Algerian singer Rachid Taha has died of a heart attack at the age of 59 at his home in Paris, French media reports.
His music was a unique mix of Algerian Maghreb “rai” rhythms and electronic rock – and he made it big in the 1980s in France.
He was born in the Algerian city of Oran and moved to France aged 10.
He saw himself as a “permanent immigrant” in France, a BBC Radio 3 article about the singer says.
He was the lead singer of Carte de Séjour, a French rock band popular in the 1980s.
“For me, music is rock & roll, coloured by what is inside me and what is outside me. My music enables me to express my multiple identities,” Taha said in 2004.
According to his official Facebook page, he was due to give a performance in Lyon later this month
with one of long-time collaborators Steve Hillage.
Eclectic in his tastes, he pushed boundaries with his own music as well as doing covers such as an Arabic version of The Clash’s Rock the Casbah.
Taha’s fans have been paying tribute to him on Twitter, including Moroccan musician Reda Allali who remembered him as flamboyant and genuine: