Singers of raï are called cheb (shabab, young) as opposed to sheikh (shaykh, old), the name given to Chaabi singers. The tradition arose in cities like Oran, Relizane, Mostaganem, Chlef and Sidi-Bel-Abbès, primarily among the poor. Traditionally sung by men, by the end of the 20th century, female singers had become common.
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