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New generation of Arab singers

arab singer
Nancy Ajram

Arab music has a long tradition of Oud — a local variety of lute — and soulful longing. It is the foundation of classical Arab music. Umm Kulthum of Egypt was phenomenally popular throughout the Arab world. Many regard Al-Atlal (The Ruins) as her best song. She died in 1975.
Nouhad Wadi Haddad a Lebanese female singer popularly known as Fairuz or Turquoise closely followed her in eminence. While classical songs were Umm Kulthum’s forte Fairuz excelled in modern Arabic songs also projecting the Lebanese heritage. Her all time popular song A’tini al-Nay is cherished by every Arab.
They are followed by new bunch of talented and popular young singers, both male and female. They are Amr Diab, Nancy Ajram, Tamer Hosny, Mohammed Hamaki, Elissar Zakaria Khouri, Sherine Ahmed Abdul Wahab, Kadim Al Sahir, Cairokee a band group and Wael Kfoury.
Among the lot, Amr Abdel Basset Abdel Azeez Diab (Amr Diab) of Egypt is a versatile performer; Diab is both a singer and composer. He has received many awards as the best-selling Arab recording artist. Music connoisseurs commend Diab for blending a Mediterranean Music style combining Arab sound and diction with Western cadence and instruments.
Amr Diab’s 1996 album “Nour El Ain” (Light of the Eye-Sight) became a sensation in the music world. “Habibi” from the album drew music lovers like infatuation worldwide in countries like Pakistan, India (performed by Nachiketa in Bengali with lyrics of his own), Afghanistan, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. The album sold 3 million copies! In 1998, he received the World Music Award from the Prince of Monaco. Diab became a living legend. His album “Amarain” (Two Moons) of 1999 is rated as his best. Amarain featured Diab in a duet “Qalbi” with Algeria’s “Didi” famed Khaled based in France.
Nancy Nabil Ajram (Nancy Ajram) of Lebanon is an immensely popular pop star in Arab music. Nancy came into the limelight in 2003 with the big success of her lead single “Akhasmak Ah”. With her fourth album “Ah w Noss” (Yes, and a half)) she became the pop icon of Arab world. Coca Cola made Nancy their official celebrity spokesperson. The commercial was a hit — “Oul Tany Kida?” (Say that again?). The success continued and her fifth album “Ya Tabtab Wa Dalla” is believed to be her best. Ajram’s crowning moment came when her best-selling album “Betfakkar Fi Eih” won the first World Music Award .as the best-selling Middle Eastern Artist.
Tamer Hosny Abbas Farghaly (Tamer Hosny) of Egypt is idolized as the Star of Generation. He is a highly endowed talent – singer, actor, composer, director and songwriter. In 2004 his second album “Hob” (Love) a romantic one featured a catchy solo “Arrab Habibi”. Its success earned him the nickname “King of Generation”. The solo song kept on running in music channels. The 8th album “Elly Gai Ahla” (2011) found great popularity and he found his bride in his fellow Moroccan singer Bassma Boussil.
Mohammed Ibrahim Mohammed El-Hamaki (Mohammed Hamaki) of Egypt is known as the Master of Pop Music. He is in his thirties. His virtuosity extends to musical instruments; he can play both guitar and piano. He shot into fame with his album “Kheles El Kalam” (All The Words Have Finished!). The song “Wahda Wahda” (One by One) became very popular.
Elissar Zakaria Khouri (Elissa) is a Lebanese pop singer. Elissa became a phenomenon with her W’akherta Ma’ak. It included a popular duet “Betghib Betrouh”. The video clip of her equally successful album “Ayshalak” was done in France by French Director Fabrice Begotti.
The popularity of this new generation of singers shows that Arab world has great love for music and has a wealth of talents to keep it alive. The legacy of Umm Kulthum and Fairuz continues.

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Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
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