Mami, Cheb


Mami, Cheb
▪ 2002

      In 2001 internationally renowned Algerian rai singer Cheb Mami continued his efforts to cultivate an American fan base. Before his 1999 collaboration with British pop singer Sting on the smash-hit single “Desert Rose,” Mami, a popular figure in Europe and North Africa, had been virtually unknown in the U.S. The success of “Desert Rose,” however, propelled Mami into the spotlight; he was a guest on The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman, performed with Sting at the 2000 Grammy Awards, and saw his celebrated song used in a Jaguar television commercial. In 2001 Mami performed with Sting at the Super Bowl and embarked on a seven-city U.S. tour following the July release of Dellali, his seventh album.

      The performer known as the “prince of rai” was born Khelifati Muhammad on July 11, 1966, in Saida, Alg. He initially followed in the occupational footsteps of his father and took a job as a welder. At the age of 12, Mami began singing in the streets and at weddings. In 1982 he placed second in a radio talent contest and was approached by record producers. Under a local record label, the newly discovered Cheb Mami (Arabic for “the young mourner”) released cassettes that sold well but made little money. In 1985 he performed in the nearby port city of Oran (the birthplace of rai music) at a festival that had been organized by Khaled, the “king of rai.” The frank, often racy lyrics of rai music coupled with what some believed were undertones of political protest made rai a controversial art form amid the growing volatility of the Algerian political scene during the 1980s. As a result, many of the genre's artists began to leave the country in fear for their lives. Like many others, Mami moved to France, where he found an enthusiastic audience among the second-generation North Africans living there.

      In the years following the move, Mami became a French club favourite before emerging as an international star. Though his style was an eclectic fusion of reggae, funk, salsa, hip-hop, and North African rhythms, rai's distinct flavour was apparent. Mami's first album, Prince of Raï, was released in 1989 and was followed by Let Me Raï (1990), Saida (1995), Let Me Cry (1998), Douni el Bladi (1998), Meli Meli (1999), and Dellali.

Shanda Siler

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cheb Mami — Birth name Mohamed Khelifati Also known as Cheb Mami Born 1 January 1966 (1966 01 01) (age 45) Origin Saïda, Algeria …   Wikipedia

  • Cheb Mami — Nom Mohamed Khelifati Naissance 11 juillet 1966 (1966 07 11) (45 ans) Saïda,   …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cheb Mami — Datos generales Nombre real Mohamed Khelifati Nacimiento 11 de julio, 1966 Origen Saida, Argelia …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cheb Mami — (Künstlername; arabisch ‏شاب مامي‎, DMG Šāb Māmī), bürgerlicher Name: Mohamed Kélifati, (‏محمد خليفاتي‎ Muhammad Chalifati, DMG Muḥammad Ḫalīfātī; * 11. Juli 1966 in Graba el Oued, Saïda, Algerien) ist einer der bedeutendsten Raï… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • MAMI —  Pour l’article homophone, voir Mamie. Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Mami peut faire référence à : Cheb Mami (1966 ), un chanteur de raï algérien, Mami Wata, une déesse… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cheb (Begriffsklärung) — Cheb ist: eine Stadt im Nordwesten der Tschechischen Republik, siehe Cheb der westlichste Bezirk der Tschechischen Republik, siehe Okres Cheb als ein Titel für Raï Musiker (vom arabischen shabb für „jung“) der Bestandteil des Namens folgender… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cheb Bilal — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Bilal. Cheb Bilal Cheb Bilal Nom Moufok Bilal Naissance 23  …   Wikipédia en Français


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