Lebanese singer, actress Sabah dies at 87

Story highlights

  • Sabah recorded 3,000 songs, acted in more than 80 Arab films, Lebanon's Daily Star reports
  • She was born Jeanette Feghali in Lebanon in 1927
  • Her popularity transcended the country's religious divisions
Lebanese singer and actress Sabah, one of the Arab world's most prolific entertainers with a career spanning more than six decades, died Wednesday in Beirut, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported.
She was 87.
Born Jeanette Feghali in Lebanon in 1927, Sabah recorded some 3,000 songs and acted in more than 80 Arab films, according to Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper.
The popularity of Sabah, born to a Christian family, transcended religious lines in a country nearly torn apart by a civil war between Christian and Muslim militias from 1975 to 1990.
"Lebanon and the Arab world lost a valuable artist with the demise of the great diva Sabah, whose departure from this world turned a page on our bright cultural heritage," Prime Minister Tammam Salam, a Muslim, said in a statement, according to the Daily Star.
Former President Michel Suleiman, a Christian, hailed Sabah as a performer who represented Lebanon's national and humanitarian values abroad, according to NNA. And Lebanese Druze leader and lawmaker Walid Jumblatt said that with her death, "an entire golden era of Lebanon's past comes to an end," the Daily Star reported.
Sabah's career took her around the globe, including to New York, where she performed as a guest soloist as part of a concert that rented out Carnegie Hall's main auditorium in May 1970.
Married at least seven times, she is survived by a son and a daughter, Lebanese news media reported.