Earlier this month, Spotify’s “Wrapped” data showed that Amr Diab was the second-most streamed artist in Egypt and his album “Sahran” landed second position.
Even with the changes in the music scene in Egypt, where Maharagant and Hip-Hop are quite a hit with the youth, the 60-year-old star remains one of the top artists on Spotify’s Wrapped lists year after year.
“While Hip-Hop has dominated Spotify charts in Egypt throughout 2021, Amr Diab remains among the most streamed artists and appeals to all generations. People grew up listening to him and created memories around his songs,” said Wissam Khodur, Artist and Label Partnerships for MENA. “Amr Diab is a timeless icon who will never go out of style.”
Diab was born in the coastal city of Port Said, where the country was undergoing a major transition in popular music in the 60s. The golden age of the 1950s and 1960s was a time for legends like Umm Kulthum and Abdel Halim Hafez. Arabic classical traditions influenced their music, which emphasized orchestral formalism, powerful vocals, and mesmerizing performances.
As Diab began his career in the early 80s, studios were much more advanced and the emergence of world music had created a greater international interest in Arabic melodies. Shortly after, Diab started redefining Arabic pop across the Middle East and North Africa, introducing various new styles. While the golden age artists were celebrated for singing poetry in classical Arabic, Diab wrote his lyrics in Egyptian colloquial dialect, which helped him appeal to a younger audience. From “Nour El Ain” to “Tamally Maak”, Diab quickly earned his title as “Al Hadaba” (The Hill) which reflects his status in Arab culture and music.
As one of Egypt’s biggest music stars in the 90s, Diab has since soared to the global stage with his romantic lyrics, Mediterranean rhythms and electro ballads. Most of his Spotify streams are from the United States, Egypt, Germany, France, and Canada. The Guinness World Records even recognized him for winning the most trophies at the World Music Awards in 2016.
Celebrating his legacy, Spotify shared Diab’s most popular songs from across the decades. Diab’s top songs from 90s are Nour El Ein, Amarain and Khalek Fakerny, while his top 2000s songs are Tamally Maak, El Allem Allah, and We Heya Amla Eh. The most famous songs in 2010s are Youm Talaat, Alby Etmanah and Bayein Habeit, and for the 2020s Hayeish Yeftekerni, Amaken El Sahar and Zay Manty are the most streamed songs.
Spotify has launched three playlists to stream Diab’s songs which are “This is Amr Diab”, “My Favorites by Amr Diab” and “Best of Arab Pop 2021”.