Fairouz and Majida El Roumi lead tributes to Lebanese composer Elias Rahbani

The Lebanese composer died this week after contracting Covid-19

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 25, 2003, Tunisian singer Lutfi Bushnak kisses late Lebanese musician Elias Rahbani (L) during the Alexandria International Music Festival in the Mediterranean Egyptian port city. Lebanese media reported the death of Elias Rahbani, one of the Arab world's leading pop musicians who is in his early 80s, after a long struggle with illness on January 4, 2021. / AFP / -

Fairouz has paid tribute to Elias Rahbani with a stirring video of the late Lebanese composer with his brother.

Rahbani, who died aged 83 on January 4 after contracting Covid-19, shared familial ties with the Ana La Habibi star, who was married to his late older brother, Assi.

Following the news of Rahbani's death, Fairouz uploaded a clip to social media that showed the siblings sharing a moment on the piano.

Fairouz's daughter, Reema Rahbani, reposted the video with the caption: "Say hello to my beloved ones."

Other artists, from Lebanon and beyond, also paid tributes online to Rahbani's contribution to Lebanese culture.

Majida El Roumi, who sang the Rahbani-composed track Aam Behlamak Ya Helm Ya Lebnan, described him as a mentor.

"He was the one who released my voice, with his great assistant Mr Saeed Akl, with the extraordinary song Am Behlamak," she said. "He composed the most beautiful melodies that were creative, distinguished and soared."

Nancy Ajram said: "Elias Rahbani, your works will remain with us. Your absence leaves a great void."

Egyptian singer and composer Ramy Ayach, meanwhile, described Rahbani as the "owner of a pure heart, the lover of art and homeland".

Rahbani has reportedly been buried in Lebanon without mourners in attendance due to social-distancing measures, according to BBC Arabic.

It has not yet been confirmed if a larger funeral will take place when safety measures allow.

Born in the town of Antelias, Rahbani built a prolific, near six-decade career during which he released more than 2,000 songs and composed scores for more than 20 films.

Some of his most poignant and dramatic songs were performed by Lebanon's most formidable singers, including Fairouz (Hanna El Sekran, Tayr el-Warwar and Kan Ena Tahoun) and the late Wadih Al Safi (Ya Bou Mur'ee).

During his later years, Rahbani focused on mentoring the next generation of Lebanese singers and musicians.

In 2015, he launched the Elias Rahbani Academy with Beirut branches in Dbayeh and Sodeco, and one in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

Owing to the pandemic, the academy has been recently conducted classes online.

Judging by the dozens of social media videos of students, some as young as 9, singing and performing with several instruments, Rahbani's legacy will continue to reverberate across the Arab world for generations to come.