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Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87


FILE - A late 1960s photo of iconic Lebanese singer Sabah in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, Egypt.

FILE - A late 1960s photo of iconic Lebanese singer Sabah in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, Egypt.

Iconic Lebanese actress and singer Sabah died in Beirut around dawn Wednesday, members of her family said. She was 87.

Many actors and singers mourned her on Twitter, including acclaimed pop singer Nancy Ajram who said: "Today, Lebanon lost a legend. Sabah is gone but she remains in our hearts.”

Veteran Lebanese politician Walid Joumblatt also tweeted his reaction:

In this 1987 photo, Lebanese singer and actress Sabah whose real name is Jeanette Feghali, an icon of Arab music, poses for a picture, in Beirut, Lebanon.

In this 1987 photo, Lebanese singer and actress Sabah whose real name is Jeanette Feghali, an icon of Arab music, poses for a picture, in Beirut, Lebanon.

Born Jeanette Gergis al-Feghali in Lebanon in November 1927, Sabah skyrocketed to fame and prominence in the early 1950s as the star of high-profile Egyptian movies, including “Miss Mom” with iconic Egyptian singer and actor Mohamed Fawzi, and “Love Street” with Egypt’s nightingale Abdel Halim Hafez.

She’s also well-known for her leading role in the all-star comedy “Velvet Hands,” with top Egyptian actors Ahmed Mazhar, Salah Zulfikkar, Laila Taher and Mariam Fakhr el-Din.

Sabah remained one of the all-time favorite singers and actresses for much of her 60-year career, during which she released more than 50 albums, acted in 100 films and over 20 plays.

The music and film diva, affectionately called “Sabbouha” and “Shahroura” by millions of her fans across the Arab World, was the first Arab singer to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York, Piccadilly Theatre in London, Royal Albert Hall, and Sydney Opera House in Australia. She also performed at Olympia in Paris, only second to Egypt’s top Arab music diva Oum Kolthoum.

FILE - A 1990s photo shows late Lebanese singer Sabah arriving at an official function in a desingner winter outfit in Beirut.

FILE - A 1990s photo shows late Lebanese singer Sabah arriving at an official function in a desingner winter outfit in Beirut.

In the past few years, Sabah was a target of criticism by many young fans for undergoing several cosmetic surgeries to stay youthful looking.

Sabah was married several times to prominent figures, including Egyptian movie star Rushdie Abaza. She is survived by her two children, Sabah Shammas and Howayda Mansy, who live in the United States.

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