz.
She later married Assi Rahbani who, along with his brother Mansour, were noted musicians. Assi composed many songs for Fairuz, which then launched her into fame. The two had four children together. Of the children, one died, one is paralyzed, Ziad followed his mother into music, Rima works in the film industry. Her son Ziad later composed music for her as well. Fairuz also acted in the theater and on television.