Emirati singer Ahlam announces collaboration with K-pop band BTS

BTS is the most streamed K-pop band in Saudi Arabia on Spotify. (AFP)
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Updated 14 February 2020

Emirati singer Ahlam announces collaboration with K-pop band BTS

DUBAI: Emirati singer Ahlam Al-Shamsi, dubbed “The Queen,” announced on Twitter that she will be collaborating with K-pop band BTS.

A fan commented on one of her tweets writing: “Please answer me Ahlam, will there be a collaboration with BTS?”

“Yes, of course there is,’’ the star, who celebrated her 51st birthday last night, said.

After the star’s response, fans expressed their enthusiasm about the potential partnership with the hashtag “#AhlamxBTS.”

However, Al-Shamsi’s confirmation was not enough for supporters of the artists. They were curious about the topic of the song and its language.

“What will an Arab-Korean song have to say,” one user commented.  

Others questioned the credibility of it all. “Ahlam, are you really collaborating (with them) or is this a joke?” a fan wrote.

Al-Shamsi, the coach of the “The Voice: Ahla Sawt,” is considered one of the most influential musicians in the Middle East, with over 27 million followers on social media and several chart toping hits.

BTS is the most streamed K-pop band in Saudi Arabia on Spotify. Last year, they had six tracks in the top 10 K-pop list in the UAE and four of the top 10 in Saudi Arabia.

The music genre’s upbeat tempo, painstakingly choreographed dance routines, and colorful visuals have turned it into a global phenomenon, despite the language barrier. 

BTS recently launched a mobile simulation application, “BTS World,” which allows players to become the group’s manager (in the virtual world — and without real-life cash). 


American singer/song writer John Legend speaks out against Palestinian suffering

John Legend has spoken out against the occupation of Palestine during a podcast. (AFP)
Updated 20 February 2020

American singer/song writer John Legend speaks out against Palestinian suffering

  • Legend spoke on Palestinian rights during a podcast with the online news platform The Intercept earlier this week

DUBAI: The American singer-song writer, John Legend, has spoken out against the occupation of Palestine during a podcast.

“That’s a baseline for human position,” Legend said on Palestinian rights during a podcast with the online news platform The Intercept earlier this week. 

The 41-year-old artist, according to the host Mehdi Hasan, is one of the few celebrities who has linked the fight for human rights, civil liberties, the fight against detention and mass incarceration in the US and in “the occupied Palestinian territories.” “How did you come to that position?” the host asked. 

“There should not be a whole group of people in a county, just because of their nationality or religion, being held in open-air prisons, denied freedom of movement and having their land annexed by settlers. That’s just a human position,” the “All of Me” singer replied. 

“I think, as someone who is observing what’s going on, and saying ‘This is right,’ or ‘This is wrong,’ clearly it’s wrong what is happening to the Palestinians, it’s so obvious,” he added. “Anybody who doesn’t believe that’s the case is being willfully blind, I believe.”

It is not the first time the award-winning star has spoken out in favor of Palestinian rights. 

Last year, Legend appeared on the political panel show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” in which he said: “As progressives, we should also speak up for human rights for Palestinians, and for too long, I think, it has been out of bounds for progressives to speak up for the rights of Palestinians.”