Warda was born in Puteaux, France to a Lebanese Mother and Algerian father. She started singing at the age of eleven in 1951. She quickly became well known for her singing of patriotic Algerian songs. When she married in 1962, however, her husband forbade her to sing. In 1972, Algerian president Houari Boumédienne asked her to sing to commemorate Algeria's independence, and she performed with an Egyptian orchestra. As a result her marriage broke up, and she dedicated her life to music. She then moved to Egypt, where she married the composer Baligh Hamdi. She performed many of his songs and those of other Arabic composers, quickly rising to fame and releasing several albums per year. Additionally, she has starred in a few films. Warda is a female name of Arabic origin meaning Rose.