Elissar Zakaria Khoury ( إليسار زكريا خوري) , professionally known as Elissa ( إليسا), a singer and occasional model with multiple Arabic and International awards. She is one of the most well-known female singers in the Arab world and considered as one of the best selling female artists in the Middle East. As of December 2010, it is believed that Elissa has sold over a staggering 30 million albums in the last decade, making her one of the best selling artists in the Middle East and Asia
She is also known as the "Queen of Romance", and she is the first Lebanese singer to win three World Music Awards for best selling albums in the Middle East.
Born to an Arab Lebanese father (Zakaria Khoury) and an Arab Syrian mother (Youmna Saud), Elissa was raised in the Beqaa Valley in Eastern Lebanon. She earned a degree in Political Science from the Lebanese University. She is a Maronite Catholic. Elissa's father, Zakaria Khoury, who studied and taught Arabic literature, died of cancer in 2004. She has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. Her brother Kamel Khoury is a DJ. Her sister Norma is married and lives in Canada, her two other brothers are Ghassan and Jehad.
Commercials and Advertisements:
Elissa created a very high image for herself which made her become the most wanted artist for all prestigious brands. Her commercial life began when she signed a deal in 2003 with Pepsi. She has already filmed the ad for Pepsi X in Spain, and in 2004 the Regular Pepsi ad filmed in Roma with famous director Roger Spottiswood. Then she shot two ads with Christina Aquilera for Pepsi for the world football cup. Both were shot in Los Angeles with famous director Tarsem Singh. The commercial was highly publicised and received a lot of success internationally.
Her second deal was with the highly prestigious manufacturer of sunglasses, Ray-Ban. Elissa ran the campaign all over the Middle-East and Arab world boosting her career very impressively. She has also shot an advert for Lux in a huge flying bathtub.
Elissa is one of the ambassadresses for the World Gold Council in collaboration with the highly noticeable gold & jewellery collection Lazurde.
Criticism and controversy
Baddi Doub music video controversy
Elissa's video for the title track of her album, Baddi Doub caused controversy. In the video, Elissa is seen sitting on a bed wearing a white bed sheet. For years after the video, Elissa would be asked about the 'bed sheet incident' in interviews. Elissa mentioned that she was surprised on how much controversy this has caused, especially since she was almost completely covered up, and indeed there are other artists who wear far more 'revealing' outfits on TV. Not to be beaten, Elissa wore a similar ensemble for the title track of her next album, W'akherta Ma'ak.
Amal Hijazi feuds and allegations
In 2003 Elissa accused the singer Amal Hijazi for imitating her style, especially in the video of Hijazi's song, "Bedawwar A Albi". Hijazi, however, denied the accusations, stressing that she has her own unique style and would avoid imitating any artist as she claims originality. Hijazi added that her song was filmed long before Elissa's (Hobbak Waja) and had been airing on different satellite channels for a while. In 2004, however, Hijazi put everything aside and made a personal visit to Elissa to give her condolences after she lost her father to cancer. Elissa welcomed Amal expressively and expressed her gratitude towards Amal's attempt to stand by her side at such a troublesome time. Another opinion says that since her rise to fame, Amal has been continously insulting or negatively remarking Elissa who did not and will not reply for personal reasons.
Elissa is also known for her enmity and rivalry with Haifa Wehbe. Haifa started the fire when she compared the two singers to 'cars' by saying that Elissa is an 'old car' while she is a new one. Elissa refused to reply and just stated carelessly: "When someone compares me to a car, is there anything left for me to say?". This enmity stopped when Nishan had Elissa live on his show and called Haifa. Both Elissa and Haifa were surprised, but assured people that there are no problems or issues between the two singers. However, another controversy started when Haifa claimed that Elissa's perfume, "Elle D'Elissa", was supposed to be hers, but Elissa didn't reply and said that the perfume is hers and only hers. And again, Haifa and Elissa announced the love and peace between them. During the Murex D'Or 2010, after Haifa had finished her performance and accepted her award, she said that Lebanon is a country of love and that all Lebanese people love and respect each other. And to prove to people that what she was saying was true, she said "There's no problem with Elissa, and this is the proof to all people," she shook hands with Elissa and congratulated her on her success. Also, they met each other during the opening of a new beauty shop in Lebanon, and didn't hesitate to talk to each other and take photos.
Nawal Al Zaoghbi
Another rivalry is with Nawal Al Zoghbi when Elissa thought that the latter accused her in an indirect way of buying awards and ignoring fans in concerts. Subsequently, Elissa in a live interview was asked about who might vanish her from musically, she stated that it might be Nawal Al Zoghbi because of her accusations and possibly Haifa Wehbe. Both Nawal and Haifa acted smartly and considered that false and incorrect while stressing that they don't hold anything against Elissa as an artist and performer.
Although Elissa has had many fights and problems with singers, composers, and musicians, she usually does not reply, or, when being accused, she usually says that it is their personal opinion and that she does not want to discuss it any further.
Arab's Fashion Icon
"The Queen of Elegance" was the first title given to her in reference to her classy and suave way of dressing. Elissa is the best example of a modern-classic woman, staying in tune with the latest modern trends of the high-end fashion industries. She attends most of the fashion shows of high-end couturiers such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Elie Saab, Dolce&Gabbana and Marchesa. She has been awarded several times by magazines and polls for her best appearances. In 2005 she attended the World Music Awards in a sky blue dress designed by Michael Kors and after that People Magazine took a poll comparing Elissa to Jennifer Lopez, who had also worn the same dress. Elissa won the poll with 60% of the votes. She rarely changes her hairstyle pattern and colour; she enjoys being a classic lady. Overall she is recognized as the Arabic fashion icon.
Elissa's Famous Quotes
Thanks to all those who challenged and criticized me, I've learned that hard work eventually leads to success – Elissa, from her message to her fans in Tsadaq Bmein album cover (2009).
This article incorporates text from the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.