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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 October 2018

Lebanese star Elissa has not been deleted from the internet

Rumours of the singer's demise were greatly exaggerated following Rotana/Deezer streaming deal

Lebanese pop singer Elissa performs at Beirut waterfront, Lebanon August 10, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
Lebanese pop singer Elissa performs at Beirut waterfront, Lebanon August 10, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Paris-based music streaming service Deezer has responded to a growing online furore among fans of the popular Lebanese singer Elissa.

On Wednesday, Elissa tweeted to her 13.4M followers that her online content was blocked thanks to her record label, Rotana, signing a new deal with Deezer to stream its content.

Fans were outraged – the singer’s content was removed from local streaming service Anghami, where she had racked up almost half a billion plays.

Rumours quickly spread that the removal was an internet-wide campaign, including the closure of her YouTube channel. Tweeter @Lobnene_blog was among those who claimed her work was being removed from YouTube.

In fact, the reality was somewhat less dramatic. Elissa’s music had indeed been removed from Anghami, but it had simply been relocated to Deezer’s own streaming site, as is normal when a record label signs an exclusive new deal with a streaming service.

As for the YouTube rumours, a quick search reveals that Elissa’s channel is very much alive and well, and Deezer took to Twitter in the early hours of this morning to assure fans that was not going to change: “We wanted to reassure music fans all over the Middle East and North Africa that we have not, and have no plans to remove any of Elissa’s or other Rotana Artists content from YouTube”, they Tweeted.

All-in-all then, it seems the whole affair was a case of much ado about nothing. In fact, Deezer seemed to be quite pleased with all the unexpected attention the whole affair had generated. They ended their Tweet: “Glad to have y’all in the office.”

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