Lebanese star Elissa becomes first Arab to hit one billion views on YouTube

Lebanese star Elissa becomes first Arab to hit one billion views on YouTube
Elissa is one of the most successful singers from the Arab world, with millions of records sold worldwide over a span of 30 years.
2 min read
03 February, 2023
Elissa is among the Arab world's most famous and successful singers [Getty]

Lebanese superstar Elissa has added a new record to her long list of achievements – she has now become the first Arab entertainer to rack up one billion views in a year on YouTube.

The singer, regarded as one of the most successful in Arab pop music, achieved the record without releasing a full-length album in 2022.

"Crossed 1 billion views on my official youtube channel, yuppiiiuee," she tweeted.

Fans of the singer, whose career has spanned more than 30 years, expressed pride in her achievement and flooded social media platforms with congratulatory messages in both Arabic and English.

One user Reham said: "Can’t be more proud of her! One billion in one year without a new album, she’s the best as usual".

Although she did not release an album last year, the singer did drop four stand-alone singles, one of which was released as a theme song for a television show.

Another song, titled "Zahra min El Yasmine" has been described as a love letter to her home country, Lebanon, as it undergoes economic and political turmoil.

Often dubbed "The Queen of Emotions" due to her singing prowess and heartfelt lyrics, Elissa is best known for her hits "Ayshalak", "Bastanak" and "Halet Hob".

She began her career in 1992, appearing on the Lebanese talent show "Studio El Fan". She is now one of the Arab world's best-selling artists, with over 30 million albums sold worldwide.

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The Deir Al-Ahmar-born songstress is also the most viewed Arab female singer across all official channels on YouTube, ranking 202nd worldwide, according to official data.

Overall, she is the third most viewed Arabic-language singer, behind Egypt’s Mohammed Ramadan and Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred.

Elissa is regularly featured on the "Most Influential People on Twitter" index, ranking 47th in 2022 - making her the only Arab personality to appear on that list.

The index, which is published annually by US social media intelligence company Brandwatch, rates individuals based on their level of engagement on the platform.

Born as Elissar Khoury, the 50-year-old stepped away from the music industry in 2019, which she claimed was "run like the mafia".

She said the 2020 album "Sahbit Raey" would be her last, but has performed and released music since.