Stories of envy and jealousy between Rotana divas over the success and special treatment of double World Music Award winner, Elissa, have been entertaining the press throughout 2006. It is evident in every interview conducted with any female Rotana artist, the stock question is always “Are you jealous of Elissa’s massive success?” or “Are you envious of Elissa over her double World Music Award win?” and then of course comes the stock answer: “I am so happy for her, she deserves it, I don’t think she bought it!” Amal Hijazi sugarcoated her answer by saying “she aspired to reach the level of treatment that Elissa receives.” Dina Hayek, on the other hand, said flat out that Elissa got better treatment than everyone else. However, Elissa may have lost her place on the throne of Rotana diva envy… To Tunisian singer Latifa.
Latifa’s return to the music scene, after a period of absence in which she worked in theater with the Brothers Rahbani, has caused a stir in the music scene. Firstly, Latifa has switched sides in the Arab music monopoly; from Alam El Phan she jumped boat to the Rotana camp. Her new album, Maaloumat Akidah, in which she collaborated with names like Ziad Rahbani, Marwan Khouri, and Jean-Marie Riachi, was an independent production and is being distributed by Rotana. This arrangement means that Latifa has the freedom to broadcast her videos and music on any radio station or music channel she wishes. However, Latifa also benefits from the best advertising, marketing, and promotions Rotana has to offer. This was evident from the extensive advertising campaign Rotana launched in Cairo for Latifa.
Also, advertisements have already begun airing for the interview that Joumana Bou Eid will soon conduct with Latifa to celebrate her collaboration with Rotana. It will be called “Latifa Maa Rotana… Bel Jaw!” and will not be part of the “Maa Hobbi” show. Latifa has become Rotana’s number one priority overnight! So Amal Hijazi, Dina Hayek, Ahlam, Nawal, Najwa, Pascale, Elissa, and all you other Rotana divas: Eat your hearts out!