Palestinian singer Mohamed Lafi, who was one of the contestants on the first season of popular talent TV show SuperStar, has died.
Lafi died at the Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah Hospital in Kuwait on Saturday after contracting the coronavirus, according to online news outlet Rai Al-Youm.
Lafi, who lost his sight at the age of 14 owing to a medical error, rose to fame in 2003 when he took part in the inaugural season of SuperStar, the pan-Arab offshoot of the popular UK show Pop Idol.
The show was broadcast on Lebanese station Future TV for five seasons, concluding in 2008. The network then lost the Idol licence to Saudi Arabian media conglomerate MBC, which relaunched the show in 2011 as Arab Idol.
Syrian vocalist Rouwaida Attieh, runner-up of the inaugural season of SuperStar, was among the first to pay tribute to Lafi online.
“Mohamed, you well-mannered sweetheart. May God have mercy on you. The pain I feel cannot be described, my friend,” Rouwaida wrote on her Instagram on Saturday.
"Our memories during good times and bad will always be in my heart.”
Several other SuperStar participants honoured the Ana Albi Alayk singer, including the 2003 winner Diana Karazon.
The Jordanian singer posted a picture of Lafi on her social media pages, along with a short prayer mourning his death.
Emirati singer Saoud Abu Sultan, who was also a contestant on the 2003 season of the talent show, wrote: “My good and kind friend has passed away. A news that hurt me and saddened me very much. May God grant patience to us, his family and his loved ones.”