Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Nancy Ajram lets her work hit back at the critics

‘I am used to people interfering in my personal life,’ the pregnant Lebanese pop sensation tells us

Nancy Ajram welcomed her third child in January. EPA
Nancy Ajram welcomed her third child in January. EPA

She has been in the business for two decades, consistently outsells her peers and tirelessly tours the world – and now she’s expecting her third child. Lebanese pop star Nancy Ajram is an Arabic music sensation, but even superstars need help sometimes: the star posted on her official Facebook page last month asking fans to help her pick a name for her third child. “In a world full of lovely names, I’m totally lost when choosing a name for my coming princess,” she wrote. “Help anyone?”

Ajram, who already has two daughters, told The ­National that her whole family is looking forward to welcoming a baby girl next year. “I was very happy to know that my third baby is going to be a girl because I adore girls and I know by now how to deal with them very well. As for my daughters, Mila and Ella, they felt ecstatic when my husband and I told them that we are expecting another baby girl to join the family. As a matter of fact, they have been wishing for it for over a year now.

“I am sure there is a huge difference between raising a boy and a girl, however, I’m really not that curious to know how it feels to be a mother of a boy, because I am more than happy to raise three girls,” she added.

The pop star, who performed in Dubai last month, and recently returned from a short tour of the United States, is known for her busy schedule. It seems she never stops performing live – and all in between her judging gigs on Arab Idol and The Voice Kids.

Like many career women and working mothers, she gets plenty of criticism – she recently received flak for performing in high heels while pregnant.

But she says that after decades in the business, she is now used to such censure. “When you are a celebrity, you have to accept the fact that you are always in the spotlight.

“By now, I’m used to people interfering in my personal life and I totally understand that perhaps the reason for such criticism is a result of their fear and their care. Despite that, I have to assure all my fans that if I had the slightest doubt about being able to stand on stage in high heels, I definitely wouldn’t have done it.”

In 2010, Ajram was announced as the bestselling Middle Eastern female singer of the 21st century’s first decade, and she was recently declared the most popular regional star on social media, with almost 18 million followers on Instagram. It is something she says she’s thankful for: “I am very happy, and I owe that to my fans and my great audience. I am very thankful that they appreciate all of the effort and hard work I put into my productions.”

Last month, she was immortalised in wax, when a likeness of her was unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Istanbul, making her the first Arab singer to be featured in the attraction. “I was very happy and honoured when I was approached by the Madame Tussauds museum for this opportunity. We did a lot of measurements and sizing, and took plenty of photos and videos, to create the perfect statue,” she says.

The singer says she expects to go on maternity leave sometime between February and March, but that may actually lead to more music. In 2009, when she welcomed her first daughter, Mila, she released a song called Ya Rabi Tekbar Mila (I Pray for Mila to Grow Up). Then, when her second daughter, Ella, was born on April 23, 2011, she released a single Hadri Laabek (Get Ready to Share Your Toys) on the same day.

I ask Ajram if she’s already working on a tune to announce the arrival of her third baby, but all she reveals is that she might release a new music video before her delivery date.

We will have to wait and see whether this ends up being a song about her third baby, but one thing is certain: as she welcomes her third child into the world, Ajram will continue to be one of the most hard-working women in music, capable of the skilled balancing act of being a working mother, even in the highest of heels.

Updated: December 8, 2018 06:07 PM