The singer of the 1976 international hit “A Vava Inouva” will be buried in Paris.
Rabat – Algerian singer and champion of the Amazigh (Berber) and Kabyl song, Hamid Cheriet, artistically known as Idir, died at the age of 70 in Paris yesterday evening from pulmonary disease.
Idir’s children first announced his passing on his Facebook page: “We regret to announce the death of our father (to all), Idir on Saturday, May 2 at 9:30 p.m. Rest in peace dad.”
The renowned musician gained international fame for his 1976 “A Vava Inouva” lullaby, which was translated into seven languages.
Despite his acclaimed artistry, a career in the music industry was not Idir’s first choice. The musician was pursuing a degree in geology when he stepped in for a fellow singer in 1973 on Radio Alger.
The radio appearance was a stepping stone for his move to France in 1975 and he released his first album a year later.
After a successful first album, Idir took a break for over two decades before reappearing in 1999 with his second album “Identity.”
His experiences as a migrant in France and the 2007 French elections later inspired his third album.
A number of Algerian and French officials paid tribute to the late artist, most notably the Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
“I learnt with great sadness and sorrow the news of the death of … Idir, an icon of Algerian art,” President Tebboun tweeted. “With his death, Algeria loses one of its monuments.”
ببالغ الحزن والأسى تلقيت نبأ وفاة المرحوم حميد شريت المدعو فنيًا إيدير، أيقونة الفن الجزائري و صاحب السمعة العالمية. بهذا المصاب تفقد الجزائر هرما من أهراماتها. رحمه الله وأدخله فسيح جناته وألهم ذويه و محبيه جميل الصبر والسلوان إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون.
— عبدالمجيد تبون – Abdelmadjid Tebboune (@TebbouneAmadjid) May 3, 2020
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also commemorated the artist in a post on Twitter.
“Idir, his humanist commitment, his commitment to Kabyle culture will remain in our hearts. His magnificent voice will resonate for a long time at the town hall where so often we have celebrated Berber New Year together.”
Idir, son engagement humaniste, son engagement pour la culture Kabyle resteront dans nos cœurs. Sa voix magnifique résonnera longtemps à l’hôtel de ville où si souvent nous avons ensemble célébré le nouvel an Berbère. https://t.co/I3JrIx3fj4
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) May 3, 2020
The musician was born in 1949 in near Tizi-Ouzzou, Algeria. Idir’s final resting place will be in the French capital where he succumbed to his illness, reports AFP.