JEDDAH: An 18-year-old Saudi woman has wowed audiences — and the internet — with her performance at the Miss Arab USA contest in Arizona on Feb. 1.
Basma Al-Otaibi sang opera at the pageant, performing Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro,” which won her multiple plaudits at the event and earned rave reviews online.
Al-Otaibi, though having only turned to singing professionally at 16, is no novice, however.
She has already established her own recording company, to promote her work on YouTube and iTunes, and won an award at the 2016 Akademia Music Award in Los Angeles, California, for her music.
Al-Otaibi has also participated in school singing functions and competitions both in Saudi Arabia and the US, and decided to enter Miss Arab USA because, though strongly influenced by her time in the US, the competition chimed with her Arab roots, and also judged individual talent, rather than just beauty.