Ten of the Most Well-Known Artistes Who Have Performed in the UAE
by eguaogie-eghosa Nov 26, 2022 Views (1.6K)
The F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is no longer only about the race and fast cars; the trackside and weekend-long entertainment usually lined up in recent times may now be surpassing the event in popularity. Those who had been waiting in anticipation for word of the weekend's grand finale were ecstatic to hear that American rap superstar Jay-Z would be performing at this year's F1 earlier in November.

The English rock band Muse had already been booked to perform the night after Jay-Z on Friday, November 1st. Depeche Mode, pioneers of 1980s electronic music, were scheduled to close out the weekend on Sunday, November 3, during the race after-party.

Jay-Z's concert in the UAE generated a lot of buzz. But as illustrious as the names mentioned above may be, you may be surprised to know that they are not the only famous names in the music world to have graced a performing stage in the UAE. Here, we take a look at ten of the most famous musical artists to have been hosted by the UAE over the years.

1. Paul McCartney.

Sir Paul McCartney, a rock artist and former Beatles superstar, performed to enthusiastic applause on the last night of the 2011 F1 Grand Prix. One of the greatest songwriters and performers of all time, McCartney continues to perform before sold-out crowds all around the world, demonstrating his dominance in the music industry. His performance in Abu Dhabi was no exception, and his set list included a number of Beatles songs in addition to his most well-known solo tunes.

2. Prince.

Prince, one of the most well-known and prosperous musicians in America, entertained a receptive Abu Dhabi audience by singing some of his timeless tunes. He sang many of his well-known songs from the 1980s and 1990s as the main attraction on the Sunday night of the 2010 F1 weekend. On the first night of the Grand Prix, Prince also performed a surprise VIP-only show at Abu Dhabi's Skybar, helping to start the weekend off in style.

3. Eminem.

With over 50 million albums sold globally, Eminem is unquestionably one of the top performers in the American rap scene. Following the release of three albums that won Grammy Awards in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Eminem made a comeback in 2010 with Recovery, the best-selling album of the year. He took over the F1 stage in 2012, and his performance was made even more notable by the fact that he didn't filter or modify his frequently contentious lyrics.

4. Beyonce.

Beyonce first gained notoriety as the 16-year-old lead vocalist of the R&B group Destiny's Child. The trio disbanded in 2005 after a string of hit albums and singles, and Beyonce began a solo career. She is now one of the best-known and most successful female performers in the world, having sold over 15 million records since her debut. By beginning the first F1 weekend in 2009, Beyonce became the first celebrity to perform at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

5. Elton John

Elton John is unquestionably one of the most successful musicians of all time, having published over 30 albums and selling over 250 million records. He was born in 1947 in Middlesex, England, and started his career as a performer in the late 1960s. In 2008, Elton John performed at the Emirates Palace and was one of the first worldwide celebrities to do so in the UAE at that time.

6. Aerosmith.

In 2009, Aerosmith, sometimes referred to as "America's finest rock and roll band," was picked to headline the final night of the inaugural F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend. Aerosmith was founded in 1970, and in 1972, they signed with Columbia Records. They released a number of hit albums in the 1970s. In the 1980s, two band members left and were replaced. In 1989, the group made a comeback. Since then, more albums have solidified their standing as genuine Rock & Roll classics.

7. Tom Jones.

Welsh singer Tom Jones performed at the brand-new Abu Dhabi Hall to a packed house in one of the most memorable performances of 2010. Jones has had a handful of successful singles since his performance career began in the 1960s. He claims to have performed at more Las Vegas shows than any other musician and has sold more than 100 million CDs.

8. Madonna

Leading queen of pop music Madonna visited the UAE in 2012 as a part of her MDNA Tour. Since she began writing and performing in the early 1980s, Madonna has put out a number of albums that have won awards and has sold millions of CDs over the course of her 30-year career. Many people thought that her concerts may spark controversy in the UAE because of their bawdy acts and usage of religious symbols. The concert ended up being well received and not drawing too much criticism from the authorities.

9. The Eagles

The four-piece band The Eagles, which was formed in California in 1971, has six number-one albums to its credit. The Eagles are known for being the most popular American band of the 1970s; they have sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, with 100 million of those sales occurring in the US alone. They made their debut concert in the UAE at the Sevens Stadium in April 2012, and their Greatest Hits album is among the top 20 best-selling US albums of all time.

10. Justin Bieber.

As part of his "Believe World Tour," contemporary adolescent sensation Justin Bieber gave a performance in Dubai in May of this year. Each track from Justin Bieber's debut studio album, My World, debuted in the Billboard Top 100 in 2009. His 2010 release, My World 2.0, reached the top spot in many nations around the world and earned a platinum certification in the US. After a fan jumped the stage during his performance in Dubai and attempted to wrestle with him before security withdrew him, the event garnered international attention.

Life would be quite drab without the joy and pleasure that music brings to it. We may all have our own preferences in terms of what kind of music pleases us, but one thing is certain: music transforms our moods and sooths our tensions, even on the most difficult days.

Life in the UAE, particularly in Dubai, can move quickly, and in many ways, the city's original music captures the distinct speed and rhythm of the place. A city doesn't develop its characteristic sound overnight. It takes generations. The UAE, and particularly Dubai's status as a melting pot of cultures and influences, is reflected in the music that has emerged from the city over its brief existence, which has at its core the crucial blend of experimentation and collaboration.

As far as world music superstars go, the UAE may not yet have any artists with a global name comparable to most others from other parts of the world. But one thing appears to be a given: They have some outstanding performers who are not too far behind in receiving such global recognition.

Music has played a crucial part for the peoples of the Emirati and will certainly continue  to do just that into the foreseeable future and you can be rest assured that some, if not all, of the mentioned named on this list will be names to remember for that very reason.

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