|Born||15 August 1942|
|Died||28 October 2016 (aged 74)|
Melhem Barakat (Arabic: ملحم بركات; 15 August 1942– 28 October 2016), also known as Melhim Barakat, or Abou Majd was a Lebanese singer, songwriter, and melodist. He has toured Australia, South America, Canada, and the United States.
Melhem Barakat mainly performed in colloquial Lebanese, a feat he had always defended, criticizing his fellow Lebanese peers for favoring the Egyptian or Gulf dialect to appeal to a broader audience for commercial purposes. Although his popularity is rather modest in Egypt, where non-Egyptian music material generally receives lukewarm mass appeal, Melhem is better known in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.
Since the 1990s Melhem Barakat had several popular songs, such as “Habibi Enta,” which was later sung by his ex-wife May Hariri. He also collaborated with Najwa Karam, Karol Sakr, Shatha Hassoun, and Majida El Roumi.
Melhem Barakat, a Lebanese singer, was born in 1942 in Kfarshima, Lebanon and raised as a Christian. He grew up with the sound of Egyptian composer and singer Mohammed Abdel Wahab. While still at school, he composed a song whose lyrics were taken from an article in the school journal and sang it first before his classmates and teachers, who appreciated his performance. Also in his school years, he used to sing in school parties and performed in various talent shows. Later, he joined the Rahbanis’ musical theater, where he sang in the choral and was the lead singer in the play Ar-rabih Assabeh (the seventh spring – 1984). Barakat then started producing his own songs in colloquial Lebanese - a dialect that he used exclusively in his music throughout his career. He composed music for some of the best Arab singers of the past century, including Sabah, Samira Tewfik, Wadih El Safi and Majida El Roumi (I'tazalt al-Gharam). Barakat was known for his energetic songs that mixed classical music with his personal improvisations.
Family and background
Melhem Barakat first married the Lebanese singer Sabah's sister, Souad. Then he later married Randa Azar with whom he had 3 children: Majd (Hence Melhem's surname abu-majd), Waad and Ghinwa. His third and final marriage was to May Hariri with whom he had a child: Melhem junior, before the couple divorced. He was Greek Orthodox Christian.
He died from cancer on 28 October 2016 at Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital in Achrafieh, Lebanon. He was 74. His funeral took place at Saint Nicolas Church in Achrafieh, Beirut. Many Lebanese singers and politicians were present at the funeral mass, including Ragheb Alama, Fares Karam, Majida El Roumi, Rola Saad and Barakat's ex-wife May Hariri.
- Melhem Barakat Yearns for Lost Love | Al Bawaba
- "Melhem Barakat". Fanoos.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Shatha Hassoun Collaborates with Melhem Barakat". Waleg.com. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- Middle East Eye | Iconic Lebanese musician Melhem Barakat dies at 71
- Melhem Barakat n'est plus | l'Orient le Jour Samedi 29 octobre 2016