Khaled Hadj Ibrahim (Arabic: خالد حاج إبرهيم, [ˈxaːled ħaːd͡ʒ ɪbˈrahiːm]; born 29 February 1960), better known by his mononym Khaled (Arabic: خالد), is an Algerian raï singer, musician and songwriter. He began recording in his early teens under the name Cheb Khaled (شاب خالد, Arabic for "Young" Khaled, with "Cheb" as a common title for male raï singers).

Cheb Khaled performing in Oran in July 2011
Khaled performing in 2011
Background information
Birth nameKhaled Hadj Ibrahim
(خالد حاج إبراهيم)
Born (1960-02-29) 29 February 1960 (age 64)
Oran, Algeria
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
Years active1974–present
Samira Diabi
(m. 1995)
Musical career
Also known asKing of Raï
Cheb Khaled
The Ambassador of Arab music

Khaled is one of the most important musicians in the history of Raï music in his native Algeria and is one the world's best-known Arab singers.[2] To date, Khaled has sold over 80.5 million albums (10 diamond, platinum, and gold) worldwide, making him one of the bestselling Arabic-language singers in history.[3][4] Among his most famous songs are "Aïcha", "Didi", "El Arbi", "Abdel Kader", "La Poupée qui fait non", "Wahran Wahran", "Bakhta", "C'est la vie", and "Alech Taadi".[5]

He holds the Guinness World Record for best-selling artist of raï music.[6]

Early life edit

Khaled was born on 29 February 1960 in Oran's Eckmühl neighborhood, Algeria.[7][8]

Musical career edit

His rise to national fame was mainly due to the efforts of Lieutenant-Colonel Hosni Snoussi, director of the state-supported arts and culture Office Riadh el Feth, who took Khaled under his wing and invited him along with other rai stars to perform at the state-sponsored Festival de la Jeunesse pour la Fête Nationale in Algiers in July 1985.[9][2] In the same year, he was crowned king of rai in the first official festival of rai which was staged in Oran.[10]

Khaled a la Coupole 2014 Algerie

Hosni Snoussi and Martin Meissonnier, who met at the Festival, convinced France's Minister of Culture Jack Lang that the export of rai from Algeria to France was in the French government's interest and together they organized the first rai festival in France at Bobigny in 1986. Cheb Khaled, who had been avoiding his mandatory military service, was able to perform at Bobigny only after Colonel Snoussi intervened with the Algerian military authorities to secure him a passport.[9][2] Shortly thereafter, Snoussi arranged for Cheb Khaled to record in France, with funding from the Office Riadh el Feth. The album, Kutché, released in 1988, a collaboration between Khaled and the Algerian jazz musician Safy Boutella, expanded his reputation in France, where he soon settled.[9]

In 1992, having dropped the "Cheb" from his performance name, he recorded Khaled, which was produced by Don Was. The album's first single Didi, which was a major hit in Europe, the Arab World, and in South and East Asia, made him an international superstar.[9]

International impact edit

One of the Pioneers of world music, Rai musician Khaled has gone beyond all geo-political boundaries to become one of the world's most popular performers, mixing traditional Algerian music with western rhythms and styles such as soul, rock and reggae to achieve his distinctive sound and voice unlike anyone ever.

Khaled has been celebrated not only for his music, but for his role as a builder of bridges between cultures. selling more than 80 millions copies around the world makes him a nationwide celebrity and unofficial ambassador for the country's Arab minority.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 2008[11]

Khaled's signature song, the 1993 hit "Didi", became extremely popular in the Arabic-speaking countries and also in several other continents, including Europe, where it entered top charts in France, Belgium and Spain, and in Asia, including India and Pakistan. The song was also used in the Bollywood films Shreeman Aashiq, Airlift and Highway. Khaled and producer Don Was appeared on The Tonight Show on 4 February 1993.[12][13]

Khaled returned to the United States of America in December 2004 for a special guest performance at the Grammy Jam 2004 in Los Angeles, California. He joined a cast of celebrity artists honoring the great musical legends Earth, Wind & Fire, performing Brazilian Rhymes into Didi showing how their music crossed the world, fusing with his North African style.[4]

In 2012, Khaled's album C’est la vie sold more than one million copies in the European market, 1.8 million copies in the Middle East and North Africa, and over 4 million copies worldwide.[14][15] The album reached number 5 on SNEP, the official French Albums Chart.[16]

On 3 April 2015, Khaled was convicted for plagiarism of Didi, from Angui ou Selmi, a musical composition recorded by Cheb Rabah (born Rabah Zerradine) in 1988.[17][18][19] But on 13 May 2016, Court of Cassation removed the charges against Khaled, when a 1982 audio tape with the song was shown. This tape was recorded by Khaled and given to a producer located in Oran, 6 years before Cheb Rabah's record. In the end, Rabah had to compensate Khaled for the fees during this case.[20]

Personal life edit

Khaled performing in Marseille (2009)

On 12 January 1995, Khaled married 27 year old Samira Diabi. Together, they have four daughters and one son.

In 1997, his wife filed a complaint against him for domestic violence, before retracting the complaint.[21][22]

In 1998, the biography Khaled: Derrière le sourire (French for "Khaled: Behind the Smile") was published, which recounted his life.

Khaled has an illegitimate son with whom he has no contact. Before a court appearance in 2001, he denied being the father of the child, continuing to claim that he had been "deceived".[23][24] On the 7 May 2001, Khaled was sentenced by the Nanterre criminal court to a two-month suspended prison sentence for "family desertion".[25] His move to Luxembourg in 2008, where he's been residing ever since, has reportedly been motivated by these charges.[9]

He was awarded Moroccan citizenship in August 2013,[26] which, according to him and his wife, he did not ask for but accepted because he felt he could not refuse.[27]

Discography edit

This discography does not include a number of albums released on cassette in Algeria early in his career, and several bootleg/unofficial albums.

Studio albums edit

Year Album Charts Certification
1988 Kutché (with Safy Boutella)
1992 Khaled
1993 N'ssi N'ssi
1996 Sahra 24 7 3 33 26
1999 Kenza 49 57
2004 Ya-Rayi 41 52 70
2009 Liberté 95 51
2012 C'est la vie 27 18 96
2022 Cheb Khaled
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released

Live albums edit

Year Album Charts Certification
1998 Hafla 28 29
Year Album Charts Certification
1999 1, 2, 3 Soleils
(credited to Taha / Khaled / Faudel)
14 4

Compilation albums edit

  • 1991: Le Meilleur de Cheb Khaled
  • 1994: Le Meilleur de Cheb Khaled 2
  • 2005: Forever King
  • 2005: Spirit of Rai
  • 2006: Maghreb Soul – Cheb Khaled Story 1986–1990
  • 2007: Best of Khaled
  • 2009: Rebel of Raï – The Early Years

Singles edit

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
1988 "Chebba" / "Baroud"
(Cheb Khaled & Safy Boutella)
"Le Camel"
(Cheb Khaled & Safy Boutella)
1992 "Didi" 9 29 30 Khaled
"Ne m'en voulez pas"
"Mauvais sang"
1993 "Serbi Serbi" 50 N'ssi N'ssi
1994 "N'ssi N'ssi"
1995 "Bakhta"
1996 "Aïcha" 25 1 1 33 14 11 Sahra
1997 "Ouelli El Darek" 23
"La poupée qui fait non (live)"
(Mylène Farmer & Khaled)
5 6 Mylène Farmer's album
Live à Bercy
"Le jour viendra" 12 24 Sahra
1998 "Abdel Kader (Live à Bercy)"
(Taha / Khaled / Faudel)
36 6 Joint album 1,2,3 Soleils
by Taha / Khaled / Faudel
Original by Khaled alone
in his album N'ssi N'ssi
1999 "Comme d'habitude"
(Taha / Khaled / Faudel)
40 40 Joint album 1,2,3 Soleils
by Taha / Khaled / Faudel
"C'est la nuit" 35 29 Kenza
2000 "El harba wine"
(feat. Amar)
"Les ennemis (el Aâdyene)"
(Khaled vs. Fonky Family)
63 Single only
2001 "Wana wana" 97
2004 "Ya-Rayi" Ya-Rayi
"Love to The People"

(ft Carlos Santana)

"Zine Zina"
2007 "La terre a tremblé" Best of Khaled
2009 "Même pas fatigué !!!"
(Magic System & Khaled)
10 1 49 Non-album release
(cover of Blaoui Houari)
2012 "C'est la vie" 5 5 4 92 34 33 C'est la vie
"Hiya hiya"
(feat. Pitbull)
"Dima Labess"
(featuring Mazagan)
2016 "Wahda Be Wahda" TBA
2018 "Mirage"
(featuring Soolking)
74 Fruit du démon
2019 "Maghreb Gang"
(featuring French Montana, Farid Bang)
7 4 6 Non-album release
2020 "Delali"
(featuring Gashi)
Non-album release
"Elle s'appelle Beyrouth"
(featuring Rodge)
Non-album release

Featured in edit

(charting hits only)

Year Single Charts Album
2006 "Henna"[30]
(Cameron Cartio feat. Khaled)
86 9 Cameron Cartio's album

Appearances edit

Year Song Main artist Album
1990 "Be Not Afraid" The Blow Monkeys Springtime for the World
1992 "Amdyaz" Hector Zazou Sahara Blue
1995 "Revolution, Revolutions"
"ElDorado" (UNESCO official anthem)
Jean Michel Jarre Concert Pour La Tolerance
"Didi" (with Johnny Clegg) Various Artists Duos Taratata
"N'ssi N'ssi"
Various Artists Going Global Series Voila
"Numb (Gimme Some More Dignity mix)" U2 Melon: Remixes for Propaganda
1997 "La poupée qui fait non" Mylène Farmer Live à Bercy
"Chanson du herisson" Various Artists Emilie Jolie
"Koubou Koubou" Various Artists The Rough Guide to the Music of North Africa
"Mâardi" Various Artists Sol En Si (Solidarité Enfants Sida)
1998 "Ensemble (Understand)"
Alan Stivell 1 Douar
"Oasis de los Dioses" Ketama Konfusion
1999 "Bladi" Freeman (feat.
K-Rhyme Le Roi & Khaled)
L'palais de justice
"¡Oh Madre!" Tekameli Ida y Vuelta
"Alby" Amr Diab Amarain
2000 "L'aziza" Various Artists Balavoine Hommages ...
"Time for a Change" Various Artists
(The Rapsody feat. MC Lyte
& DaNaCeE & Khaled)
The Rapsody
"Emmenez-moi" Les Enfoirés XXème siècle
"Le rêve de mon père" Kertra Labyrinthe
2001 "Aich Rebel Sun" Various Artists Big Men, Raï Meets Reggae
2002 Ojos de la Alhambra
(Eyes of the Alhamra)
Vincente Amigo Ciudad de los Ideas
(City of Ideas)
"Saludo A Chango" Compay Segundo Duets
2004 "Agir Réagir" Various Artists Agir Réagir
"Retour aux sources" Kore & Skalp Raï'N'B Fever
"L'enfant du pays" Rim'K L'enfant du pays
"Dance with me" Enzo Avitabile & Bottari Save the World
2005 "Henna" Cameron Cartio Borderless
2006 "Mas and Louly" Diana Haddad Diana 2006
"Face à la mer"
(recorded in 1992)
Les Négresses Vertes À l'affiche (Best of),
"El Marsem" Enrique Morente Morente sueña la Alhambra (DVD)
2007 "Benthi" Mélissa Taxi 4
"Erjaii ya alf leila"
Bratsch Plein du monde
"Salamo Alaykom" Andy, Hakim Airport
2010 "Citizens of the World" Flying Machines, King Sunny Adé,
Kailash Kher, Cheng Lin
Citizens of the World
2012 "Mazal Wakfin" Warda Al-Jazairia, Baaziz single
"L'Oriental" Enrico Macias Venez tous mes amis!
2013 "El Baraka" Rim'K, Cheba Zahouania Non-album single
"Larosa" Medina Sista Minuten[31]
2014 "Shage3 7elmak-World cup 2014 Nancy Ajram Non-album single[32]
2018 "We Enta Maaya" Tamer Hosny Eish Besho'ak[33]
"Mirage" Soolking Fruit du démon
2019 "Salama So Good" Andy Non-album single[34]
2019 "Maghreb Gang" Farid Bang, French Montana Non-album single

Soundtracks edit

Year Soundtrack song Film
1993 "Ragda"
"Mauvais Sang"
"Les ailes"
"Alech Taadi"
1,2,3 Soleils
(French: Un, deux, trois, soleil)
"Didi" Caro diario
1995 "Didi" L' Âge des possibles
"Didi" Highway (1995)
"Les Ailes" Party Girl
1997 "Wahrane Wahrane"
"Cameleons" (with Cheb Mami)
100% Arabica
"Alech taadi" The Fifth Element
(featured in film, but not released on soundtrack album)
1999 "El Arbi" Vila Madalena soap opera
2000 "Wana wana aamel eih"
"Dour biha ya chibani"
Origine contrôlée
2002 "Ragda" The Truth About Charlie
"Minuit" The Good Thief
2004 De l'autre côté
2006 "Ya Dzayer"
"Mort de Messaoud"
"Sur la tombe"
"El Babour"
Indigènes (Days of Glory)
2007 "Benthi" (feat. Mélissa M) Taxi 4
2011 "Trigue Lycee" Rabat
2012 "Wahran Wahran" The Dictator

Filmography edit

  • 1997 100% Arabica
  • 1997 Le Centre de visionnage
  • 2003 Art'n Acte Production
  • 2004 We Are the Future

Honors edit

Awards edit

Award Year Nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music 2004 Himself Middle East and North Africa Nominated [45]
2005 Won [46]
César Awards 1994 1, 2, 3, Sun Best Original Music Won [47]
GQ Awards 2019 Himself Legend Award Won [48]
Kora Awards 1997 Himself Best Male Artist of North Africa Won [49]
2012 Won [50]
NRJ Music Awards 2010 Khaled, Raï'n'B, Magic System Francophone Duo/Group of the Year Nominated [51]
Venice Film Festival 1993 1, 2, 3, Sun Golden Osella for Best Music Won [52]
Victoires de la Musique 1995 Himself Francophone Artist or Group of the Year Won [53]
1997 Nominated [54]
"Aïcha" Original Song of the Year Won
2013 C'est la vie World Music Album of the Year Nominated [55]
World Music Awards 1997 Himself World's Best Selling African Artist of the Year Won [56]
2000 Khaled, Rachid Taha, Faudel World's Best Selling Arabic Act Won [57]
2014 Himself World's Best Selling Algerian Artist Won [58]
World's Best Male Artist Nominated [59]
World's Best Live Act Nominated [60]
World's Best Entertainer Nominated [61]
C'est la vie World's Best Album Nominated [62]
  • 1985: First Prize of Rai Music (KING) Oran
  • 1989: Best Song (chebba) in France
  • 1989: Top 100 Best Album in 20th Century (kutché)
  • 1992: Top 50 MTV America (didi)
  • 1992: MTV India Awards (didi)
  • 2004: Grammy Jam Awards (Khaled and Carlos Santana) ("Love to the people")
  • 2005: Montreal International Jazz Festival (The Antonio Carlos-Jobim Award)
  • 2005: ImagineNations and DC Internationals (Empowering Award, for spreading the message of peace)
  • 2006: The Mediterranean Prize for Creativity
  • 2008: Award Dutch Virsti - German Academy of Music
  • 2009: NME Awards 2009 (meilleur duo) avec Magic System
  • 2009: MGM Awards (highest-selling Arab album in history) (The legendary) (Las Vegas)
  • 2010: Big Apple Music Awards (best Arab artist selling in United States)
  • 2010: One of 50 Great Voices profiled by NPR
  • 2013: Murex D'Or 2013 – Best International Song & Best International Singer – Cheb Khaled – ("C'est La Vie")
  • 2013: Rabab d’or Prix d'honneur – Maroc Festival International Al Ansra de M’diq ("C'est La Vie")
  • 2013: Festival International de la Musique Kabyle à Tanger festival Touiza MAROC 2013 ("C'est La Vie")
  • 2016: XLII Universal Music Award - Vienna 2016 - for "C'est La Vie" as Best Song.

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External links edit