It’s pretty common for celebrities to change their real name and choose a stage name for their professional career. There are many reasons and stories behind the change. Some do change it for good while others change it for a new image.
Some of you might not have heard of Nouhad Wadie’ Haddad, but have certainly heard of the iconic “Fairouz”, which is actually her stage name.
Nouhad Wadie’ Haddad was born on 21 November 1933 to a middle-class humble family. She was raised in the old neighborhood of Zukak El Blat, in Beirut.
She adored singing since the age of six. She used to lean on the window of her room to listen to the neighbor’s radio which broadcasted songs by Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, and Abdel Halim Hafez.
Nouhad Haddad started performing for the first time in her life on her school’s stage.
During one of her performances in 1947, she was discovered by Mohammad Flayfel, a teacher and one of the founders of the National Conservatory of Music in Beirut. At the time, Flayfel was searching for new talent for a newly formed choral group.
Soon enough, Nouhad Haddad joined the conservatory where Flayfel gave her lessons in the classical tradition of the “tajwid”, or classical chanting of Koranic verse.
During an occasion in the conservatory, Halim El-Roumi, a Lebanese musician and head of Lebanese Radio Station, recognized Nouhad’s full talent and made her lead soloist at the Radio’s Chorus. He composed a song especially for her.
El-Roumi was really impressed with Nouhad’s voice. It reminded him of “a precious stone.” He decided to give her the name Fairouz, which means turquoise, a rare precious stone. And, in a short period of time, Nouhad became Fairouz.
After a period of time, the young Fairouz met the Rahbani brothers, Assi the composer, and Mansour the lyricist. They collaborated together and Assi started composing songs for her.
In July 1954, Fairouz married Assi Rahbani and that’s when the Fairouz-Rahbani artistic legacy started.
Fairouz is more than just a singer’s name, Fairouz is a music legend who succeeded, over a period of 83 years, to sell more than 80 million records worldwide, according to Forbes. She participated in musicals produced by Rahbani and performed on world stages.
Fairouz was titled as the “All-Time Great” singer by Forbes Middle East. This is in addition to “Ambassador to the Stars”, “The Moon’s Neighbor”, and the “Jewel of Lebanon”.