Zaho, known more formerly as Zaho Tunisiano, is an Algerian-born R&B singer/songwriter from Montreal, Canada, who broke through to mainstream success in France in 2008 after initially establishing herself in the French rap scene. Born Zehira Darabid on May 10, 1980, in Oran, Algeria, she grew up in Bab Ezzouar, an Algiers suburb of 300,000-plus people, before moving with her family to Montreal at age 18. At this point she began pursuing a professional career in music. Billing herself as simply Zaho, she initially established herself in the French rap scene. Her early credits include appearances on songs by French rappers La Fouine ("Basta," 2005), Sefyu ("Un Point C Tout," 2006), Soprano ("Hey Papi," 2006), Don Choa ("Lune de Miel," 2007), Tunisiano ("Citoyen du Monde," 2007), Kery James ("Je M'Écris," 2008), and Kamelancien ("Quand Ils Vont Partir," 2008). She also collaborated with Algerian artists including Cheb Mami ("Halili," 2006) and Idir ("Tout Ce Temps," 2007). Amid these many early guest features, Don Choa's "Lune de Miel" became a hit single in late 2007 and set the stage for the unveiling of Zaho's solo recording career. "C'est Chelou," the lead single from her full-length solo album debut, Dima (2008), was released on the heels of "Lune de Miel" and became a smash hit, peaking at number two on the French singles chart. Boasting a Timbaland-esque production style, Dima, a Top 20 hit on the French albums chart, spawned a couple follow-up singles ("La Roue Tourne," "Kif'n'dir") and was one of the year's best-selling albums. In the wake of her breakthrough success with Dima, Zaho was nominated for numerous year-end awards, most notably winning the 2008 MTV Europe Music Award for Best French Artist and the 2009 NRJ Music Award for French Revelation of the Year. ~ Jason BirchmeierPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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