Maher Zain (Arabic: ماهر زين ; born July 16, 1981 in Tripoli, Lebanon) is a Muslim Swedish R&B singer, songwriter and music producer of Lebanese origin. He released his debut album Thank You Allah, an internationally successful album with strong Muslim religious influences, in 2009. He released his follow-up album Forgive Me on April 2, 2012.
Maher Zain' Lebanese family immigrated to Sweden when he was eight. He completed his schooling there, gaining a Bachelors degree in Aeronautical Engineering. After university he entered the music industry in Sweden and linked up with RedOne, the Moroccan-born Swedish producer in 2005. When RedOne moved to New York in 2006 Maher Zain followed soon after to continue his music industry career in the USA producing for artists such as Kat DeLuna.
On returning home to Sweden, he became engaged once more with his Islamic faith and decided to move away from a career as a music producer to become a singer/songwriter of contemporary R&B music with a strong Muslim religious influence.
Breakthrough success edit:
In January 2009, Maher Zain began working on an album with Awakening Records. His debut album, Thank You Allah, with 13 songs and two bonus tracks, was released on 1 November 2009 with percussion versions and French versions of some tracks released shortly afterwards.
Zain and Awakening Records successfully used new media such as Facebook, YouTube and iTunes to promote tracks from the album. In early 2010 his music very quickly gathered a huge online following in Arabic speaking and Islamic countries as well as among young Muslims in western countries. By the end of 2010 he was the most Googled celebrity in Malaysia for that year. Malaysia and Indonesia have been the countries where he has had the most commercial success. The album Thank You Allah has been certified multiple platinum by Warner Music Malaysia and Sony Music Indonesia.. It became the highest selling album of 2010 in Malaysia.
Zain sings mainly in English but has released some of his most popular songs in other languages. The song "Insha Allah", for example, is now available in English, French, Arabic, Turkish, Malay and Indonesian versions. Another song, "Allahi Allah Kiya Karo" ("Continuously Saying Allah"), is sung in Urdu and features the Pakistan born Canadian singer Irfan Makki.
Collaborations, appearances and awards edit:
Maher Zain is very active in Muslim charities and has given many concerts in collaboration with many charitable organizations including Islamic Relief, Human Appeal International amongst others.
In January 2010, Maher Zain won Best Religious Song for 'Ya Nabi Salam Alayka', on Nujoom FM, a major Middle East mainstream music station, beating other prominent singers including Hussein Al-Jismi, Mohammed Mounir and Sami Yusuf.
In March 2011, Maher Zain released "Freedom", a song inspired by the events and the actions of the people taking part in the Arab Spring.
Maher Zain was chosen as a Muslim Star of 2011 in a competition organized by Onislam.net. In July 2011 he featured on the cover of the UK Muslim lifestyle magazine Emel.
Zain was featured on Irfan Makki's track "I Believe" from his debut studio album of the same name. He was also featured on Mesut Kurtis' album, Beloved, in the track named "Never Forget".
Maher Zain has appeared in a 40-episode Indonesian TV drama, entitled Insya-Allah. The show was aired on Malaysian satellite TV channel, Astro Oasis and Mustika HD, starting from 17 July 2012, concurrent with the broadcasting of the show on Indonesia's SCTV.
In 2013, he took part in the Colors of Peace project constituting songs based on works by Fethullah Gülen on the album Rise Up where Maher Zain performs the track "This Worldly Life".
Personal life edit:
Maher Zain was born in Lebanon and his family moved to Sweden when he was eight years old. He is married and has one daughter named Aya. She appears on the track "My Little Girl" in Zain's second album Forgive Me.