Manama: Saudi singer and composer Talal Al Maddah’s birth anniversary was marked on Sunday by a Google Doodle, the special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepages that commemorates holidays, events, achievements and people.
Born on August 5, 1940 in Makkah, Al Maddah had a substantial influence over 20th century Arab culture.
He began singing as a student in school concerts in Al Taif and learnt to play the oud. Attending a wedding ceremony in the mid-1950s, he watched his first concert with a full orchestra.
At the concert, he was introduced to Abbas Ghazzawi who was then a director at Radio Jeddah. Ghazzawi encouraged him to go to the radio station and record his first song. His first song “Wardak Ya Zarea Al Ward” (Your Rose, Grower of Roses) was a big success and was played on the radio daily.
In the 1960s, Talal Maddah achieved national fame thanks to Saudi Arabia’s official radio.
Gradually, his music spread to the rest of the Arab world after his songs were played in Cairo. In 1965, he starred in a movie, Fog Street, with Lebanese singer Sabah.
Throughout his career, the ‘Golden Throat’, as he was affectionately known by his fans, performed in several countries and recorded dozens of albums.
Talal Al Maddah died on August 11, 2000 of heart attack on stage in front of his fans shortly after he performed one of his famous songs.
Talal Maddah was the first Saudi artiste to receive awards outside of the kingdom.