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Khaled Hadj Brahim, better known to music fans as the Algerian Rai star Khaled, was born in Sidi El Houari, a suburb of Oran, on 29 February 1960. Khaled, who came from a modest background (his father earnt a meagre salary working in the garage of the local police station) developed a passion for music at an early age. His early influences were mostly Oriental - Khaled would listen to a lot of Moroccan singers - but the young boy was also a great fan of Western rock'n'roll heroes such as Elvis Presley and the French star
At the age of 7 Khaled vowed that he would one day follow in the footsteps of his musical idols and launch his own singing career. The only problem was that young Khaled had practically no day-to-day contact with the music world. Indeed, nobody in his immediate family was at all musically-minded, apart from his paternal uncle he used to play the accordion from time to time. Khaled decided he would make his own way in the music world and at the age of 14 he formed his