Nancy Ajram, Fairouz amongst most influential Arabs in the Middle East

Published November 2nd, 2016 - 11:46 GMT
Singers Nancy Ajram and Fairouz. (Bitajarod)
Singers Nancy Ajram and Fairouz. (Bitajarod)

It takes a lot to influence one person, let alone an entire nation. 

However, Lebanese legendary star and veteran singer Fairouz and fellow Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram have proven themselves as one of the most influential Arab personalities in the Arab world.

According to an annual study by Middle East Magazine, the two divas made the publication's "50 Top Arabs in 2016."

Girl-next-door Nancy came in 15th place on the list. This is how she was described by the magazine:

"Lebanese pop singer Nancy Ajram began performing as a child and released her first studio album when she was 15.  Her breakthrough came when she collaborated with the producer Jiji Lamara for the first time to release smash hit ‘Akhasmak Ah’ on her third studio album ‘Ya Salam’ in 2002. The song became known in part because of its glamorous promotional video, and Ajram has since become known for her high budget music videos, filming several per album.

In 2004 she released her second international bestselling album ‘Ah W Noss’, which cemented her status as an Arab pop icon. In 2009 she was even described by Oprah Winfrey as ‘the Britney Spears of the Middle East’. Successive albums have included ‘Ya Tabtab…Wa Dallaa’ (2006), ‘Shakhbat Shakhabit’ (2007) and ‘Betfakkar Fi Eih?!’ (2008); the latter won Ajram her first World Music Award for the World’s Best-Selling Middle Eastern Artist. She has since won a string of other awards, including the Murex d’or Award.

The 31-year-old, who has two daughters with her dentist husband, is the first and only female sponsor and spokesperson of Coca-Cola in the Middle East and Arab world. Her official Facebook page is reportedly the most subscribed female Arabic artist page on the social media network."

As for living legend Fairouz, she came in 30th place. This is what the magazine had to say about her:

"Still known as the Arabs’ ambassador and the ‘Jewel of Lebanon’, Fairouz is considered one of the greats of the Middle East music scene. Born Nouhad Haddad in November 1935, she received her education in Beirut and started her musical career as a chorus singer on Lebanese radio.

In the 1950s, her career took off after she teamed up with the Rahbani Brothers, Assi and Mansour, who worked at the same radio station as musicians. Today, she is revered across the Middle East region and beyond.  Although she has never sung in Jerusalem, the key to the holy city,presented to her by the Jerusalem Cultural Committee more than 40 years ago, remains among her most prized possessions. She released her last album ‘Eh Fih Amal’ in 2010, but treated her fans to a special New Year video message on Facebook to herald 2016."

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