Lebanon loses a musical cedar: Singer Wadih al-Safi dies at 91
Al-Safi, 91, died at Bellevue Medical Center in al-Metn's neighborhood of al-Mansourieh, al-Jadeed television reported.
The state-run National News Agency noted that the singer was transferred to the hospital at 7:30 pm, after falling ill at the house of his son, Tony.
Caretaker Culture Minister Gaby Layoun arrived at the hospital where the legend passed away, and he assured reporters: “Wadih al-Safi will unite the Lebanese amid this divide.”
After the news of his death broke out, many artists took to social media to lament the loss of the cultural icon.
Nawal al-Zoghbi took to Twitter to mourn al-Safi.
"With great sadness, moments ago we lost a Lebanese mountain and pyramid. The great Wadih al-Safi. May he rest in peace,” she said.
"We have lost a Lebanese cedar. The world will have to wait a long time before witnessing such a voice, such ethics and such humility,” Ragheb Alameh tweeted.
Carole Samaha said, also on Twitter: “The great Wadih al-Safi, your memory will never fade away..You have given a lot for art and Lebanon... My deepest condolences to your family.”
“A big loss and great sadness towards a huge legend! You will live in our memories and hearts. Rest in peace Wadih al-Safi,” famed singer Elissa tweeted.
Born Wadih Francis in 1921, the aspiring singer started his artistic journey at the age of 17 when he took part in a singing contest held by a Lebanese radio and was chosen the winner among fifty other competitors.
His experience in the competition rose him to fame.
After studying at the Beirut National Conservatory of Music, 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.
In addition to his Lebanese nationality, he has the French, Egyptian and Brazilian passports, according to the NNA.