Egypt's best known satirical poet, Ahmed Fouad Negm, has died at the age of 84.

The state media said he died early on Tuesday. Known as the "poet of the people," Negm's use of colloquial Egyptian Arabic has endeared him to his countrymen.

He shot to fame in the 1970s when his poetry was sung by blind musician Sheik Imam. The duo inspired generations of youth aspiring for change.

Negm had little formal education. Over the course of his life he took jobs as a house servant and a postal worker. He was jailed for his political views under the rule of former presidents Gamal Abdel-Nasser and Anwar Sadat.

He is the father of prominent activist and columnist Nawara Negm, an iconic figure of the 2011 revolt against Hosni Mubarak.