Pop music sung in the Middle Eastern Language, Arabic, first originated in Egypt, then countries like Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey took into the trend. Traditional or classical Arabic Music known as Tarab, was created out of poetry, and Arabic instruments such as the Oud and the Nay was used to create the instrumental elements. It was early on in the 1990s when three events occurred in Egypt, that the music was modernized into modern day pop culture.
The first event was the formation of the First International Congress of Arab Music, inaugurated in 1932 by King Fuad I of Egypt. The conferenceplayed a part in westernizing Arabic music by introducing Western harmonies and instruments. At this time, the phonograph, the fist sound recording device, was invented and the film industry began, resulting in Arabic musicians imitating western songs. The second event was the Egyptian revolution against foreign rule in 1952, which led to a decline in the lengthy Tarab music to shorter, modernized, political songs. The third and final event was the introduction of mass media, that is television and radio, which led to the exposure of the Western forms of music and dance to the Middle Eastern world.
Today, with the mass migration of Middle Eastern culture to the Western world, Arabic Pop Music is becoming more and more popular. The following is a list of famous Arabic Pop Music artists from across the Middle Eastern continent:
- Amr Diab (Egypt)
He was the first Middle Eastern pop singer to start making high-tech music videos and 4-time winner of the World Music Award for best selling middle eastern artist. He has many accolades, the last of which was achieved in 2016 where he won the Guinness World Records title for the Most Music Awards for Best Selling Middle Eastern Artist.
- Nancy Ajram (Lebanon)
Currently ranked number 2 on the Forbes Top 10 Arab Singer List, she sat on the judging panel for “Arab Idol” Seasons 2, 3 and 4 and she has more social media followers than any other Arab singer, over 48 Million.
- KadimAlsaher (Iraq)
Also nicknamed the “Caesar of Arabic Song” he has toured the world, performing in countries such as USA, Canada, England, Italy, France, Germany and Australia. His last album “Min Kitab Al hob” (The Book of Love) was recorded by Platinum Records.
- Saad Lamjarred (Morocco)
Known as one of the best new Arabic Pop singers, he gained the Guinness World Record for garnering 500 million views on YouTube for his hit single Lm3allem, in 2015 in just 3 months of being released. As of May 2018, it garnered more than 626 million views, the most viewed Arabic pop music video.
- AhlamAlShamsi (United Arab Emirates)
This Emirati singer recorded a total of 10 albums, sat as judge for 4 consecutive seasons of “Arab Idol” and was the first Arab singer to perform twice at the Unisco Festival and Ledo Festival in France. She held performances throughout London, in the Alberta Hall Festival held in the UK and the Washington Festival in the US.