Mohammed Abdu is the Saudi version of Paul McCartney. He’s the most polished and veteran singer in the Arabian Gulf. He’s also well-known all across the Middle East. In fact, his first hit in 1968 was popular not only in Saudi Arabia but also Lebanon and Egypt. Currently, he is dubbed the Arab Artist. His concerts are always sold out well in advance and all the great poets want to bestow their poems to him to sing as lyrics. There’s even a special black edition of the IPod with all his albums, old and new, already downloaded on it. It has Mohammed Abdu’s name in calligraphy on it.
What also made Abdu such a hit is his clean reputation for being a family man. Since his early years, he has invited people to call him abu Nora (father of Nora, his firstborn). His house and its adjacent mosque are a famous landmark in Jeddah. Anyone can see and meet him just by attending prayer at his mosque.
Abdu was born in one of the greenest areas of Saudi Arabia in the South East, in Jizan. His family was very poor and their income was supplemented by the government. He obtained a scholarship to study seamanship in Italy, but sometime during his study he took a detour and stumbled on his musical talents.
For the exception of a few videos that surfaced in the late 70s and early 80s of Abdu drunk playing his Ouad (Eastern guitar) at private functions, there have been no scandals of womanizing or such. There have been rumors though of him becoming a devout Muslim and quitting music every time he takes a break in between albums. And a tape of allegedly him reading the Quran aloud and crying was making the rounds. However this rumor dies as soon as his latest album hits the music stores and it is resurrected again if he spends a year without production. My take on this is that to the muttawas, Abdu would be a prime recruit since so many people look up to him. That’s why these rumors keep surfacing in hopes that they would magically come true.
Unfortunately Abdu is currently experiencing problems on the home-front. He has divorced his first wife, Nora’s mother. It is speculated that this is because he wanted to wed a second wife and his first refused to go along with it. As you can see, just like all celebrities, there are a lot of speculations and gossip surrounding them. Mohammed Abdu is the sort who denies and does not allow comment about his personal life.
You can listen and download his music for free here at this link.