The hashtag #WeAreElissa alongside the phrase "never give up" have been trending on Twitter ever since Lebanese pop star Elissa announced she's quitting the "mafia-like" music industry after she produces one final album.
The singer, who also happens to be one of the best-selling female Arab artists of the last 20 years, shocked fans and industry colleagues alike when she broke the news on Monday through a Twitter post.
"I am preparing this new album with a lot of love and passion. The reason is that it will be the last one in my career. I am announcing this with a heavy heart but with a lot of conviction because I can't work in a field that is similar to mafias. I can't be productive anymore," Elissa tweeted.
The artist's fans, friends, and even industry acquaintances have been tearing up Twitter with their sadness, love, respect, support, and pleas of reconsideration.
To most, she proudly represents Lebanon
Fans are urging her to reconsider
"Art does not retire"
Celebrities and colleagues of hers are also pleading her to rethink her decision
Syrian singer Assala: "We need you among us #Elissa"
"Yes it is a battle, in it is pain and what can sometimes be unbearable, especially for someone like you, someone who does not want to be enslaved by this industry, but you are important, touching, a creator and you are loved by millions. Your voice has become a part of many memories, and lovers have come together over your songs. We need you among us #Elissa"
Lebanese comedian Adel Karam: "A symbol and icon"
Egyptian singer Mohamed Hamaki: "This is a great loss"
Due to previous issues between Elissa and record label Rotana, some fans were quick to assume the reason behind her "early retirement," calling the label "low and despicable." They believe Rotana is to blame for pushing the celebrity out of the industry.
However, the singer quickly put a stop to the rumor, urging fans to "behave" and insisting the record label has nothing to do with her decision.
Now aged 46, Elissa has released 11 albums and sold millions of records to date. Her music career began when she joined the talent program "Studio El Fan" in 1992. Apart from that, she has appeared in multiple advertisements, launched her own line of perfumes, and was a judge on broadcast talent shows.
In February 2018, during a Global Village performance in Dubai, Elissa collapsed on stage, later revealing she had been battling breast cancer. An audience member uploaded a video on YouTube which showed the moment she collapsed.
Earlier this year, at the 2019 Dubai Health Forum, the pop star explained how she dealt with her illness, saying "positivity is the only way to deal with something like cancer. My father, who had stomach cancer, was given only six months to live. However, with the love and support of family, he lived for seven years."