After the big search for a new member from the MENA region, Nour Ardakani, a hugely talented singer and dancer from Lebanon, has become Now United’s 16th member. The 18-year-old is joining the global pop group, which has been in partnership with Pepsi® since 2018, thanks to group creator Simon Fuller making the mega decision after virtual auditions featuring other talented young performers from the region.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to join Now United, to do what I love and represent the country that I love,” Nour said in a statement. “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.”
The rigorous audition process started last year, with thousands of candidates from across the region giving it their best shot before 13 hopefuls were invited to participate in the virtual audition. The audition took place under the guidance of Fuller, top choreographer Kyle Hanagami, who has worked with Justin Bieber and Harry Styles, renowned casting director Kerrie Mailey and selected group members.
“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,” Fuller, who picked Nour after hearing her recording of a new Now United song titled “Habibi,” said. “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.”
Nour, who lives with her family in Beirut, headed to join other group members, who represent 15 other countries across the globe, to record and film new music.
Now United, the group behind the hit “Feel It Now,” was nominated as Best Group in the prestigious MTV VMA Awards in New York last month. Some undertakings have included a global tour sponsored by Pepsi and YouTube and performing on the Pepsi stage at the UEFA Champions League Final Fan Festival in Madrid. The group introduced in 2017 by Fuller has a social media following of over 100 million fans.
Here are all the Now United members
- Any Gabrielly - Brazil
- Bailey May - Philippines
- Diarra Sylla – Senegal
- Heyoon Jeong - South Korea
- Hina Yoshihara - Japan
- Joalin Loukamaa - Finland
- Josh Beauchamp - Canada
- Krystian Wang – China
- Lamar Morris - United Kingdom
- Noah Urrea - United States
- Sabina Hidalgo - Mexico
- Shivani Paliwal - India
- Sina Deinert - Germany
- Sofya Plotnikova - Russia
- Savannah Clarke – Australia
- Nour Ardakani – Lebanon