Saudi music star Mohammed Abdu undergoing treatment for cancer

Fans send well wishes from across the region as singer is upbeat about his prospects of beating the disease

Saudi singer Mohammed Abdu is one of the Arab world's biggest music stars. AFP
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Mohammed Abdu, one of the Arab world's biggest music stars, has revealed he is being treated for prostate cancer.

The Saudi musician has been undergoing specialist treatment in Paris. In an audio message to music channel Rotana, Abdu, 74, was upbeat about his prospects. “I am reassuring you that my health is good, Alhamdulillah,” he said.

Customers are being informed that his upcoming show at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, scheduled for May 10, has been cancelled and refunds will be coming automatically within 21 days.

Abdu said he was diagnosed with the disease some time ago. He has undergone radiation treatment and medication in an attempt to prevent it from spreading.

“The side effects of radiation are much less than other processes, like surgeries,” he told the channel. “And I take a pill every three months.

“The initial tests are very good, praise be to God. The cancer enzyme decreased a lot. So, I give you good news, praise be to God. And I assure you that your prayer was a factor for success and healing.”

Abdu is known for Khaleeji music staples Masa' Al Khair and Al Amakin. His charm and emotional performances are hugely popular with fans across the Middle East.

He has been singing Arabic hits for decades, with songs by the Arab world’s most famous poets and music composers. He is often referred to as “the artist of the Arabs”. He helped introduce Khaleeji music to the wider region in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, Abdu has remained a big draw, selling out shows and headlining festivals across the Middle East.

“There is a still a hunger for these songs,” Abdu told The National in 2015, before his show at Abu Dhabi’s du Forum. The Saudi singer spoke about how Khaleeji music naturally emerged from Arabic classical music and ­poetry. “It is very gratifying that, generally, people are still interested in the old style of Khaleeji music, with its poetry and ­traditions.”

Abdu's appeal among regional audiences remains unwavering. Along with other Saudi artists, he has been at the forefront of the kingdom's entertainment boom in recent years. The nation's music venues, which previously had strict controls around performances, are now packed with line-ups spanning music, sports and video gaming.

The Saudi singer's popularity is clear, with fans taking to social media in numbers to wish him a speedy recovery. “I ask God Almighty heal you,” Ramzi Alusaimi posted on X.

“May God heal Mohammed, his servant, and heal all sick Muslims,” another X user, Abdulaziz, wrote.

Fellow X user Ahmed AlGhilani, meanwhile, expressed heartbreak and touched upon the recent death of Prince Badr Bin Abdul Mohsin. The Saudi poet and lyricist was known for writing lyrics of songs by Ahlam, Kadim Al Saher as well as Abdu.

Updated: May 06, 2024, 12:13 PM