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Pop legend Elissa declared top Arab Twitter personality

The Lebanese singer is the only Arab figure to make the list of 50 most powerful international influencers
The singer is well known across the Middle East and has amassed millions of followers online (AFP)

One of the Middle East’s most prominent pop stars is officially the Arab world's most influential person on Twitter.

According to a report published by US social media intelligence company Brandwatch, Elissa is ranked at number 45 in a global list of 50 personalities. 

Politicians, actors and musicians were rated according to their level of engagement on the social media platform. 

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Elissar Khoury, 49, known professionally as Elissa, has 15.2 million followers on Twitter and regularly engages with her followers in Arabic and in English, tweeting on a range of topics from her career to the political situation in Lebanon.

According to Brandwatch, musicians were the most prominent profession to feature in the top 50, which also listed singers such as Rihanna and Taylor Swift. 

Others on the list considered to be good engagers included US President Donald Trump, who ranked at number one, former US President Barack Obama at number seven and entrepreneur Elon Musk. 

Elissa placed higher than American actor Leonardo DiCaprio and former First Lady Michelle Obama, who just made the list at number 50. 

The singer - who has sold over 30m albums worldwide - announced her ranking on Twitter, saying that she was proud to be the only Arab artist on the list alongside some of the world’s most influential people. 

Translation: “I am proud and happy with the honour to be the only Arab artist on the list and one of the most influential people on Twitter, with the most influential people in the world.”

Elissa started her career in music after graduating with a degree in political science from the Lebanese University in Beirut. She found singing fame after winning the silver medal on the Lebanese talent show Studio El Fan

She has since released several albums and appeared in adverts, as well as having been a judge on popular TV talent shows. 

Last year Elissa, one of the best-selling female recording artists in the Middle East and three-time winner of the World Music Awards, announced that she would be stepping away from the music industry, describing it as the "mafia".

The announcement left many of her fans upset.


Translation: "The worst news I heard in my life."

The singer released her farewell album in August this year, called Sahbit Raey (Master of My Own Opinion), which included a mix of slow soul and pop songs in Egyptian and Lebanese dialects. 

The iconic pop singer has been dubbed as "Maleket El Ehsas" (Queen of Emotions) - which is also the name of one of her songs - because of her ability to evoke emotions in the listener through her poetic lyrics. She has amassed over 928m views on her YouTube channel, where she sings in different Arabic dialects about her life, romance and female empowerment.

Here are some of Elissa’s most popular songs, which have been enjoyed across the Middle East and beyond:

  1.   Halet Hob (State of Love) 
  2. Illa kol ely beyhoubni (To All Those Who Love Me)
  3.  Ya Merayti (My Mirror)
  4. Hob kol hayati (Love of My Life)
  5.  Sahbit Raey (Master of My Own Opinion)