18 year old from Beirut joins the global pop group after being chosen by Simon Fuller from virtual auditions featuring other talented young performers from the region
(Monday 21st September 2020) Now United, in partnership with Pepsi®, has today welcomed its newest member, Nour Ardakani, a hugely talented singer and dancer from Lebanon.
Nour, who currently lives with her family in Beirut, becomes Now United’s 16th member and will join other group members later this week in Dubai, to record and film new music to follow the hit “Feel It Now”. Now United has quickly built a worldwide social media following of over 100 million fans and was nominated as Best Group in the prestigious MTV VMA Awards in New York last month.
Nour was revealed to the Group’s passionate fans on Now United’s official YouTube channel this morning (21.9.2020) at 10am (Dubai time) after a rigorous audition process that started last year. Thousands of candidates from across the region were reviewed before thirteen hopefuls were invited to participate in a virtual audition last week under the guidance of group creator Simon Fuller, top choreographer Kyle Hanagami, renowned casting director Kerrie Mailey and selected group members. Fuller picked Nour after hearing her recording of a new Now United song “Habibi”.
Nour says: “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to join Now United, to do what I love and represent the country that I love. Singing and dancing is my passion and to be given the chance to do that with so many amazing talents from different countries and cultures is a dream come true for me”.
Simon Fuller says: “In Nour I have found a remarkable young performer. She has natural talent and is a wonderful pure singer with gentle emotion and warmth. However, it is her personality that impressed me the most. She has a calm confidence, a maturity and intelligence far in advance of her age. She comes from an extraordinary part of the world, rich in history, culture and the arts. Nour is the perfect choice and she will make the region and Lebanon very proud”.
With their strong history of nurturing musical talent and pushing the limits of creativity, Pepsi® is proud to support Now United in their journey to find a new member from the region. Since 2018, the partnership with Pepsi® has helped drive the group’s international growth.
Commenting on the search, Tamer El Rafie, Vice President, Beverage Marketing, PepsiCo Africa, Middle East and South Asia, commented: “Now United represents everything we’re proud of in the Middle East and North Africa – unity, diversity, and creativity. We’re thrilled for Nour as she joins the band and showcases her talent to a global audience. Pepsi has long been a supporter of creative talent and nurtured artistic expression – we’re excited to carry forward this legacy and celebrate the region’s newest talent as art and entertainment bind us together like never before.”
Introduced in 2017 by Simon Fuller, Now United group members represent 15 different countries across the globe (Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Russia, China, UK, India, Philippines, US, Germany, Finland, Japan, Canada, Senegal and Australia). Lebanon now joins that list as the 16th country.
You can follow Now United on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can follow Pepsi® on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation #FEELITNOW, #NowUnited16, and #PepsiNowUnitedSearch2020.
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