Melhem Barakat (Arabic: ملحم بركات; 4 April 1942 – 28 October 2016), also known as Melhim Barakat, or Abou Majd was a Lebanese singer, songwriter, and melodist. He has toured Australia, South America, Canada, and the United States.
Barakat performing in August 2012
|Born||4 April 1942|
|Died||28 October 2016 (aged 74)|
Barakat was born on 4 April 1942, in Kfarshima, Lebanon. He inherited his affinity for music from his father, who was a carpenter and taught Melhem how to play the oud. In 1960, Barakat dropped out of school at the age of 18 and enrolled into the National Institute of Music without his father's knowledge. He studied music theory, Solfège and Eastern singing. He would drop out of the institute four years later at the advice of Philemon Wehbe, beginning his professional career.
Since the 1990s Melhem Barakat had several popular songs, such as "Habibi Enta," which was later sung by his ex-wife May Hariri. He also collaborated with Najwa Karam, Karol Sakr, Shatha Hassoun, and Majida El Roumi.
Barakat composed music for some of the best Arab singers of the past century, including Sabah, Samira Tewfik, Wadih El Safi and Majida El Roumi ("I'tazalt al-Gharam"). Barakat was known for his energetic songs that mixed classical music with his personal improvisations.
Barakat was first married to Souad Feghali, the sister of Lebanese singer Sabah. Then he later married Randa Azar with whom he had three children: Majd (Hence Melhem's alias Abou Majd), Waad and Ghinwa. His third and final marriage was to Lebanese singer and actress May Hariri, with whom he had a child: Melhem Junior, before the couple divorced. He was Antiochian Orthodox Christian.
He died from cancer on 28 October 2016 at Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital in Achrafieh, Lebanon. He was 74. His funeral took place at Saint Nicolas Church in Achrafieh, Beirut. Many Lebanese singers and politicians were present at the funeral mass, including Ragheb Alama, Fares Karam, Majida El Roumi, Rola Saad and Barakat's ex-wife May Hariri.
- "Home". Melhembarakat.com. 22 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
- "من هو ملحم بركات؟". Arageek (in Arabic). Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Melhem Barakat Yearns for Lost Love". Albawaba.com. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
- "Melhem Barakat". Fanoos.com. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "Shatha Hassoun Collaborates with Melhem Barakat". Waleg.com. 29 May 2009. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "Iconic Lebanese musician Melhem Barakat dies at 71". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
- "بالصور: ملحم بركات تزوج 3 مرّات… الأولى من شقيقة الراحلة صباح". Alwatan Voice (in Arabic). 10 October 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Melhem Barakat n'est plus". Lorientlejour.com. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
- "Lebanon bids farewell to legendary singer Melhem Barakat". Khazen.org. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
- "Funeral of Melhem Barakat". Beiruting.com. Retrieved 15 February 2020.