On this day in 1983, multi-platinum Lebanese recording artist Nancy Ajram was born. Ajram is one of the most influential personalities in the Middle East and a chart-topping internet phenomenon.
Born in Beirut, Ajram was discovered at the age of 12 when she won a gold medal for singing an Umm Kulthum song in a Lebanese reality TV competition. She released her first album, Mihtagalak (I Need You) at age 15 and joined a syndicate of professional Lebanese artists at 18. Her breakthrough came when she began working with experienced producer and manager Jiji Lamara. With the release of her lead single, “Akhasmak Ah,” and her third studio album, Ya Salam, Ajram shot to instant fame. The single became a hit thanks in large part to its flashy promotional video, something for Ajram has become known. Her fourth album, Ah W Noss, in 2004, saw Ajram rise to such stratospheric fame in the Middle East she was chosen as Coca-Cola’s commercial sponsor in that region. She’s since produced several more albums, including Ya Tabtab…Wa Dallaa, Shakhbat Shakhabit, and Betfakkar Fi Eih.
Today the Lebanese singer is an international pop icon with many awards to her name, including several Murex D’or Award, or World Music Awards, most recently for World’s Best-Selling Middle-Eastern Artist. Ajram has also been listed by Newsweek as one of the most influential Arabs and made the list of “Most Powerful Arabs” on Arabian Business several times. She’s also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF where she works in the Middle East and North Africa.
But Ajram is best known as a phenomenally successful pop icon with the masses: She has released seven studio albums to date with a number of chart-topping singles like “Sehr Ouyouno,” “Atabtab,” “Moegaba,” “Ehsas Jdeed,” “El Donya Helwa,” “Mashi Haddi,” and “Fi Hagat,” which is currently the most viewed Arabic music video on the Internet with more than 20 million YouTube views to date.
Now married with two daughters, the pre-teen discovered on a variety TV show continues to captivate fans across the Arab world.
Credit: Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Caption: Nancy Ajram performs in Muscat, Oman.