DUBAI: The search for global music group Now United’s newest member is finally over. Enter Nour Ardakani, the 18-year-old singer from Lebanon, who is set to become the band’s 16th member – and first Arab – after an extensive, months-long search for talent across the Middle East and North Africa.
Ardakani was hand-picked by Simon Fuller, the man who founded popular British girl band The Spice Girls and created “American Idol.”
“I think you are absolutely wonderful, and I think you would be perfect to join the group. And I would like to invite you to be the next member of Now United,” Fuller told the singer and dancer in a video call.
“Seriously, it’s me? You picked me?” asked Ardakani, to which Fuller replied: “You got it.”
The singer, who currently resides in Beirut with her family, joins fellow group for the band’s latest single “Feel It Now.”
Founded in 2017, the multinational music group announced in November last year that they were looking for a new member from the MENA region.
Out of thousands of hopefuls in the Middle East and North Africa, 13 were shortlisted and invited to participate in a virtual audition last week in front of Fuller. Eventually, it came down to Ardakani and a 15-year-old Emirati singer, Alya Al-Ali.
Fuller picked Ardakani after hearing her recording of Now United’s song “Habibi.”