Talk about having several strings to your bow: Lebanese Arabic singer Nancy Arjam has sold over 2 million records, is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and a happily married wife and living mum. It would seem she’s got it all..
And she’s only 27…
An Arabic Music Icon
Legendary US TV talk-show host Oprah Winfrey has likened her to a Middle Eastern Britney Spears (there’s an interesting thought!) Nancy was named one of the most influential stars of the Middle East on Oprah’s show. With 7 albums under her svelte belt, Nancy is also the youngest Arabic WMA winner ever and the first and only female Coca-Cola sponsor and spokeswoman in the Middle East.
Does this siren ever sleep?
Star-Gazing in The Early Days
Nancy Ajram was born in May 1983 in Achrafieh, a district in Beirut, Lebanon. In 1995, twelve-year old Nancy appeared on Noujoum Al-Moustakbal, (“Stars of the Future”); a Lebanese reality TV music talent contest much like the kind being beamed to many other parts of the world. The song she sang to Umm Kulthum won a gold medal in the Tarab category
Off the bat of that Nancy went on to study music with renowned Lebanese musicians despite being under 18, was accepted by the Lebanese syndicate of professional artists. In 1998, aged just 15, she released her first album, sung entirely in Arabic and called: Mihtagalak (“I Need You’) in 1998.
Rocketing up the Road to Fame
Nancy’s breakthrough came when she began working with producer and manager Jiji Lamara, and in 2003, Nancy pivoted to fame with the single “Akhasmak Ah” from her third album, and first bestseller: Ya Salam (Arabic for “How Beautiful”.)
Three other albums followed: Ah w Noss (“Yes, and a half”) and Ya Tabtab Wa Dallaa, Shakhbat Shakhabit (Scribbled Scribbles – which was directed towards children) and her latest album, the sensationally successful Betfakkar Fi Eih.
Fame, Fortune, and Love…
In September 2008, Nancy married her partner of three years, Dr. Fadi Hachem. Two months later she won her first World Music Award for her best-selling album Betfakkar Fi Eih. In her short speech, Nancy said “2008 has been a fantastic year – a successful album, my wedding, and now a World Music Award, what can I ask for more?”.
On May 16, 2009, Nancy gave birth to her first child, a daughter named “Mila.” Short for Milagrosa (miraculous in Spanish), Mila is also a traditional, Levantine name meaning “blooming tree”. Nancy released a song for her daughter, “Ya Rab Tekbar Mila” (I Pray that Mila Grows Up) on the same day. Not surprisingly, this incredible Lebanese Arabic star was voted “Most Beautiful Mom” of 2009 in a survey by Rotana Magazine.
An Arabic Ambassador
After participating in many charity events and concerts, releasing a song for peace and opening her own charity organization in 2006, in October 2009, UNICEF chose Nancy to be the first female regional ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa.