Abdel Halim Ali Shabana commonly known as AbdelHalimHafez (June 21, 1929 – March 30, 1977), is among the most popular Egyptian and Arab singers and performers In addition to singing, Halim was also an actor, conductor, business man, music teacher and movie producer . He is considered to be one of the Great Four of Arabic music (along with Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, and Farid Al Attrach). His name is sometimes written as 'Abd el-Halim Hafez. He is known as el-Andaleeb el-Asmar (The Great Dark-Skinned Nightingale, He is also known as an icon in modern Arabic music. His music is still played daily throughout the Arab world.
Born in El-Halawat, in Ash Sharqiyah Governorate, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Cairo, Egypt as AbdelHalim Ali Shabana, he was the fourth child of Sheikh Ali Ismail Shabana. He had two brothers, Ismail and Mohammed, and one sister, Aliah. His mother died from labour complications three days after giving birth to him - something that made people around him believe that he is a "bad luck". His father died five months later leaving him and his siblings orphaned at a young age. He lived in a poor orphanage for a period of time. Later, He was raised by his aunt and uncle in Cairo. In these years AbdelHalim was extremely poor.
Abdel Halim's one-of-a-kind musical abilities first became apparent while he was in primary school and his older brother Ismail Shabana was his first music teacher. At the age of 11 he joined the Arabic Music Institute in Cairo and became known for singing the songs of Mohammed Abdel Wahab. He graduated from the Higher Theatrical Music Institute as an oboe player