Despite Egypt’s pressure on artists to conform to a specific Arab vibe, unique and revolutionary Egyptian vocalists rose to fame by creating new sounds that changed the definition of Arab music.
In this list are 10 of the most famous Egyptian singers that created their own brand of music that pushed the boundaries of traditional Arab sounds. Not only do these singers have incredible voices, but they also broke the norms that once bound Egyptian singers to a certain type of music. Let’s start!
1. Tony Kaldas
Antoine Kaldas, better known by his nickname Tony Kaldas, is a Greek-Egyptian singer with an angelic voice.
He was born in Egypt in 1984 and quickly realized his musical talent, singing in musicals starting at the age of four. Years later, in 2004, he joined the independent Open Course at the Cairo Opera House before reaching stardom.
His musical success included covering songs by legends like Edith Piaf, Elvis Presley, and Nat King Cole. Kaldas can sing in different languages and music styles as well, ranging from rock and roll to gentle ballads.
At the height of his career, he performed alongside musical celebrities like Charles Aznavour, Frédéric Francois, Jacques Bruel, and Frank Sinatra.
2. Amr Diab
Born in Port Said in 1961, Amr Diab is a highly awarded Egyptian singer. He created his own style of music that he has deemed “Mediterranean music,” which combines Western and Egyptian rhythms for a unique and fun sound.
He was, in fact, one of the first Egyptian artists to create stunning and dramatic music videos, enticing more fans to his work.
He has also won many awards for his vocals and music production, including winning the World Music Awards seven times, the African Music Awards four times, and holds a Guinness World Record for Most World Music Awards for Best Selling Middle Eastern Artist.
He is indeed a beloved singer and one of the most successful vocalists to come out of Egypt.
3. Mina Atta
He wrote beautiful songs about love, such as “Great Stay You” that have made his enchanting voice famous. He was also awarded the title of Best Up and Coming Singer at the Middle East Music Awards in 2015, putting his name on the map.
Atta still has a long career ahead of him and uses his voice for more than just singing, hosting many radio shows. What cemented his place in the singing world was his presence on Star Academy Arab World, where he finished in fourth place but became a fan favorite and beloved by many.
4. Fathy Salama
Award-winning Egyptian composer and pianist Fathy Salama is born in 1969 in Cairo.
He typically performs with his ensemble group, Sharkiat, but has also had some success as a solo artist. Salama loves to make experimental music, and he’s always looking for new ways to combine modern and traditional sounds to create distinct music.
He also collaborates with artists to find new sounds and reach new audiences. Even today, his music continues to spread across the world, gathering new fans and spurring more collaborations from artists with different musical styles.
His songs have an air of mystery that draws you in and keeps you interested as you listen to his discography.
5. Sayed Darwish
Composer Sayed Darwish has been dubbed the “Father Of Modern Arab Music,” making him an absolute legend in the music industry in Egypt.
He was born in Alexandria in 1892 and created songs with his soul, as he believed all art and self-expression must be rooted in real emotions and aspirations to be impactful.
Like many great musicians and composers, his music encapsulated the thoughts and feelings of the masses, making his lyrics and sound incredibly relatable. He created songs that were comforting yet stirring at the same time, such as “Aho Da Elly Sar” and “Ana Hawet Wa Ntaheit.”
Many consider him the most influential composer Egypt has ever seen, and he earned this title as his songs were always very patriotic and pro-Egypt, even during hard times.
6. Mohamed Abdel Wahab
Born in Cairo, Egypt, Mohamed Abdel Wahab was an actor, singer, and composer.
He is best remembered for his romantic ballads and patriotic music and revolutionary songs. He also had a hand in crafting the national anthems of countries, like Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Libya.
Abdel Wahab’s revolutionary approach to music earned him both criticism and acclaim. Many had mixed reactions to his style of combining Arabic and Western music.
Looking back, however, he set the foundation for popular Egyptian music today and is considered a legend.
7. Sheikh Imam
Imam Mohammad Ahmad Eissa, better known as Sheikh Imam, was a master at the oud, an Arab instrument with a similar sound to a guitar but with more distinct plucking.
Born in Giza to a struggling family, he found sanctuary in music, bringing joy to his parents and siblings. After losing his eyesight as a young child, his love for music grew.
His songs directly address the lower classes and those struggling in the world. He offers support and love to these people through his music, such as “Egypt, O Beautiful Mother” and “Guevara Has Died.”
The common theme in every song he made is compassion and caring for each other, and the impact of his music has transcended many decades.
Sherine Abdel-Wahab, known professionally as just Sherine, is a talented Egyptian singer.
From the age of nine to twelve, she performed at the Cairo Opera House, exhibiting her immense vocal talent at an early age. She is also a woman of many talents, as she went on to become a TV host, personality, judge, and, of course, a famous vocalist.
Her most popular songs include “Ma Sherebtesh Min Nelha,” “Alachan Mas,” and “Lebnan Fel Alb.” She got some attention in the US when she was featured on an Arabic version of “Just A Dream” with famous rapper Nelly.
9. Tamer Hosny
Tamer Hosny Sherif Abbas Farghaly, or simply Tamer Hosny, is an Egyptian singer, beloved not only in his country but also around the world.
He broke the Guinness World Record for the most contributions to a bulletin board in December of 2019. He is best known for his intensely romantic songs that move people to tears.
One of his most well-known songs is “Si Al Sayed,” which featured Snoop Dogg, and has an upbeat vibe that became a staple in the Egyptian party scene.
Due to his insane stage presence and exciting live shows, his fans dubbed him the “King Of The Stage,” a moniker he owns proudly.
Angham Mohamed Ali Suleiman, who goes by the stage name Angham, has a unique singing voice that fits in well with Arab music. However, it also has its own gospel flair that makes it stand out.
She says her music draws inspiration from former Egyptian singing legends but combines this with characteristics of soul music as well.
Her vocals are powerful and moving, but her lyrics are often soft and graceful. She sings in a low tone, which takes a lot of technical talent and is uncommon among female singers, exemplifying how inspiring her talent is.
She often sings in collaboration with other artists, and some of her most notable songs are “What Should We Dream Of?” featuring Egyptian singer Thekra, and “Love” featuring Talal Salama, another singer from her country.
Wrapping Up Our List Of Talented Singers From Egypt
Many of the Egyptian singers on this list were criticized and put down for taking elements of Western music and incorporating them into traditional Arab music.
But thanks to these talented legends, Egyptian pop music has become a genre of its own that incites emotions of positivity and excitement as well as compassion.