Lydia Canaan Biography
Lydia Canaan Biography
Lydia Canaan Biography
Lydia Canaan Biography
Lydia Canaan Biography
Lydia Canaan Biography

Lydia Canaan Biography

Influential Animal Right Activists

Lydia Canaan

Born: Brummana, Lebanon

Genres: Rock | Pop Rock | Pop

Instrument: Vocals (Mezzo-Soprano)

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Who is...

Lydia Canaan is a Lebanese singer-songwriter and humanitarian activist widely regarded as the first “rock star” of the Middle East. Credited as the first internationally successful Lebanese recording artist, Canaan rose to fame performing rock music in English amid enemy military attacks during the Lebanese Civil War, holding concerts in vicinities of Lebanon that were simultaneously being bombed. Hala Habib of Society wrote, “in a small country that was ripped by war, there was this young girl making a difference”.

Canaan was the first Middle Eastern artist to sing solely in English, and the first to have music videos played on MTV Europe, MTV Southeast Asia, MTV Russia, and MTV Middle East. Her musical debut was described as having defied tradition, challenged convention, and transcended millennia-old gender barriers. According to Arabian Woman, “as a girl who grew up in the midst of a bloody civil war, Canaan was breaking down seemingly insurmountable barriers ... She rocked the establishment”. In 2015, Canaan was cataloged in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Library and Archives.

Life and Career Early life and education

Canaan's international breakthrough was widely reported on by the Arab media, Al-Hayat writing that she had “ ... invaded the European market with her ballads”. In 1989, she left Lebanon and settled in Zurich, Switzerland, where she became a naturalized Swiss citizen. There she took vocal lessons with soprano Anita Monti. In 1990, she was interviewed by Radio Z in Zurich, where her songs received airplay. Born and raised in Brummana, Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War to a prominent Greek Orthodox Christian family, Canaan studied at Brummana High School (BHS) and later at Lebanese American University (LAU).

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