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About Wael Kfoury

Lebanese vocalist, songwriter, and musician Wael Kfoury is known throughout the Arabic world as "The King of Romance" for his aching ballad style. Born Michel Emile Kfoury, the singer began pursuing musical studies as a teen and majored in solfeggio, becoming a music educator in college. After completing his studies at Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik and the Conservatoire Libanais National Supérieur de Musique, he began performing with a band. He entered the competition for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation's hit TV show Studio el Fan for the 1992-1993 season and won best male vocalist, guaranteeing him a recording contract. His first single, "Ma Wa'adtak bi Njoum el Leyl," netted him a Top Ten hit, and he quickly followed it with "Meen Habeebi Ana," a clever duet with Nawal Al Zoghb, another Studio el Fan winner. He cut three albums for Lebanon's Musicbox label and won "Best Male Singer" at its version of the Grammys. Before undertaking his year of mandatory military service, he issued a recruitment single geared toward young men: "Rayeh 'al Jeysh"; it also became a hit.

Upon his return from the military, he commenced recording and touring again and during the end of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st, his name became synonymous with hit recordings and awards. Between 2000 and 2007, he released at last one album per year, and sometimes two. All placed near the top of the album charts, while his singles more often than not reigned in the top spot for weeks at a time. His public concerts, civic work, and television and film appearances kept him so busy that he retreated from the recording studio for an extended time beginning in 2010 -- though his public performances remained almost constant. He married and had a family before returning to the studio again for 2017's W. ~ Thom Jurek

Zahle, Lebanon
15 Sep 1974