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Wael Kfoury
Birth name Michel Émile Kfoury
Also known as Wael
Born September 15, 1974 (1974-09-15) (age 35)
Origin Zahle, Lebanon
Genres Pop
Occupations Singer, musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1992 - present
Labels LW Records, LW Entertainment

Michel Emile Kfoury (born September 15, 1974 in Hawch al Oumara, Zahle, Lebanon), known by his stage name Wael Kfoury ( وائل كفوري), is a well-known pan-Arab singer, musician and songwriter.

Contents

Beginnings

After graduation in secondary school, Wael Kfoury enrolled at Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik and the Conservatoire libanais national supérieur de musique. He had his breakthrough when he took part in Studio El Fan, the popular musical competition programme at the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, for the 1992-1993 season, and took the gold medal for best male singer.

Career

After winning the Studio El Fan music competition, he had a first successful single in "Ma Wa'adtak bi Njoum el Leyl" ( ما وعدتك بنجوم الليل ), immediately followed by "Meen Habeebi Ana" ( مين حبيبي أنا ), a duo with another Studio El Fan winner Nawal Al Zoghbi.

Wael Kfoury signed with the Music Box music label and released three albums in 1994, 1995 and 1996 with the label, and that year was chosen as Best Singer in Lebanon.

He had to suspend his musical career for one year to do his mandatory military service in the Lebanese Army from September 1996 to September 1997. Prior to joining up, he released the popular single "Rayeh 'al Jeysh" ( رايح عالجيش - I am Going to the Army) encouraging other youth to enrol in military service. During that period, he was highly publicised by the Lebanese Army as a role model for Lebanese youth, with frequent musical appearances in the media.[1] He was also seen performing to other Lebanese conscripts on national occasions including Lebanese Independence Day, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Lebanese Army Day, and at the end of his service he released a full album of songs recounting his experience in an album entited 12 Months, the duration of obligatory military service in Lebanon.

Immediately after his release, he took part in the Jerash Festival in Jordan and Nahr el Founoun Festival in Lebanon. in 1998 he signed exclusive broadcasting rights with Arab Radio and Television Network (ART) for his Gulf song "Al Shawq" after a fallout with Simon Asmar, the owner of Studio El Fan. After a highly publicized rift, there was a public reconciliation between the two during the Lebanese Music Festival in August 1999 when Kfoury appeared in the 14th anniversary celebrations of the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation directed by Simon Asmar.

In 2000 Wael Kfoury signed for Rotana Records, a highly successful pan-Arab music label, and largely due to the success of his first album with Rotana called "Sa'alouni", won the Murex Lebanese Award for Best Male Singer.

In his following album Shou Ra'yak, and for the first time in his musical career, he took part in writing and composing of some of the songs. The album went platinum in the Arab World. He remains popular throughout the Arab World as well as the Arab diaspora in North America, Europe, Africa and Australia with frequent sold-out tours.

In addition, in 2003, Wael Kfoury released his most successful song ever, "Omri Killo". In the following years, Kfoury released further albums that achieved international success with songs such as "Osset Oshaq", "Bhibbak Ana Ktir", "Bhinn", "Mista'a Ktir", "Tabkil Toyour", "Arrib Layyi", and "Hobbak Azab". His songs are noted for his mawwal style and a romantic element.

Awards

Besides winning the gold medal in Studio El Fan in his freshman year, Wael Kfoury has won many Lebanese and pan-Arab awards. He won the Murex d'Or Lebanese Award for Best Male Singer in 2001 and Murex Best Artist and Best Single in 2004, followed the same year by the Golden Lion award for Best Video Clip at the Cairo International Film Festival against strong competition from Egyptian singer Amr Diab. Kfoury also won the Best Artist Award at the Murex 2006 for the 4th time.

Commercial deals

Wael Kfoury signed a publicity campaign deal for PepsiCo's PepsiArabia affiliate[2][3] as well as a famous brand of Swiss watches.

Kfoury was one of the major stars of PepsiCo sponsored "Bahr el Noujoum" (meaning of Sea of Stars)[4] with a number of other Arab music stars and resulted in a movie with the same name.

In February 2009, he announced cooperation with LG Electronics for a search for future music stars.[5]

Albums

  • 1994: Shafouha w Sarou Y'oulou ( شافوها وصارو يقولوا)
  • 1995: Mayyet Fiki ( ميت فيكي)
  • 1996: Ba'd el Sentayn ( بعد السنتين)
  • 1997: Twelve Months ( اتنعشر شهر)
  • 1998: Shubbak el Houb ( شباك الحب )
  • 1999: Hikayat 'Asheq ( حكاية عاشق)
  • 2000: Sa'alouni ( سألوني)
  • 2001: Shou Ra'yak ( شو رأيك)
  • 2003: Oumri Killo ( عمري كلو)
  • 2004: Qorb Liyya ( قرب ليى)
  • 2006: Wael ( وائل)
  • 2007: Byihenn ( بيحنّ)

References

External links

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