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Singer Rachid Taha, who fused Arabic music and rock, dies

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 12/09/2018
FILE - In this July 19, 2005 file photo, Algerian singer Rachid Taha sings on the main stage during the opening day of the Paleo Festival in Nyon, Switzerland. Rachid Taha, an Algerian singer who thrillingly blended Arabic music with rock and techno and at times wore blue contact lenses to protest anti-Arab prejudice in France, where he made his home, has died. He was 59. (Sandro Campardo, Keystone via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this July 19, 2005 file photo, Algerian singer Rachid Taha sings on the main stage during the opening day of the Paleo Festival in Nyon, Switzerland. Rachid Taha, an Algerian singer who thrillingly blended Arabic music with rock and techno and at times wore blue contact lenses to protest anti-Arab prejudice in France, where he made his home, has died. He was 59. (Sandro Campardo, Keystone via AP, File)

France-based Algerian singer Rachid Taha has died. His record label, Naïve, announced his death at age 59 in a statement on its Facebook page.

Naïve said Wednesday that the singer who thrillingly blended Arabic music with rock and techno died overnight after suffering a heart attack at his home in the Paris suburbs.

Taha recently finished an album due for release in 2019. He was scheduled to film the first music video for one of the new songs, "Je suis Africain" ("I am African"), this weekend.

With the group "Carte de Sejour" ("Residence Permit"), Taha caused a stir in France in 1986 with a husky-voiced rocky cover of legendary singer and songwriter Charles Trenet's sentimental, patriotic, "Douce France," ("Sweet France.")

Pictures: Musicians who met an untimely death (Photo services)

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