Singer of popular Algerian Arabic and Egyptian Arabic songs and known for albums like Prince of Rai and Layali.
He sang and played accordion on the streets as a young man and started playing weddings in 1980.
He was sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to make his girlfriend, photographer Isabelle Simon, have a forced abortion.
He was raised in a family of factory workers.
He sang a duet with Sting called "Desert Rose," which made singles charts worldwide.