World

Singer Wadih Safi, who spread Lebanese dialect throughout Arab world, dies

In this Wednesday, April 21, 2010 file photo, leading Lebanese singer and composer Wadih Safi speaks during a news conference to announce the Lebanon's Baalbek festival in Beirut, Lebanon. Safi passed away on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 at the age of 92. (AP Photo/Ahmed Omar)

In this Wednesday, April 21, 2010 file photo, leading Lebanese singer and composer Wadih Safi speaks during a news conference to announce the Lebanon's Baalbek festival in Beirut, Lebanon. Safi passed away on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 at the age of 92. (AP Photo/Ahmed Omar)  (The Associated Press)

Lebanese singer and composer Wadih Safi, whose strong, clear voice propelled him to fame throughout the Arab world, has died at the age of 92.

Safi, whose real name was Wadih Francis, helped spread colloquial Lebanese Arabic outside his country, becoming known to many Arabs as "the man with the golden voice."

During a career that spanned seven decades he worked with a string of legendary Arab composers and singers such as Egypt's late Mohammed Abdul-Wahhab and the late Syrian-Egyptian Farid al-Atrash.

The state-run National News Agency said Saturday Safi fell ill while staying with his son, Tony, the night before. He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where he died late Friday.