Teen singing sensation Billie Eilish is a huge Nancy Ajram fan

Billie Eilish reveals Nancy Ajram is one of her favorite artists. (File/AFP)
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Updated 25 May 2020

Teen singing sensation Billie Eilish is a huge Nancy Ajram fan

DUBAI: Earlier this month, US singing sensation Billie Eilish launched a new podcast on Apple Music, “Me & Dad Radio,” which sees the 18-year-old pop star and her father Patrick O’Connell, play a wide range of hand-picked songs. 

In the latest episode of the new radio show, the Grammy award-winning hitmaker reveals some of the artists who inspire her, name checking Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram as one of her favorite artists. 

In the weekly podcast, the artist reveals that she particularly loves the songs “Enta Eih” and “Fi Hagat,” which she listens to whenever she needs a quick mood boost.

“I’m going to cheer myself up by playing a very special song to me that’s in Arabic,” said the “Ocean Eyes” singer. “This is Nancy Ajram who I love. I love Nancy Ajram and this song. She has this song and another song called Enta Eih.  And this song is called Fi Hagat,” she added.

So how did the 18-year-old first come across the Lebanese icon’s music? Eilish explained that she first discovered Ajram’s 2004 hit “Enta Eih” because of a meme. “It was a joke in the background of a meme and it was supposed to be stupid, but I was like, ‘listen, that’s hard.’ So I looked it up and started loving it and from then on I listened to all of Nancy Ajram’s stuff,” she said.

“You don’t need to know what the lyrics are about?” her dad asked, to which she responded “The way she sings is so crazy. The way Arabic music sounds is just like melted chocolate in my ears. Not literally, but I love this song and I love the melodies and I love the way she sings.”

Eilish went on to reveal that she used to listen to “Fi Hagat” all day, every day, in December 2018. “I’m playing this because it puts me in a better mood,” she explained as Ajram’s voice sang in the background. 

It’s not the first time that Eilish publicly declares her admiration for the Beirut-born star. Back in 2018, the “Bury a Friend” singer posted a screenshot of “Enta Eih” on her Instagram Stories alongside the caption “Why have I played this seven times in a row? I don’t know.” 

The praises were not lost on Ajram, who took to her Instagram account to respond to the singer. “We love you too Billie and are big fans of your work!!! My girls are always playing your songs out loud in the house,” she wrote on her Stories.

Could we expect a collaboration between the two artists in the future? Watch this space.

Disney World to reopen as coronavirus cases surge in Florida

Updated 11 July 2020

Disney World to reopen as coronavirus cases surge in Florida

ORLANDO: “The Most Magical Place on Earth” is reopening after nearly four months with new rules in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are reopening July 11, while Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will follow four days later.

The reopening comes as a huge surge of Floridians have tested positive for the new coronavirus in recent weeks. Many cities and counties around the state have recently reinstated restrictions that had been lifted in May, when cases seemed to drop.

All of Disney's Orlando parks closed in mid-March in an effort to stop the virus’s spread. 

Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando closed around the same time but reopened several weeks ago after instituting similar rules to protect employees and customers from the virus.

Disney's new rules include mandatory masks and social distancing. Visitors will need reservations to enter a park, and they won't be allowed to hop between parks. Both visitors and employees will receive temperature checks when they enter. Fireworks shows and parades have been suspended to prevent drawing too many people together.

Disney has been opening its parks back up around the globe for the past two months. In May, the company opened Disney Springs, a complex of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in Lake Buena Vista.