1929-2000 / Talal Maddah:

On stage, with oud under his right arms, strings grating against his fingertips, the Voice of the Earth, one of Saudi Arabia‘s most revered oud players and singers, fell to his infinite slumber before a venue filled of adoring fans in 2000. Recording 66 official and 40 unofficial albums, Talal Maddah is most known for pioneering and celebrating the uniqueness and beauty of hijazi art throughout his career, which began in the mid 1950‘s. Acknowledged among the greats during his time, like Muhammad Ali Sindi, Fawzi Mhasson and Abdullah Mohammed, Maddah was encouraged to sing his first song Grower of Roses for public radio consumption in the 60‘s, which aired on Saudi Arabia‘s official radio station at the time. With concerts all across Saudi Arabia, Maddah shot to wider recognition after his debut in 1965 in the film Fog Street, being featured alongside fellow renowned singer Sabah. Talal Maddah‘s smooth vocals will continue to warm many Arab souls that grew up listening to him; his memory will endure for many future generations throughout the Middle East and particularly the Kingdom. May your golden throat rest in peace, and may your vocal hum reverberate throughout history.

1958-2009 / Michael Jackson:

1 out of 8 are pretty good odds, but no one would expect that the little jerry curl kid from Gary, Indiana, parading on stage as one of the Jackson 5 siblings would one day become the King of Pop and be legendarily recognized as one of the most successful entertainer of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records. Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean, Michael Jackson helped us find our groove and do our thang rocking it to the wee hours of the morning. None other than the King of Pop himself has vibrated many lethargic feet lifting those kushy tushies from sedentary to stellar in less than zero to 60 seconds. Time and time again the age old beats of The Way You Make Me Feel, and Can‘t Stop Till You Get it Enough, have lifted many a dull nights into all night dance parties to remember. Jackson holds the honor for best selling album of all time and being the only artist to be inducted into the Rock Roll Hall of Fame twice! His early departure rocked souls and shattered hearts. Damn you Dr. Conrad Murray, we know you were just placating the King of Pop, but his temporary coma sedation was made permanent on that fatal night in June 2009….Physically you may stand among us no longer, but vocally and spiritually we will listen and remember you forever. Rest in Peace. “Did you have to go and leave my world so cold? You are not alone [we] are here with you…..“

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