Saying goodbye to a great: Wadih al-Safi to be laid to rest in his Lebanese hometown
A picture taken on October 27, 2010 shows Lebanese singer Wadih al-Safi acknowledging the audience during a concert at the Opera House in the Syrian capital, Damascus. (AFP/File)
Late legendary singer Wadih al-Safi will be laid to rest on Monday in his hometown of Niha in the Chouf region.
His family explained that he would be buried in Niha “so that his grave will serve as a cultural landmark for all Lebanese and all his admirers throughout the world.”
The funeral is set to be held at St. Georges church in downtown Beirut on Monday.
The family meanwhile continued to receive condolences at his Hazmieh residence in Beirut.
Later on Sunday, President Michel Suleiman hailed via Twitter al-Safi's long and prolific career, adding: “His death is a national loss for Lebanon's heritage.”
Born Wadih Francis in 1921, he started his artistic journey at the age of 17 when he took part in a singing contest held by a Lebanese radio station and was chosen the winner among 50 other competitors.
His experience in the competition rose him to fame and he began composing and performing songs that drew upon his rural upbringing and love of traditional melodies, blended with an urban sound, and creating a new style of modernized folk music.
Al-Safi is a classically trained tenor and has written over 3000 songs.