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Lamya Al-Mugheiry
Birth nameLamya Hafidh Sultan Al-Mugheiry
Born(1973-10-30)30 October 1973
Mombasa, Kenya
Died8 January 2009(2009-01-08) (aged 35)
  • Singer-songwriter
  • producer
Years active1987–2009
LabelsJ Records
Associated acts
WebsiteLamya's MySpace page

Lamya Al-Mugheiry (30 October 1973 – 8 January 2009), better known as her mononym Lamya, was a Kenyan-born English singer-songwriter and record producer. She rose to fame in the early 1990s as one of the lead singers of R&B group Soul II Soul, and later as a backing singer for Duran Duran. In 2002, she released her debut album Learning from Falling, which spawned the number 1 Dance chart single "Empires (Bring Me Men)".[1]

On 8 January 2009, she died from a sudden heart attack. She was recording on her second album Hiding in Plain Sight, which was scheduled to be released later that year.[2]

Early life[edit]

Lamya Hafidh Sultan Al-Mugheiry was born in Mombasa, Kenya to Omani parents.[3] Along with her parents, she lived in several cities around the world including Cairo and London. She was ultimately raised in Oman, then entered the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and later in Sheffield, United Kingdom.[4] Her mother enrolled her in vocal lessons, training with a voice coach of the Metropolitan Opera.[4] At the age of sixteen, she ran away from home to New York City to pursue her musical career, after watching a Madonna interview.[3]


In 1989, she recorded the single "Break 4 Love" with DJ Vaughn Mason, originally by Raze. The single peaked at number 77 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1989. The song also garnered the attention of Soul II Soul's lead musician Jazzie B who asked her to join the group.[5] In 1990, Lamya performed lead vocals on the songs "Love Come Through" and "In the Heat of the Night", which appeared on Soul II Soul's second album Vol. II: 1990 - A New Decade. Following the release of the album, she toured with the group throughout the year. One of their concerts at Brixton Academy was recorded live, titled A New Decade: Live from Brixton Academy, and released in September 1990. Despite leaving the group at the end of 1990, she still maintained a close relationship with the members.

In 1993, she teamed up with Duran Duran and performed background vocals on the song "Love Voodoo" for their second self-titled album Duran Duran. Lamya also joined them for their two-year Wedding Album tour, and related television appearances, including MTV Unplugged. During each concert, she was given centre stage to finish her solo on the song "Come Undone".[6] In 1994, Lamya contributed background vocals for Charlotte Kelly's single "Queen of Hearts", which was produced by friend and her former group Soul II Soul member Jazzie B.[5] In 1995, she contributed background vocals for Soul II Soul's album Volume V: Believe. She also sang background vocals "White Lines", "I Wanna Take You Higher", and "Drive By" for Duran Duran's album Thank You. Throughout the years, she also performed with David Bowie, Prince, and James Brown.[3] In 2001, Lamya contributed background vocals on fellow Soul II Soul colleague Kym Mazelle's song "I Wanna Go Dancing (Dance With Me)".

In July 2002, Lamya released her debut album, Learning from Falling, which reached number 16 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart. She produced and composed the songs, using poems she had written since the age of eleven.[5] It included the singles "Empires (Bring Me Men)" and "Black Mona Lisa".[7] In its review of the album, Blender described her as "the Kenyan Björk".[8] In 2003, she toured with Macy Gray, as the opening act.[9][10] She was among the many singers scheduled to perform at Nelson Mandela's South African AIDS awareness concert before it was cancelled due to problems over broadcast rights and sponsorship.[11]


Lamya was scheduled to release her second album, Hiding in Plain Sight in 2009, but died of a sudden and unexpected heart attack on 8 January 2009, while in Oman. She was 35 years old.[12][citation needed]

Vocal style[edit]

Lamya was a classically-trained soprano who had a five-octave vocal range with ability to reach the whistle register.[3][13]

Personal life[edit]

She was briefly in a relationship with Chic musician Nile Rodgers.[14]



Title Album details Peak chart positions

Learning from Falling
  • Released: 30 July 2002
  • Label: J


Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"Ready 4 Love" (with Razette) 1989 77 Non-album single
"Survival" (with The Dawning) 1990
"Empires (Bring Me Men)" 2002 1 Learning from Falling
"Black Mona Lisa"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 151.
  2. ^ Das, T.K (3 October 2008). Lone Bohemian. The Week Magazine, Volume 200
  3. ^ a b c d J Records' Lamya Experiences 'Learning' Curve With Debut Album. 114. Billboard. 13 July 2002. p. 21.
  4. ^ a b "The Next Big Thing Worldly Lamya Brings International, Operatic Flavor To Pop Music. – Free Online Library". Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Lamya > Biography. Billboard. Retrieved 29 March 2017
  6. ^ "The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on July 16, 1993 · Page 168". 16 July 1993. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Blender - All Things Blender, All In One Place". Archived from the original on 24 June 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  9. ^ Armitage, Mike (21 March 2003). "Live: Macy Gray with Lamya". ChartAttack. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Macy Gray w/ Lamya @ Ogden Theatre on 3/09/03". Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  11. ^ Production Issues Kill Mandela's AIDS Benefit. Billboard. Retrieved 29 March 2017
  12. ^ Lamya Al-Mugheiry, Duran Duran Official Site news page
  13. ^ Bands to Watch. 18. SPIN Media LLC. March 2002. p. 94.
  14. ^ Rodgers, N. (2011). Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny. Spiegel & Grau Publishing.
  15. ^ "Learning From Falling – Lamya : Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  16. ^ Razette featuring Lamya > Chart History. Official Charts. Retrieved 29 March 2017
  17. ^ Lamya > Chart History. Billboard. Retrieved 29 March 2017