Nouhad Wadie’ Haddad (Arabic: نهاد وديع حداد; born November 20, 1934), known as Fairuz (Arabic: فيروز), also spelled Fairouz, Feyrouz or Fayrouz, is a Lebanese singer. She is considered by many as one of the leading vocalists and most famous singers in the history of Arab world. Fairuz is considered the musical icon of Lebanon, comparable to Edith Piaf in France, Elvis Presley in the United States and Lys Assiain Switzerland.
Fairuz began her musical career as a teenager at the national radio station in Lebanon in the late 1940s as a chorus member. Her first major hit “Itab” came in 1952 which made her an instant star in the Arab world.In the summer of 1957, Fairuz held her first live performance at the Baalbeck International Festival where she was awarded with the honor of “Cavalier”, the highest medal for artistic achievement by Lebanese president Camille Chamoun.
Fairuz’s fame spread throughout the Arab world in the 1950s and 1960s and she would perform outside of Lebanon in various Arab capitals Damascus, Amman, Cairo, Rabat, Algiers, and Tunis. She has received multiple recognitions and awards throughout her career including a Lebanese memorial stamp issued in 1969, the Key to the Holy City awarded by the Jerusalem Cultural Committee, the Jordanian Medal of Honor presented by King Hussein of Jordan, the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) awarded by French President François Mitterrand in 1988, the Highest Artistic Distinction, awarded by Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur (National Order of the Legion of Honor) awarded by French President Jacques Chirac and Honorary Doctorate from the American University of Beirut in 2005.