Nancy Ajram (Arabic: نانسي عجرم) (b. May 16, 1983 in Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon) is a popular Arab singer from Lebanon. Her first album was released in 2000; her breakthrough was later on in 2003 including a number of successful music videos from her 2003 album, Ya Salam.
Ajram made her debut at the age of 15 on Noujoum Al-Moustakbal, on Future TV. She sang a song by the legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum and subsequently won the contest
In 2000, Ajram launched her first album, Mihtagalak (translated 'I Need You'), followed by Sheel Oyoonak Anni (translated 'Take Your Eyes Off Of Me') in 2001.
In 2003, she came out with her third album, Ya Salaam (translated 'How Fantastic'). This album contained the song Akhasmak Ah (translation: 'Akhasmak'=Quarrel with you, 'Ah'=Yes; 'Yes (I would) Quarrel You'), which became an enormous hit (its success is rumoured to be due to its provocative music video), reminiscent of older Arabic films, in which the singer portrayed a cafe manager whose singing and dancing to entertain her male clientele. Two other singles from the album were shot as music videos. Ya Salam portrayed Ajram as a sad stage performer and was inspired partly by the musical movie Chicago. Yay Saher Ayounoh (translated 'Oh the Magic of his Eyes') was set to a mini-drama that features Ajram discovering romance as a demure Beirut hairdresser.
In 2004, the album Ah W Noss (Yes and a Half - to convey emphasis), whose single and title track enjoyed extreme succes. In the video, Ajram portrays an Egyptian farm girl (again drawing on themes from old Egyptian films), avoiding the wooing of a local boy. The video was directed in some farms located in Saida, south of Beirut.
The savvy displayed by Ajram and her team, including video director Nadine Labaki have helped propel the young singer to the top of her profession. Main usual members of this team are art director Yehya Saade, casting Manager Ziad Barazi, make up artist Fady Kataya, hairdressing by Waseem Murqos of Pace E Luce Beauty Salon, colorist Sherine Sinno, and executive producer Mayada El Hraki.
In October 2003, a riot broke out outside one of her concerts in Bahrain when Islamists from the main opposition parties, like Al Wefaq attacked concert goers. Al Wefaq's leaders defended the action, as it was the Muslim holy month of Ramadan , in which one must refrain from going to such parties. However on the 18th May 2006 , Nancy Agram performed in Bahrain again and no party leaders called for any demonstrations, leading to the peacefulness of the country.
In 2005, Ajram signed a contract for a Coca-Cola endorsment, making it the fourth Coca-Cola commercial in which she is featured in.
Ajram was named as the best Arabic singer by the magazine Zahrat el Khalij for both 2003 and 2004. She was also named by the Arabic version of Newsweek as one of the most influential personalities of the Arab world in 2005. Her success rivals, in popularity, singers such as Amr Diab and Nawal Al Zoghbi.
In early 2006, she released a single, Enta Masry (You're Egyptian), timed to coincide with Egypt's hosting of the African Cup of Nations football tournament. Its accompanying video is unusual in that the singer does not appear; instead, a variety of Egyptians lip-sync the patriotic words.
Nancy's latest video and album titled Yatabtab…Wa Dalla' has been released. The video broadcast was earlier than the album release. The video is directed by Nadine Labaki, whom Ajram usually cooperates with in her videos. It takes the story of a mandicant magician's companion, in a mobile circus, with Ajram's love interest taking the role of a metal-bending performer, while others perform several acts to the audience.
Previously, Ajram has appeared and used the song "Mo'gaba, Moghrama" (translated 'An Admirer, A Lover) in her latest Coca-Cola commercial. The commercial's theme is similar to the videoclip of Mo'gaba, Moghrama; with magicians, clowns in a circus. Ajram also appears in a new Diamond/Jewlery commercial for Damas, where she sings a third song from her album, titled Ana Yalli Bhebbak.
Nancy is expected to be touring the Arab countries to promote her album. She became a guest to one of the episodes of Super Star, the Middle Eastern version of Pop Idol.
The Damas commercial sonf 'Ana Yalli Bhebak' was released as a video/single on July 1st. So far, the single entered at #13 on the charts.
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