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Blaoui Houari (Arabic: بلاوي الهواريBlawī al-Hwārī; 23 January 1926 – 19 July 2017) was an Algerian singer-songwriter, composer and conductor. Over the course of his career, he recorded over 900 songs and released over 100 albums.

Blaoui Houari
Blaoui Houari.jpg
Born(1926-01-23)23 January 1926
Died19 July 2017(2017-07-19) (aged 91)
Oran, Algeria
Resting placeAin El Beida cemetery, Oran, Algeria
OccupationSinger-songwriter, composer, conductors


Early lifeEdit

Blaoui Houari was born on 23 January 1926 in Oran, Western Algeria, then French Algeria.[1][2][3] His father, who owned a bar in Oran, played the Kwitra.[2] Houari left school at 13 to work for his father.[2]


Houari began his career as a singer-songwriter in the 1940s, when he first played music at weddings and circumcision ceremonies.[1] He also composed songs and played the piano, the guitar, the mandolin and the accordion.[1] He released his first album in 1955, which included a cover of Benyekhlef Boutaleb's song Rani M’hayer.[2] In 1986, he released Dikrayat Wahran, an album about Oran.[2] Over the course of his career, he recorded over 900 songs and released over 100 albums.[1]

With Ahmed Wahby, Houari co-founded El Asri, a musical style which blended traditional Arab music with Bedouin rhythm and Oranian dialect.[1][3] For example, he turned Abdelkader El-Khaldi's poems into songs.[1]

During the Algerian War, Houari was arrested by the French army and detained in Sig for his pro-Algerian songs.[2][4] When Algeria became an independent nation in 1962, he became the head of Oran's public radio and television stations.[2] In 1970, he conducted the Algerian National Orchestra at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan.[1]

Death and legacyEdit

Houari died on 19 July 2017 in Oran, at the age of 91.[1][2][3] He was buried in Oran's Ain El Beida cemetery.[2][3]

Houari is considered as the "precursor of raï music."[5] Indeed, his music influenced many raï performers, including Khaled, who covered some of his songs,[1][6] as well as Houari Benchenet and Cheb Mami.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Décès de Blaoui Houari, un géant de la musique algérienne". La Dépêche du Midi. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hamidouche, Mustapha (19 July 2017). "Décès de Blaoui El Houari, une légende de la chanson oranaise". L'Humanité. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Algérie : décès du chanteur Blaoui El Houari, icône de la chanson oranaise". Jeune Afrique. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  4. ^ Cloonan, Martin; Drewett, Michael, eds. (2008). Popular Music Censorship in Africa. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate. p. 204. ISBN 9780754652915. OCLC 254419692.
  5. ^ Al-Deen, Hana Noor (May 2005). "The Evolution of Rai Music". Journal of Black Studies. 35 (5): 602. JSTOR 40034339.
  6. ^ Bensignor, François (2009). "Khaled : Liberté". hommes & migrations. 1278: 250–255. Retrieved 20 July 2017.