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Mantes-la-Jolie, France

Faudel (b. Faudel Belloua on 6 Jun 1978 in Mantes-la-Jolie, France), is a singer of Algerian descent - considered, by many, the “Prince of Raï”. He grew up in the suburbs of Paris, where he picked up his musical talents from his grandmother who taught him traditional Algerian music. His first public singing experience was during a family wedding celebration in Oran, Algeria. Faudel started to cover the popular tracks by Cheb Khaled and Cheb Mami at 12, after which he soon fronted the popular band “Les Etoiles du Raï”. His debut album, Baida, catapulted him to fame. He has also performed with Khaled and Rachid Taha on the live album 1,2,3 Soleils. His other albums include Samra and his album Un Autre Soleil (released Sept. 2003) and, most recently, Mundial Corrida (2006).

He also has acted in a few roles, including Happenstance (Le Battement d’ailes du papillon) with Audrey Tautou.


The French music scene, long renowned as a thriving centre for world music, has now become a refuge for Algerian Rai stars. Faced with repression and death threats in their homeland, a number of top Algerian Rai stars have now set up home in Paris and launched successful international careers from France. The French capital and the surrounding suburbs have now become a rich breeding ground for young chebs seeking to emulate the examples of Khaled and Cheb Mami. Indeeilld, a whole new generation of Rai musicians are now “made in France”. Rai star Faudel is typical of the New Rai Generation.


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