Elissa, whose real name is Elissar Khoury, is one of the highest-selling female singers in the Middle East, with millions of records sold worldwide. Known for her emotive vocal delivery and frequent themes of love within her discography, Elissa is often referred to as Maliket El Ehsas (The Queen of Emotions) by fans and the media. Unfortunately, Elissa has just surprised her fans on Monday by announcing that her next album would be her last.
On her twitter account, Elissa broke the heartbreaking news with these words: "I am preparing this new album with a lot of love and passion. The reason is that it will be the last one in my career. I am announcing this with a heavy heart but with a lot of conviction because I can’t work in a field that is similar to mafias. I can’t be productive anymore."
The news was shocking and devastating for most Lebanese people who just love the emotional glimpse in her voice. Being an international superstar and shining worldwide, she just stunned various international news outlets that expressed their disappointment at her retirement.
Elissa graduated from the Lebanese University with a degree in Political Science. Despite having a degree, her first passion was not in a political career or party, but on stage. To successfully combine her passion for politics and theater, Elissa joined Le Théâtre de Dix-Heures, a Lebanese Theatrical Comedy Group, famous for their funny insinuations on politics.
Elissa's musical career began in 1992 when she won the silver medal in Studio El Fan, a Lebanese music competition. In 2002, she won the Murex d’Or award for Best Female Artist, and since 2005 she has been the highest-selling female Middle Eastern artist. In 2010, she was awarded the Best Arab Female Artist in the Jordan Music Awards and the Best Female Artist in the Middle East in the Big Apple Music Awards.
Elissa has recently recovered from a battle with breast cancer, but only revealed her illness after she had been cleared from it. She first spoke about it with the release of her music video for Ila Kol Elli Bihebbouni (To All Those Who Love Me), and the video has been watched more than 22 million times on YouTube.
The video ends with the following message: I've recovered, I've beaten the illness, and I won. Early detection of breast cancer can save your life. Don't ignore it, face it. Do it not only for yourself but for your loved ones.
During her astonishing two-decade career, Elissa has released startling tracks that often discuss taboo topics in Arabic societies.
In her fight against abusing women, Elissa released the powerful Ye Meryati (O My Mirror), which brings the domestic violence into the spotlight. As Elissa portrays a suffering woman getting slapped, abused, bruised, and insulted by her husband, she ends up as a successful author who’s written a book about her life story. The video clip garnered over 1.5 million views on YouTube in less than a week.
As Elissa is an empowering, inspiring, and strong woman, we hope she reconsiders her retirement and provides us with some more of her beautiful music.