Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Life, Career of 2 Egyptian Singing Legends

Thu 07 Jan 2021 | 09:23 AM
Ahmed Emam

Though Egyptians enjoy listening to a lot of different types of music, there are two Legend singers who are more important to them than any other musicians. They are Hany Shaker and Abdel Halim Hafiz.

Hany started his musical career at a very young age in Abdel Halim Hafez choral in the iconic song “Sora”, then he played in the historical movie Sayed Darwish as the young Sayed Darwish.

Their life stories couldn't be more different. Halim was born in 1929 and had a very difficult life. His childhood was tough. He was an orphan and lived with his uncle. Hafiz was very poor until he became a successful singer.

In contrast, Shaker's father was Tax officer and his mother was an employee at the ministry of health, and he was able to live a stable life. In spite of their backgrounds, both Halim and Shaker became very successful and famous.

Halim had many hit records, performed concerts at famous venues like Royal Albert Hall in London, and had many songs in the Cairo Opera House.

Similarly, Hany's first breakthrough hit in his second year of college in December 1972 with a song written by Mohammed El Mougi, "Heloua ya Dounia" (It's a Wonderful Life), set him off on his musical career, and he performed concerts in cities all over the world.

Furthermore, Hany produced a number of his early hits "Siboni Aheb" (Let me love), "Kisma w’nasib" (Destiny and fate) and one of his most popular "Kida Bardo Ya Amar" (It's not fair, oh Moon").

During the 1970s, Hany presented three romantic movies "When love sings", "We live for love" and "I love this and want that".

In Egypt, Halim is known as the "King of Music", "The Son of Nile", "The voice of the people", "The son of the revolution", and "King of emotions and feelings".

On the other hand, Hany is known as the "Prince of Arab music singing", and "Prince of hearts".

Although at that time the biggest legends remained at their summit, Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Halim they acknowledged his potential and supported him, so that he was able to become known among all these legends.

In an interview with kalima Akhira program on "ON TV" channel, Shaker, Head of the Egyptian Musician’s Syndicate said, "Until today I owe my greatest musical debt to Halim, a man who is very remarkable and who continues to exert a considerable huge impact on younger Egyptian and Arab musicians."

Because of their different life stories, they had very different musical training. Shaker took piano lessons as a child, and studied modern classical piano at the prestigious Cairo Conservatoire.

In contrast, Halim had old musical training. He learned from musicians around him and invented his own unique style of singing. Likewise, Shaker had very little formal training as a singer, and learned his way of singing from listening to musicians and recordings, especially Halim's records.

In many ways, their music, performance style and abilities are very similar.

Both are mainly classical singers although Hany performs other music as well. Whereas Halim only sang patriotic and classic songs.  Shaker also sings country and pop songs. Both often sing quiet, emotional songs that are tragic or sad.

Nonetheless, Hany also sings some faster pop songs. Ultimately, Shaker and Halim are both composers as well as singers.

Halim, however, is better known as a talented singer than Shaker is.