Timeline of Fairuz

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This is the timeline of Lebanese artist Fairuz (Nouhad Haddad):

1935-1950s[edit]

1935
  • November 21, Nouhad Haddad is born in 'Jabal Al Arz' village, Lebanon to Wadi Haddad (from Mardin, Ottoman Empire) and Lisa El Boustani.
1946
  • Mohammad Fleifel (oriental music teacher) notices young Nouhad's talents. She becomes his student at the Conservatoire Libanais.
1949
1952
  • November, her first huge success, "Itab" (Reproaches), a song composed by the Rahbani brothers. Fairuz becomes a major artistic figure in the Middle-East.
1955
  • January 23, Fairuz marries Assi Rahbani.
1957
  • Fairuz faces an audience for the first time during the show "Ayyam Al Hassad" (Days of Harvest) where she sings "Lebnan Ya Akhdar Helou" (Lebanon the Beautiful Green) in the Baalbeck International Festival.
  • Awarded "Cavalier" Order Medal of Honor by Lebanese President Camille Chamoun.
  • The Rahbanis turn down a request for Fairuz to sing at the presidential palace at the honor of the Shah of Iran, who is visiting at that time.
1959
  • Baalbeck International Festival, where she performs "Al 'Urs Fil Qarya" (The Wedding in the Village) [also called "Al Muhakama" (The Trial)].
  • First appearance in Damascus International Festival.

1960s[edit]

1960
  • Damascus International Exhibition Festival.
1961
  • Damascus International Festivals and Baalbeck International Festival where she performs the musical play "Al Ba'albakiya" (The girl from Baalbeck).
  • Performances in Canada, United States, Brazil and Argentina.
1962
  • Fairuz performs at Royal Albert Hall in London.
  • She performs the musical play "Jisr al Amar" (Bridge of the Moon) in Baalbeck.
  • "Awdat al 'Askar" (The Return of the Soldiers) musical in Le Capitole Theatre, Beirut.
  • Fairuz's sales pass the 10 million mark to become the first Arab female singer to achieve this number after Umm Kulthum.
  • She is awarded the Order of Merit by Lebanese President Fouad Chehab.
1963
  • Casino du Liban, where she performs the musical play "Al Layl wal Qandil" (The Night and the Lantern).
  • Order of Cedars, awarded by Lebanese President Fouad Chehab.
  • Performs in Jordan.
  • Receives the Medal of Honor awarded by King Hussein of Jordan.
1964
  • In the Cedars Festival, where she first sings Gibran’s "Give Me the Flute and Sing". The song establishes her as the Arab World’s most prominent name in music. She performs the musical play "Biyya'el Khawatem" (Rings for Sale).
1965
  • "Biyya'el Khawatem" (Rings for Sale) is made into a movie.
  • In Beiteddine International Festival.
  • Fairuz makes a pilgrimage to the City of Jerusalem, and prays at churches in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
1966
  • In Kuwait. "Ayyam Fakhreddine" musical play in Baalbeck International Festival.
  • In Damascus where she sings "The Bells of the Return" for the Palestinian cause.
1967
  • The musical play "Hala wal Malik" (Hala and the King) in
  • Piccadilly Theatre, Beirut
  • Damascus International Festival
  • Cedars Festival, Lebanon (she sings "Zahratal Mada'en" (A Song for Jerusalem), and Abdel Wahab's "Sakanal Layl").
  • She receives the Order of Merit, First Class, awarded by President Nureddine al'Attassi, Syria.
  • "Safarbarlek" (The Exile) is made into a movie.
1968
  • "Bintel Haress" (The Guard's Daughter) is made into a movie.
  • In Tunisia and Algeria.
  • "Ach Chakhs" (The Person) musical play at the Damascus International Festival.
  • She receives the Key of the Holy City, awarded by the Cultural Committee of Jerusalem.
1969
  • "Ach Chakhs" (The Person) musical play in:
  • "Jibal As Sawwan" (Sawwan Mountains) musical play in:
  • Baalbeck International Festival
  • Damascus International Festival
  • A memorial stamp featuring Fairuz is issued by the Lebanese Government.
  • She records the Orthodox Great Friday Liturgy Hymns for the first time at St. George Church in Antelias. The event sets a tradition of Fairuz holding the Great Friday Funeral ceremony at a different church every year according to the Syriac/Greek/Russian Orthodox liturgy.
  • Her popularity soars to new heights as her music is banned in her own country Lebanon by order of the government because she refuses to sing at the honor of the Algerian president Hawari Bou Median.

1970s[edit]

1970
  • Brazil, and Argentina.
  • "Ya’eesh Ya’eesh" (Long Live Long Live) musical play at the Piccadilly Theatre, Beirut
  • She receives the Legion of Honour awarded by Lebanese President Suleiman Frangieh.
  • "Sah Ennawm" (Did you Sleep Well?) musical play at the Damascus International Festival.
1971
  • "Sah Ennawm" (Did you Sleep Well?) musical play at the Piccadilly Theatre, Beirut
  • A sold out 11 city tour in the United States, Canada and Mexico, during which she sings selections from "Nass min Wara".
  • Release of 'Fairuz in America' a documentary about her tour, produced by Parker and Associates. The documentary becomes TV’s highest rated show in the Arab World.
  • "Nass min Wara" (People Made out of Paper) musical play in Damascus International Festival.
1972
  • "Nass min Wara" (People Made out of Paper) musical play at the Piccadilly Theatre, Beirut
  • "Naturet Elmafateeh" (The Guardian of the Keys) musical play at
  • Baalbeck International Festival
  • Damascus International Festival
  • September 26, Assi Rahbani suffers a severe brain hemorrhage that leaves him half-paralyzed.
1973
  • Ziad Rahbani, the Rahbanis' eldest son, composes the first song for his mother titled "Saalouni Nnas" (The People Asked Me), in the musical play "Al Mahatta" (The Station) performed at
  • Piccadilly Theatre, Beirut
  • Damascus International Festival
  • "Qasidet Hub" (A Poem of Love) at
  • Baalbeck International Festival (Last appearance until 1998)
  • Damascus International Festival.
1974
  • "Loulou" musical play at
  • Piccadilly Theatre, Beirut
  • Damascus International Festival
  • In the Kingdom of Oman.
1975
  • In Baghdad, Iraq.
  • In Morocco, where the king of Morocco attends at the Capitol’s Stadium, an exception to the tradition that artists perform at the royal palace’s auditorium.
  • In Amman, Jordan.
  • She receives the Gold Medal of Honour awarded by King Hussein, Jordan
  • "Mais Elreem" musical play in:
  • Piccadilly Theatre, Beirut
  • Damascus International Festival
  • Fairuz refuses to sing at the honour of the Shah of Iran in the prestigious Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut during his visit to Lebanon.
1976
  • In Damascus International Festival, where she sings for the first time "Bhebbak ya Lebnan" (Lebanon I Love You).
  • In Cairo, Egypt. The biggest crowd on a stage ever since Oum Koulthoum sang there 12 years before. Both singers drew nearly 4,500 people inside, and well over 15,000 crowded outside. The area had to be blocked off for security.
1977
  • Good Friday prayers held in Sidnaya Holy shrine in Syria. The Holy Seraphim Monastery is opened for the first time in 150 years for Fairouz to pray in. The area is shut down one week before the event for security reasons as about 1,600 people camp around the premises. About 6,500 people attend the event and for the first time she sings "La Tanouhi" (Don't Weep).
1977–1978
  • Her last musical play, "Petra", performed in:
  • Amman Roman amphitheater
  • Damascus International Festival (Last appearance)
  • Piccadilly Theatre, Beirut (Last appearance)
  • Casino du Liban
1978
1979
  • In Al'Sharika in the UAE.
  • In the Olympia Stadium, Paris. She first sings "Sakkarouch Chaware" (They Closed the Streets), referring to the destruction in Beirut. One week later the PLO-Lebanese Phalange war expands to become a civil war between the Lebanese Christian Phalange and the Islamic Extremist Movements. It is also the last concert with husband Assi Rahbani before their separation. Fairuz's total sales pass the 20 million for the decade of the 1970s.
  • Rehearsals in Baalbeck for "Elissa", a musical play. It is never presented due to the separation of Assi and Fairuz.
  • Arab media goes into shock as the separation between Fairuz and husband Assi is officially announced. Ziad takes over the reins of his mother’s musical career as composer and artistic manager.

1980s[edit]

1981
  • In Brazil. First concert with her son, Ziad Rahbani.
  • In US and Canada where ticket sales pass the 1 million mark.
  • Theatre of the Performing Arts, Miami, Florida — October 2
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. — October 4
  • Music Hall, Cleveland, Ohio — October 10
  • Carnegie Hall, New York City, New York — October 11
  • Masonic Temple, Detroit, Michigan — October 17
  • Place des Arts, Montreal, Quebec, Canada — October 22/23
  • O’Keefe Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, Ontario, Canada — October 25
  • Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California — October 30
  • Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, California — November 7/8
  • Music Hall, Houston, Texas — November 14
  • J. F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. — November 15
  • United Nations’ General Assembly Lobby, New York City, New York — November 20
  • Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts — November 22
1982
  • In Egypt where she sings "Oudak Rannan" (Your Banging Lute). No political connotation was intended regardless of all the rumours about the song.
1983
  • Jarash International Festival.
1984
  • In Australia, last concert with sister Huda as the two separate professionally as well.
1985
  • Another Arab media shock wave as the professional separation of Fairuz and sister Huda is officially announced.
  • In Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • August: In Bousra Roman Amphitheatre, Syria, the biggest venue ever held in the Middle East; entrance is free and there are no tickets. About 30,000 people camp outside several days before the event. On the day, 13,000 fill up the stadium by dawn and all roads to the area are completely shut down. The crowds are out of control and beyond reason with elation as they carry Fairuz’s car on their shoulders after the concert. At her arrival in Damascus, and contrary to tradition, president Hafez al-Assad bows to her as he greets her. 'Bowing to the greatness of the Great One’ was the heading in the next day’s newspapers. President Assad gave her the highest of honours in the nation. Last appearance in Syria.
1986
  • In Royal Hall Festival, London, where ticket prices reached 1000 pounds sterling, she eclipses Frank Sinatra at the ticket sales box office (his concert was scheduled to take place two weeks after hers).
  • Good Friday at St. Elie church in Antelias area of East Beirut. The Lebanese Forces militia shut down the area as a security precaution as 3,500 people flock to the area from all over the divided nation. Well over 1,250 tourists also attend, in spite of unstable security in Lebanon.
  • June 21, her husband Assi Rahbani dies.
1987
  • In Bahrain, biggest Fairuz venue in the Gulf. VIP ticket prices reach $1,500 and well over 2,500 attend.
  • United States Tour
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.
  • Lincoln Center, New York City, New York
  • Wang Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Ford Auditorium, Detroit, Michigan
  • Death of her daughter Layal.
1988
1989
  • Concert in Cairo. The Cancellation War starts in Lebanon.

1990s[edit]

1990
  • Concert in Dubai.
  • Cancellation of another appearance at the Royal Hall Festival in London due to the death of her close friend, Alice Dagher in Beirut. Last reported meeting with sister Huda is at the funeral.
1991
  • In Qatar. No tickets were released for sale, entrance is free to all.
  • For the first time she is at the St. Charbel shrine, her first public appearance in Lebanon, where she holds the Great Friday ritual funeral prayers. Prayers for Lebanon and the martyrs are lifted up at the end of the 30-year civil war. Well over 750 people attend inside and around 1,000 listen outside in spite of a rainstorm and still-insecure situation. She sings for the first time "With Us Is the Lord" as it is enrolled into the Orthodox liturgical repertoire in Russia. It has been 90 years since a liturgical hymn has been added into the church’s official repertoire.
1992
  • Good Friday prayers are held in Balamand Monastery without any advance notice of Fairuz's attendance. About 600 people were already present and about 1,000 rushed to the area when the news spread.
1993
  • Fairuz sues Madonna for $2.5 million for plagiarism over the Arab section/sampling in her song "Erotica". The song contains a section of a Christian Great Friday hymn that translates "Today, He is held to a cross" while Madonna repeatedly chants over Fairuz's voice 'All over me'. Upon the song’s release, the Vatican bans Madonna from entering the Vatican and she is banned on its radio stations. The song and its accompanying album are also banned in Lebanon. Sales of the song soar and reach 5 million units and an undisclosed settlement is reached between Fairuz and Madonna.
  • In Dubai, she cries as she sings "Don’t Be Scared, Salem Is Sleeping and Not Feeling Cold" (a song for the martyrs of Lebanon).
  • Good Friday prayers are held at the St. Charbel shrine.
1994
  • In London's Olympia.
  • Fairuz is the star of the launch event of the Solidere Real Estates Company. Her first concert in Lebanon since the end of the war is held in Martyrs' Square, the separation area between East and West Beirut, to reunite the divided nation. Over 50,000 attend and the event breaks TV ratings as 125 million Arabs watch her via satellite. Millions are said to have cried as a video of the Lebanese war is shown while she sings the song "To Beirut". The King of Saudi Arabia declares, "It was when Fairuz’s voice soared from its heart that we knew Lebanon is finally back."
1997
  • In Dubai, where she first sings "Greet Him for Me".
  • She receives the Highest Artistic Distinction award by president of Tunisia Ben Ali.
  • Jerusalem Award is awarded by the Culture and Arts Committee, Jerusalem.
1998
  • In Bahrain.
  • In Tunisia for the first time since 1968.
  • Return to the Baalbeck International Festival after 25 years absence. Tickets sell out within the first day of sale and well over 16,000 people fill up the three massive stadiums of Baalbeck pillars.
  • The release of "Fairuz"—a documentary about her childhood, life with her husband and brothers-in-law and how she became the symbol of a dying nation’s hope.
  • She receives the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur awarded by French president Jacques Chirac.
  • Highest Distinction awarded by King Hussein, Jordan
1999
  • In the Kingdom of Oman.
  • At the MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, where she is reported to have brought in the biggest crowd since Frank Sinatra. Well over 14,000 people were estimated to be inside the stadium and over 5,000 outside.
  • The release of "Arrab al Mowaed" (The Time Is Approaching), a behind-the-scenes documentary of the legend’s record-breaking concert at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. The show was another record-breaking broadcast in the Arab World.

2000-Present[edit]

2000
  • Twice at the Beiteddine International Festival.
2001
  • In Dubai.
  • In Kuwait.
  • In Switzerland.
  • In Beiteddine.
2002
  • In Dubai where she dedicates the event to the Intifada.
  • At St. George church, Achrafieh for the Orthodox Great Friday Funeral Ritual.
  • In Paris. Well over 2,000 attend the Pleyel theatre.
  • In Beiteddine. Fairuz performs for the first time without her son Ziad.
2003
  • In Dubai, where she first sings "Small Thing" and "He’s a Loss".
  • At the St. Georgeos Church in Downtown Beirut for the Orthodox Great Friday Funeral Ritual.
  • In Doha, Qatar.
  • Beiteddine International Festival where she sings new songs for the first time since release of her Wala Kif CD.
  • Third major multi-state US tour since the 1980s, and announcement of a new CD release by 2004 (however, the CD is still not yet released).
  • October 11, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Connecticut
  • October 18, Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
  • October 23, Fox Theatre, Detroit, Michigan
  • Fairuz blocks the release of "We Loved Each Other so Much" in Lebanon. A documentary made by Dutch director Jack Janssen talks about thin Lebanon times of both economic growth and luxury and fall into bloody chaos when Fairuz’s voice remained the only ray of hope. The movie is screened at several festivals around the world but not inside Lebanon.
2004
  • Fairuz is at the Church of St. Elias, al Kantari, in Beirut. An Orthodox Great Friday mass is held in the middle-sized Maronite church. Well over 2,000 people crowd the inside and about 3,000 camp outside.
  • September: First appearance in 2004 at the University Arena in Jordan; the tickets sold out in 1 day and well over 6,500 attended the event.
  • December 12: Tickets sell out completely for 2 venues in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for February 13 and 14, 2005.
2005
  • February 12–13: At the 2 biggest venues in Canada, 6,000 attend the first concert and 11,000 the second concert a night later. It was her first concert in Canada in 24 years, since her Legend and Legacy Tour in 1981.
  • Fairuz declines to perform the Western Great Friday Funeral Mass due to returned civil unrest in the country that followed the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri a month earlier. The only statement her media office released to the press was "I will not sing to a divided people."
  • April 5: A Gulf-based business magazine conducts a poll about the Arab World’s most powerful singers and she is at second place with a fortune worth $36.9 million, an artistic archive of plays, concert performances, and photos worth an estimated $20.8 million, and a music back catalog worth an estimated $30 million.
  • April 29: Fairuz holds the Eastern Orthodox Great Friday Funeral Mass at the Muhaidseh church in the town of [Bikfaya]. Thousands crowd outside the full church. The mass lasts 45 minutes and the crowds cheer loudly for almost 15 minutes. For the third time in the history of the Orthodox Church three more hymns are enrolled into the Russian Orthodox liturgy. "Al Aodiya al’Oula" (The First Valleys), "Al Aodiya al Tasi’aa" (The Nine Valleys), and "Sabbihu al'Rabb" (Bless the Lord).
  • June 25: Fairuz is awarded an honorary doctorate degree at the American University of Beirut (AUB) during its annual graduation ceremony. It is the first time a vocalist has been awarded such a high honour, usually granted to avant garde scientists, politicians, and laureates.
2006
  • March 1: Official announcement that Fairuz will be holding two concerts at the Baalbeck International Festival during the summer of 2006.
  • March 20: Official announcement of Fairuz holding a charity concert at UAE, at the American University of Dubai for the Autism Center. The concert is scheduled for March 30, 2006.
  • March 30: Fairuz sings in the American University theatre in Dubai. She sang "Zourouni" (Visit Me) for the first time since her Las Vegas concert in 1999. The starring songs of the show are "Aam Yelaabo el Wlad" (The Children Are Playing) which is sung for the first time on a stage, "Ya Rayt" (I Wish) which was last sung in 1960, "Ehkili Ehkili" (Tell Me, Tell Me) which is a Lebanese patriotic song and finally "Hamra Stayhatik" (Your Roofs Are Red) which is one of her late husband's masterpieces during the 1960s and was sung on stage for the first time in 2004.
  • May 18: Fairuz sings in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The concert consists mainly of oldies.
  • July: Fairuz is due to sing at the Baalbeck International Festival. She is to perform one of her old plays; "Sah Ennawm" (Did You Sleep Well?), the comic musical play, in a new version written by her son Ziad. She last performed this play more than 30 years ago in both Beirut and Damascus. The show is planned to start on 13 July for 4 days and it will be performed on a special stage between the two Roman temples in Baalbeck.
  • July 12: a free performance of Sah Ennawm is delivered to Baalbeck's residents.
  • July 13: Cancellation of the four performances in Baalbeck due to the war in Lebanon.
  • August 2: Fairouz donates $750,000 for the aid of the 1.2 million refugees who were left homeless and stranded after the escalation of the war.
  • December 1–3: Fairuz performs "Sah Ennawm" (Did You Sleep Well?) operetta at BIEL's theatre in downtown Beirut, with more than 6,500 people present each night, amid growing political and religious tensions in Lebanon.
2007
  • February: Fairouz was scheduled to perform on June 30 at the Chateau de Versailles in France. Three days after the announcement the performance is cancelled.
  • April: Fairouz releases a video of "Al Massih Kam" (Christ Has Risen) for the Orthodox Good Friday. The video was shot in Batroun Valley. Everyone is dressed in black, she stands on a high rock, surrounded by the choir and musicians scattered across the hill below, with fog surrounding them.
  • July: Fayrouz broke another record by being the first Lebanese, and artist from the Arab World to perform in Greece, at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, to a sold out venue filled with 9,000 people.
  • November: Fairouz performs "Sah Ennawm" on November 2 November 3 in Amman, Jordan.
2008
  • January: Fairouz performs "Sah Ennawm" on January 28 through February 5 for eight consecutive nights at the Opera House in Damascus, Syria. The show was supposed to last for 6 days, 2 days were added to the schedule because of the tremendous demand of the Syrians. The last day was devoted to the youth, only people in the age range of 8 - 26 were allowed in with ticket pricing 1000SL (approximately $11), next day's headlines stated "Fairouz bows longest to the youth and children. The show was very successful despite the controversy storm that Fairouz should not go to perform in Syria, as most politician in Lebanon mdly raved. Her office stated no comment, a message that she still remains above all political and antagonistic sympathies towards any people...
  • March: Fairouz performs in Bahrain on 12, March for a 1800 audience, tickets went on sale in the first week of March, 1700 tickets were sold in 30 minutes after release breaking a new record. The concert was a complete success which consisted of a mix of oldies and new songs, "wata eddowwar" song which was never performed on stage before was the star of the show.
  • April 25, 2008: After 2 years absence, Fairouz holds the Orthodox Good Friday mass at St Elias Church, Msaytbeh, in Beirut. The event was totally unannounced in advance and Fairouz's sudden, unexpected appearance at the church prompted hundreds of people to flock from all over the capitol the moment news spread. The mass lasted 45 minutes and is said to be one other outstanding Good Friday prayer to add.
  • May 2008: Fairouz performs "Sah Ennawm" on May 2 May 6 in Sharjah UAE. All shows were sold out.
  • June 2008: Fayrouz Live in Dubai 2001 DVD was released. The DVD features Rehearsals from 2001 and 2002 in Dubai. The DVD also features a small performance segment from 1997 and her final exits from 2002.
2009
  • April 3, 2009: Ziad Rahbani, Fairouz's son, files a lawsuit with the Lebanese civil supreme court denying his fatherhood to Assi Rahbani Jr., aged 25, asking he be stripped of the famous Rahbani family name, and be dropped off all legal records relating to the family.
  • April 17: Instead of holding prayers at a church like every year, a video is released to all major media outlets and TV channels featuring Fairouz, alone in an ancient monastery chanting the Good Friday prayers. The video is unique for its exquisite content, the ancient church with its walls of religious murals and iconography, and the Eastern Orthodox liturgy chanted by Fairouz with her breathtaking voice.

She continues her productions until now-a-days. Last activity is by releasing the Bebalee Album in September 2017, a song LBADOU YSEER YSEER" (que sera sera), a prayer dedicated to Jerusalem. The song was produced by her daughter Rima Rahbani, who also helped co-produce the Lebanese singing icon's last album Bebalee, a collection of covers of songs that inspired Fairouz throughout her impressive career that spans six decades.