BEIRUT: Jennifer Grout, the young American who stunned TV audiences last fall for singing Arabic classics on “Arabs Got Talent Season 3,” will have her first concert performance in Beirut Friday as part of the SANAD Gala Dinner. “I think it’s a great charity and I’m happy to be contributing,” Grout told The Daily Star Wednesday morning.
Grout, who placed second in the finals of Arabs Got Talent in December, made headlines for her unprecedented entrance on the reality TV show and for her ability to replicate the technically nuanced songs of iconic singers like Umm Kalthoum.
Part of the mystery surrounding Grout’s talent was her apparent inability to speak Arabic, though the star told The Daily Star she does speak the Moroccan dialect: “I didn’t speak on the show because people won’t understand because people don’t understand Moroccan dialect.
Since her appearance on the show, the young singer has sporadically popped into the news. The most recent plot twist was her confirming that she had converted to Islam and is engaged to a Moroccan berber musician. She and her fiancé live in Marrakesh, where they often perform together at local cultural centers.
Since appearing on Arabs Got Talent, Grout says her life “hasn’t changed that much.” Though, occasionally people ask for her autograph and she’s been able to score some bigger singing gigs. “[Before] I could tell they were kind of laughing at me, like who is this girl who thinks she can sing Arabic music. I didn’t have any kind of job,” she recalls. “After Arabs Got Talent, I had people asking me if I could work."
Her biggest gig right now is an MBC program “Shaklak Mesh Ghareeb,” where celebrity singers impersonate classics. So far, Grout has covered such artists as Celine Dion and Majida Roumi. Until she finishes the show, Grout will be staying at Le Royal in Dbayeh, practicing and trying to get out into Beirut when she can, she said.
For tickets to SANAD's Gala Dinner, visit www.sanadhospice.org.