Haifa Wehbe in Abu Dhabi in 2009.
|Genres||Arabic pop, world|
Haifa Wehbe (Arabic: هيفاء وهبي) is a Lebanese singer and actress. She has released five studio albums and made her acting debut in the 2008 Pepsi-produced film Sea of Stars. In 2006, Wehbe was on People Magazine‘s 50 most beautiful people list.
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Criticism and controversy
- 4 Political views
- 5 Image
- 6 Discography
- 7 Filmography
- 8 Awards
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Life and career
Wehbe was born to Lebanese father Nadim Antar and an Egyptian mother from Cairo, to a Muslim family. Wehbe won the title of Miss South Lebanon at the age of sixteen and was a runner-up at the Miss Lebanon competition, which was revoked after it was discovered that she was ineligible because she had been married and had a child.
2004–2007: Baddi Aech and television career
Wehbe released her second studio album Baddi Aech (Arabic: بدي عيش, English: “I Want to Live”) in early 2005, following the success of lead single “Ya Hayat Albi.” Released after the assassination of Lebanese politician Rafik Hariri, the title single of the album is about “freedom, considered to be among the most basic of human rights”. Follow-up single “Aana Haifa” (Arabic: أنا هيفاء, English: “I Am Haifa”) became her biggest hit to date. In 2006 she released “Bus al-Wawa” (Arabic: بوس الواوا, English: “Kiss the Booboo“), the song was later used in a Pepsi advertisement. The song was also voted Song of the Year in 2006 by Radio Scope and Sawt Al Musika.
2008–2009: Film career beginnings and Habibi Aana
On July 4, 2008, Wehbe released her third studio album Habibi Aana (Arabic: حبيبي أنا, English: “My Love”) which contains 15 songs including the lead single “Moush Adra Estana”.
2010–2012: Babe Haifa, and Malikat Jamal Al Kawn
In September 2011 Al Bawaba reported that Wehbe was threatening to leave her label Rotana “for neglecting her and not paying any attention to her work”.
“Malikat Jamal Al Kawn” (MJK; English: “Miss Universe”) was released on May 8, 2012.
2013–present: Your Face Sounds Familiar, Breathing You In, and Mariam
During summer 2013, Haifa released her new song “Ghala Ghala”.
In August 2014, she announced that she would be releasing a new song titled “Breathing You In” along with a video clip featuring Casper Smart. A 34-second teaser of this video was released on YouTube.
In 2018, she starred in an Egyptian drama “Lanaat Karma”.
In the 1990s, Wehbe married her cousin Nasr Fayyad when she was 18 and traveled with him to Nigeria where he worked. During her pregnancy, she returned to Lebanon and separated from Fayyad.
On June 25, 2007, Wehbe survived an accident while filming a music video for the song “Hasa Ma Bena” in Lebanon. In the video, a single engine airplane was to chase Wehbe as she drove a car. However, the airplane inadvertently hit the car, taking off the front windshield of the convertible she was driving. Despite the severity of the accident, Wehbe suffered only minor cuts and bruises.
Wehbe married Egyptian businessman Ahmed Abou Hashima on April 24, 2009 in Beirut. Among the guests at the wedding party were singer Anastacia, Kim Kardashian, Sean Combs, Googoosh, Nawal Al Zoghbi, Najwa Karam, Ragheb Alama, and Sherine.
It was announced that Wehbe and Ahmed Abou Hashima had split in November 2012.
Criticism and controversy
Allegations of racism
In 2009, lyrics “Where is my teddy bear and the Nubian monkey?” in one of Wehbe songs Baba Fein (from her unreleased 2010 kids album) seemed to refer to Nubians as “monkeys”. Nubians in Egypt accused the artist of racism and singing a song that fueled racism and discrimination against them. In 2010 a lawsuit filed against Wehbe was dropped.
Another incident occurred after the 2009 Egypt–Algeria World Cup dispute, adding to the diplomatic tension between the two countries. Wehbe went on to make statements that she would not be performing in Algeria anytime soon, because Algerians “…wouldn’t understand her music“. Algeria’s cultural minister responded by stating that Wehbe would be banned from performing in Algeria for insulting Algeria and the Algerian people regardless of whether she apologizes.
During the 2006 Israel–Lebanon War, she left her home, in Verdun, Beirut and moved to Egypt for the duration of the conflict. In a concert in the Lebanese town of Jounieh, Wehbe congratulated Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah for his stand against Israel during the war.
Wehbe also refused to perform at any concert during the 34 days of the war including fundraisers, saying that there were more ways than one to show support for Lebanon.
Some in the more conservative Arab countries deem her revealing outfits scandalous. One Bahraini member of parliament called her a sexual singer who spoke with her body, not her voice. Wehbe said she was aware of the efforts to ban her from performing at the concert but had chosen to ignore their attempts to silence her.
“I am a performer and not a politician,” Haifa said. “I know my fans want me I am there for them. I am not concerned with the other issues.”
In April 2008, the Islamist-dominated parliament of Bahrain passed a motion urging the government to ban Haifa Wehbe’s show in the country. As a result of the motion, Wehbe performed in Bahrain with more modest dress, wearing a long green gown with a low V-neckline during the performance.
- Houwa Al Zaman (2002)
- Baddi Eesh (2005)
- Habibi Ana (2008)
- Baby Haifa (2010)
- Malikat Jamal Al Kawn (2012)
- “El Layli”
- “El Tabeea”
- “Bint Al Waddi”
- “Ana Andi Baghbaghan”
- “Ana Adrra Aich”
- “Eda Eda”
- “Enta Tanni”
- “80 Million Ahsass “
- “Yama Layali” (Remix Version)
- “Yama Layali”
- “Ya Magnon”
- “Samanne” (Singles Version)
- “Farhana” (Your Face Sounds Familiar 2014)
- “MJK” (Remix only)
- “Inbisset” (Remix only)
- 2002: The “Golden Lion” Award in Egypt.
- 2004: Best Young Female Arab singer in Egypt.
- 2005: The Oscar for “ninashnash” for her song Baddi Eesh from her second album.
- 2005: The “Murex d’Or” award with the title “Best Artist of the Year”.
- 2006: The “Murex d’Or” award with the title “Best Artist of the Year”.
- 2009: The “Murex d’Or” award with title “Most Popular Lebanese Singer”
- 2010: The “Murex d’Or” award with the title “Best singer actress”
- 2010: The “ART” Award for her role in her first Egyptian Film “Dokkan Shehata”
- 2011: World’s Most Desirable Woman List No. 49 Rank
- 2011: Most beautiful Arabian model cum actress list Ranked #2
- 2011: Murex d’Or best song award, for “Yama Layaly.”[31