Yas Khader
Yas Khader Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Yas Khader, one of Iraq's most celebrated singers, died at the age of 85. The Iraqi Artists Syndicate confirmed his passing on Friday, September 1, in Baghdad due to an incurable disease, sharing the sorrowful news in a touching tribute on their Facebook page.

Born in 1938 in Najaf, Khader's journey commenced in the 1960s and 1970s. Over the decades, he collaborated with leading Iraqi composers such as Mohammad Jawad Amouri and Talib Al Qaragholi. His melodic voice graced numerous hits, including "Al Banafsaq", "Ah Ya Lail", "Ana Dalit Nar Al Hob", and "Bye bye sadness", establishing him as a pivotal figure in Iraqi music.

One of his iconic moments came in the late sixties when he partnered with composer Mohammad Jawad Amory, resulting in the classic "Al Hadal", broadcast by the Armed Forces Radio. This song became so emblematic that Khader often found himself referred to by the song's name.

As the years went on, Khader continued to charm audiences. In 1969, he collaborated with composer Kamal Al Sayed, giving birth to the song "Al Makir", penned by poet Zamil Saeed Fattah. This tune, when aired on Baghdad's Voice of the Masses Radio, further cemented Khader's esteemed place in the music scene.

Khader's collaborations in the 1970s, especially with the then-emerging composer Talib Al Qara Gholi, yielded more unforgettable tracks, ensuring his legacy would remain deeply rooted in the heart of Iraqi music.

In a heartrending twist of fate, Yas Khader's death coincided with the passing of another Iraqi artistic luminary. Celebrated Iraqi poet Karim Al Iraqi also passed away on the same day at the age of 68. The announcement of Al Iraqi's death was made on his official Facebook account. It's notable that Al Iraqi, whose real name is Karim Oudah, had previously been treated for prostate cancer in the UAE in 2020.

Rahim Al Iraqi, Karim's brother, has announced that a remembrance service would be held in honor of the late poet at the Awda Al Sua’idi Mosque in Baghdad this coming Sunday.

Paying his respects, President Sheikh Mohamed took to the social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, and wrote, “May God have mercy on the poet Karim Al Iraqi, who leaves behind a rich legacy of creativity. His bond with the Emirates and its people was marked by mutual affection and appreciation, a relationship cherished over many years.”