For a tiny island, Bahrain has certainly welcomed a lot of big stars
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Not only have some of the most recognisable names in modern-day music and film visited the kingdom on holiday, but a number of them actually made it their home.
Here are a few of the most famous past and present island residents.
The 2012 X Factor winner and global chart-topping singer-songwriter moved to Bahrain with his mother and two sisters when he was just 9 years old, in 1997. He was there for four years, attending the British School of Bahrain – where he was known for starring in school plays. In April 2001, the family moved back to England.
After his acquittal of child abuse charges following a 14-week trial in America in 2005, the King of Pop moved to Bahrain.
But the king’s son, Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, later sued Jackson in the British High Court, saying the pop star reneged on a contract after he accepted millions of dollars in advances.
He was supposed to produce a new album, an autobiography and a stage play with the advances, but didn’t. The pop star ended up settling with the prince out of court.
Jermaine Jackson, Michael’s brother, has also been to Bahrain and reportedly converted to Islam after a trip to the island in 1989.
The British-Bahraini fashion designer, who is said to have introduced close friends Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, was born and grew up in Bahrain. While she did her early education on the island, she later went to schools in London and Paris and ended up opening her eponymous line of women’s ready-to-wear in 2011, famous fans of which include Markle, Pippa Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Scottish singer Sandi Thom is best known for her hit 2006 single I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair). A lesser known fact about her is that she currently lives on the small Gulf island, running the Bahrain Animal Rescue Centre.
Thom moved to Bahrain three years ago, after her husband was offered a job there. She plans to stay for another year or two at least.
The Bollywood actress and winner of the 2006 Miss Universe Sri Lanka pageant was born in Bahrain: her family moved there in the early 1980s.
She went to school on the island and even began a career in TV presenting, hosting a show called Tic-Tac-Toe when just 14. She went on to do her higher education in Australia.
It is widely reported that Colombian pop superstar Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, known more commonly as Shakira (which is Arabic for “grateful” or “thankful”), lived on the island as a little girl, briefly attending the Bahrain School.
The Waka Waka singer, who speaks Arabic, even references the country in her song Ojos Asi when she sings in Spanish the words: “I travelled from Bahrain to Beirut”.
The American actor and former fashion model, best known for his role as Derek Morgan in the hit TV show Criminal Minds, moved to Bahrain at the age of 4.
His mother was a teacher and Moore attended a private British school there for three years.
While British actress Kitty Aldridge, who was born in Bahrain in 1962, hasn’t acted in anything since 1998, she is remembered for starring in A Room with a View (1985) and TV series The Paradise Club (1989).
She turned to writing in her thirties and has been married to renowned singer-songwriter Mark Knopfler since 1997. The pair have two children. She lived in Bahrain for the first four years of her life.
The award-winning Indian actress and playback singer – best known for her work on King (2008), Kadha Thudarunnu (2010) and Two Countries (2015) – was born in Bahrain in 1985.
Mohandas grew up there, attending the Indian School until 2002. She often visits the island, as she still has family there.
Three out of four of the members from four-piece alternative rock band Flamingods were brought up in Bahrain.
Kamal Rasool, the band’s founder, Sam Rowe and Charles Prest all went to school on the island and still visit to this day. While they currently live in London, the members spent lengthy periods living apart in different countries and so they craft much of their music via the internet. Rasool also spent quite a bit of time in Dubai.
You might recognise Brazilian-American actor and lawyer Bruno Campos from his role in the award-winning TV show Nip/Tuck. Or else you might just remember his voice from animated film The Princess and the Frog, in which he played Prince Naveen.
The son of an international banker and actress, Campos moved around a lot when he was younger, growing up across Brazil, Canada, America and, of course, Bahrain.
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