Sabah al-Din Abu Qaws, also known as Sabah Fakhri, was a Syrian tenor singer from Aleppo. With over 50 years of fame and popularity as a singer, Sabah Fakhri modified and popularized the then-fading forms of traditional Arabic music Muwashahat and Qudud Halabiya.
It was not known immediately what caused Fakhri’s passing. Born Sabah Abu Qaws in the Syrian city of Aleppo in 1933, Fakhri got his stage name as an adolescent when he started performing.
Fakhri’s voice was so powerful and distinct, he once told his interviewers that his family recognized it when he was only a child.
He rose to fame to become one of the Arab world’s legendary tenors and one of its exceptionally charismatic entertainers. Fakhri was a world-class Tarab singer, an Arabic form of music associated with emotional evocation that could last for hours.
Onstage, Fakhri would engage the audience and sway to the music almost in a trance, turning the lyrics of his songs, often in classical Arabic, into refrains they can easily sing back with him.
He once performed for 10 hours straight in 1968 a concert in Caracas, Venezuela, without a single break, earning an entry in the Guinness World Records.
Throughout his career, Fakhri preserved and popularized traditional forms of Arab singing and music, including Quddud Halabiya, native to his hometown Aleppo.