A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Paris Court Rules "King of Raï" Cheb Khaled's First Big Hit was Plagiarized

Blogging has been light due to deadlines, but there's big trouble in the Arabic music world, especially for fans of the Algerian folk form known as raï. A court in Paris has ruled that Algerian-born singer Cheb Khaled, known as the "King of Raï," is guilty of plagiarizing his 1993 hit "Didi," the hit that made him an international star.

See also this report and, in French, this one and this one. The court ruled the song was plagiarized from another another singer, who sings as Cheb Rabah, and that the song's success deprived Cheb  Rabah of the opportunity for a more lucrative career. The court imposed €100,000 in compensation and another €100,000 in punitive damages. Cheb Khaled (born Khaled Hadj Ibrahim: raï  singers are called "Cheb" or "young man" though Khaled is now 55) reportedly will appeal.

I'll link to this YouTube video though they may well take it down now:

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