My love affair of Arabic pop music continues with Lebanese singer, model, and pop icon Amal Hijazi. Her music career begin in 2000 after a long modeling career, with the release of her first two singles: “Halan” and “Rayyak Balak”. Hijazi’s debut album, Akher Gharam, released in 2001 became the highest selling debut album ever for a female artist, and the album stayed #1 on the charts for 8 months. Four singles from this album debuted #1 in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, and Tunisia!
Hijazi released her second album, Zaman, in 2002 and was an instant success. The title track became one of the biggest hit singles in the middle east and is still considered her signature song. She has had several other albums to date that have also been widely successful throughout the middle east.
There are several controversies surrounding Hijazi and other female Lebanese pop stars, especially singer Elissa. There have been accusations of Hijazi imitating Elissa’s musical video styles and the two are open about their rivalry. There have also been rumours of controversies with Nancy Ajram and Nawal Al Zoghbi.
Hijazi has also had problems with Kuwait, being banned from entering despite continuous efforts to travel there. She has not received any real justifications and says she will not rest until she finds out the real reasons for her being banned. Throughout her career both as a model and entertainer Hijazi has been known for her contributions to many middle eastern charities. In 2008 she was named 8th Arab Sexiest Woman Alive (managing to get twice as many votes as Egyptian singer Sherine – soon to come!)