Saudi fans pay tribute to Michael Jackson

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(AN photo by Huda Bashata)
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AbuThalib, left, performs at a concert in Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashata)
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(AN photo by Huda Bashata)
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Updated 02 July 2018

Saudi fans pay tribute to Michael Jackson

JEDDAH: It has been nine years since the undisputed king of pop music Michael Jackson left his fans aggrieved but his legacy lives on in the form of his songs.

Millions of Michael Jackson fans continue to swoon over his songs. The hit songs produced by the deceased pop icon do not seem to lose their freshness. 

Like elsewhere, MJ’s fans in Saudi Arabia also paid tribute to him by organizing a concert in Jeddah on June 30. A local band called “Who’s Bad?” performed at the event, which was held in the Majestic Laylati ballroom. Hundreds of MJ fans attended the concert to remember their beloved artist. 

The concert started with the electrifying performance by AbuThalib’s who was dressed as the pop icon and for a moment made people believe that MJ had returned. He performed one of MJ’s greatest hits “Jam” and set the tone of the event.

AbuThalib, a true MJ fan, captivated the audience by performing almost all hits by the legend. To many in the audience, it was a great trip down memory lane. Many MJ fans became nostalgic. 

The talented singer and dancer, AbuThalib, has Arabic roots as he is from Sudan. He told the crowd how thrilled he and his band were to be performing in Saudi Arabia. “We had such an exciting time here in Saudi Arabia, I am glad we could make it to the Kingdom and perform in front of a wonderful audience.”

He also expressed how much he enjoyed visiting Saudi Arabia. The artist said he would love to perform again in the Kingdom. The response from the audience was overwhelming and filled the hall with cheers.

The supposed wrap-up song was “Beat it” but after the performers stormed back on the stage for a surprise performance of “Black or white.” 

It was a great way to pay one’s tribute to a legend. The participants were thrilled to have attended such an event. Ahmad, an MJ fan, told Arab News: “I am a huge fan of Michael Jackson and it was an amazing experience. I am at a loss for words to express my feelings.” 

Another MJ fan, Seham, said: “It felt so real, the performers were extremely talented.”

Alaa Tammar, a social media influencer, also attended the concert. She said: “I loved the concert and everything about it, I never thought I would experience the Micheal Jackson phenomenon after his passing but here we are.”

At the end of the concert, fans lined up to take selfies with AbuThalib. Other band members mingled with the audience and answered their questions. 

“This was my first time performing in front of a Muslim audience and as a Muslim myself it was very heartwarming to be receive such an amazing reaction,” said AbuThalib.

“Saudi Arabia is a beautiful country, and I am glad I could come here. The audience’s love was genuine.”

AbuThalib also said: “I like paying tribute to Michael Jackson, as he was my inspiration.” 

Bollywood stars Padukone, Singh wed in Italy

Updated 15 November 2018

Bollywood stars Padukone, Singh wed in Italy

  • The celebrity couple got married in a private ceremony at Lake Como on Wednesday
  • The pair have yet to comment or release pictures from the event which was closed to the media

MUMBAI: Bollywood superstars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have tied the knot in Italy, Indian media reported Thursday.
The celebrity couple got married in a private ceremony at Lake Como on Wednesday, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
The pair have yet to comment or release pictures from the event which was closed to the media.
Padukone is arguably Indian cinema’s biggest female star currently, and she has also broken into Hollywood, starring in “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” opposite Vin Diesel.
Padukone, 32, and Singh 33, announced in a joint statement last month that their wedding would take place on November 14 and 15.
The couple reportedly started dating in 2013 but have kept details of their relationship largely out of the public eye.
Hindi film director Karan Johar, a friend of the couple, tweeted his congratulations.
“Such a stunning gorgeous and beautiful couple!!!! Nazar utar lo! (Keep the evil eye away) !! Badhai ho (Congratulations) !!! Love you both!!! Here’s to a lifetime of love and joy!” he wrote on Wednesday.
The newlyweds have shared the silver screen together, including a controversial Bollywood epic earlier this year that sparked violent protests in northern India.
Padukone played a legendary Hindu queen and Singh a medieval Muslim ruler in the flick, which angered hard-liners, some of whom burned down film sets and made threats toward the two stars.
Indian superstar Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas are due to get married in India early next month.