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Khaled Hadj Ibrahim (born 29 February 1960), better known by his stage name Khaled, is an Algerian singer songwriter, his fame and traditional folk musical style has earned him the nickname “King of Rai”
Khaled grew in the Oran province of Algeria, and his interest in music was apparent from an early age when he started his own band, Cinq Etoiles (Five Stars) when he was 14. After performing in local nightclubs and at marriage ceremonies in the neighbourhood, during his formative years, he decided to start writing music in the Rai genre. Rai is the name for Algerian folk music, that was formed by Bedoun shepards in the 1930s.
Khaled moved to France in 1986 and began recording albums under the name “Cheb Khaled” (Cheb being Arabic for young). He recorded and released four studio albums under this stage name before changing his stage name to simply, “Khaled”.
In 1992, he released his eponymous album alongside French label, Barclay Records. The album featured Khaled’s breakout single “Didi” which was an international crossover hit, charting in France, Switzerland and Belgium and was used in Bollywood film, “Shreeman Aashiq”. The song launched Khaled’s career, with critics noting his willingness to combine his traditional style with western beats.
Since 1992, Khaled has released a further handful studio albums, as well as two live albums in the late 90s. 2012’s “C’est La Vie”, was recorded during the Arab spring and French presidential elections in 2011. The album’s message of peace and love in the Arab world proved a major success for the singer, selling over 2 million copies within 2 months of its release.
Khaled has won a variety of awards and has been incredibly successful in terms of album sales, having sold more than 80.5 million albums worldwide, with many being certified diamond, platinum, and gold.