Egyptian singer Ali Hemeida dies at 55 after battle with cancer

The 1980s pop singer rose to fame after his upbeat song 'Lolaky'

Egyptian singer Ali Hemeida, the 1980s pop star behind the hit Lolaky, has died at the age of 55 after a battle with cancer.

Hemeida died in his hometown of Marsa Matruh, where he was transferred last month from a state hospital in Cairo. His health had begun to deteriorate and the singer eventually suffered a kidney failure.

Born in 1965, Hemeida rose to fame in the late 1980s after the release of his album Lolaky, also the name of a song, which sold millions of copies in Egypt and the Arab world. The upbeat pop hit, written by Hamid El Shari, opened doors for Hemeida, who released more albums and singles. In 1993, the singer also earned a role on the big screen in a film that was inspired by the song.

Gradually, his fame faded and he disappeared from the spotlight. He had a brief return in 2000 and 2009 after presenting the theme song for the TV series Nessma wa Naseeb. In recent years, he also began appearing in television series.

Despite this, however, Hemeida was beset with financial struggles for years. In January, the singer revealed in an interview with TV presenter Amr Adib that he could not afford his medical treatment. This prompted Egypt's Ministry of Health to issue a directive to treat the singer at the state's expense, transferring him from the Marsa Matrouh General Hospital to Nasser Institute Hospital in Cairo.

Hemeida was buried in his hometown on Friday.