Sunday, March 19, 2006

Livin' Da Vida Loca!

Read on, March 16th, how the new singing sensation to hit Britain is none other than: Chico the Arab. See below for the article:

March 16, 2006
Chico the Arab tops the British pops

Chico, a pop sensation in Britain, has taken Madonna’s spot at the top of the British pop charts. He is a former goat herder turned male stripper turned pop sensation, and credits Allah with his success. “Mashallah (Thank God) - it's beyond dreams,” he told Reuters in an interview.
This is notable for two reasons: 1. he is the first Arab to attain this vaunted position and 2. his single is terrible. I mean, I almost titled this post “British people don’t have ears.” Here's a
link, if you dare.

and here's the article in Reuter's about this guy:

Chico, ex-goat herder, first Arab to top charts
Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:54 PM GMT

By Talal Malik
LONDON (Reuters) - A former goat herder and male stripper has sold twice as many records as Madonna in recent weeks to become the first Arab to top the British pop singles chart since records began 44 years ago.

"Mashallah (Thank God) - it's beyond dreams. To know that I'm the first Arab to do that, it's a
very proud moment," Chico told Reuters in an interview.

His debut single, "It's Chico Time", is enjoying its second week in the top spot.

Born in Wales of Moroccan parentage, 34-year-old Chico came to prominence on prime-time British television talent show, "X-Factor", where his personality, dance routines and cheeky grin compensated for his singing.

"I've been trying for fifteen years, been knocking on doors, and nothing's ever happened. Then suddenly this!" said Chico, whose real name is Yousseph Slimani.

Of all the artists he would most like to sing with, it is Madonna he chooses, referring to her as a "living legend".

"I wouldn't mind dueting with Madonna, so I can say, 'Sorry for knocking you off the top spot'," said Chico, after dethroning the Queen of Pop. Madonna's "Sorry" was her 12th number one, but major music retailer HMV said Chico outsold her by a margin of two to one to peak the charts.

Chico was raised in Morocco by his grandparents until the age of 13. During his childhood he worked as a goat herder before leaving for Britain.

"I lived with my grandparents in Aroubia, in the mountains, and was a goat herder. What a life -- I was brought up on a thousand-year tradition."

In Britain he worked as a "exotic male dancer" to pay the medical bills for his grandmother after she suffered a stroke and wished to travel for healing to the Islamic holy city of Mecca.

"God works in mysterious ways - I ended up saving enough money and sending my grandparents to Mecca," said Chico.


As well as pop music success, Chico and Madonna share an interest in mysticism -- Chico became a Sufi disciple 16 months ago and Madonna's devotion to the Jewish school of mysticism, Kabbalah, is well-known.

The pop star says his new-found fame was the result of mentoring from Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi, an 83-year old Sufi mystic living in northern Cyprus.

"Until I met Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, my whole life was in the wilderness, I was like a moth wondering aimlessly, waiting to be reunited with the Divine Ocean," he said.

To avoid being cast as a "one-hit wonder" like many of his talent-show peers, Chico -- the first Arab at the top spot on the Official UK charts for at least four decades -- said he will release an album with a Middle Eastern flavour.

"What I really want to do is introduce Arabic music to the world, but on a big scale," he said.

Prior to becoming a singer, Chico and his brother also produced a short film which gained a British Film and Television Academy Award (BAFTA) nomination, and still harbours ambitions to make films.

"Ultimately, I would like to make spiritual films, such as about the Prophet Mohammed, his companions and people like Jalaluddin Rumi (a Sufi poet). Whatever I'm going to be doing, it's going to be spiritually involved."

It is an ambitious leap from "It's Chico Time", which features the chorus: "Well, you can get delirious, if you take life too serious."

(Additional reporting by Omar Younis)

I have a question... why is it that these up and coming artists feel like they have to expose themselves to get famous? hmmm... maybe THEY CAN'T SING!!!

Another newcomer pops into mind when I think about this and that's Wafah Dufour... bin Laden's niece that posed for provacative pics in the U.S. to launch her itty bitty singing career. She's a joke to most in the States, but who knows what'll happen. I've seen worse than her make a career out of singing - when they can't hit a note. But hey, I see ppl every day on the tube doing the same, so these two are no different. As long as ppl listen and buy their stuff, they'll continue to be famous.

I wonder if Mr. Chico thinks he's Ricky Martin!? Can you believe that he'd actually come out and say that he was a stripper? Wonder if his publicist gave him tips on that one?

The song Livin Da Vida Loca keeps coming to my mind? Anybody else?

1 comment:

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