Anas Fakhri says his father died a natural death at a hospital in the Syrian capital Damascus.
Famous Syrian singer Sabah Fakhri, known across the Arab world for performing concerts that could go on for hours, died of natural causes on Tuesday at the age of 88.
The Damascus branch of the Syndicate of Artist said it would later announce details about the singer’s burial and funeral.
“He died a natural death in Damascus, his heart stopped beating,” his son Anas Fakhri said on Tuesday. “There is great sadness in our hearts. I don’t know what to say, it is a great loss for Syrian art.”
The younger Fakhri said the popular Arab singer was “a living legend” who will remain an icon throughout Syria and the Arab world.
The son of a sheikh, Fakhri grew up in the city of Aleppo surrounded by the sounds of the mosque including Quranic recitation and Islamic hymns known as nasheed. One of his first jobs was as a Syrian state muezzin, reciting the call to prayer.
Fakhri, born in 1933 in Aleppo, was famous for performing al-Muwashahat and al-Qudud al-Halabi – traditional song forms inspired by Arabic poetry that date back hundreds of years.
The artist was short in stature, but known for his long artistic connections on the stage.
Fakhri gave performances that would stretch through the night, breaking only to recite the call to prayer at dawn. He entered the record books in 1968 for singing for 10 hours without a break in the Venezuelan capital Caracas.
The late artist held several positions as he was elected head of artists, vice president of the Arab Artists Union, and director of the Syrian Song Festival, according to a profile provided by SANA.
He was awarded the Syrian Order of Merit in 2007 “in recognition of his distinguished achievements in Syrian and Arab art”, noted the profile.
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