Wednesday, December 13, 2023
LONDON: Wahaj Ali has been named as the number one Pakistani star for 2023 by a UK showbiz publication.
He ranked nine in the globally popular Top 50 Asian Celebrities In The World list, which is published by UK-based Eastern Eye newspaper.
The only one from his country to make the top 10, the hardworking actor ranked ahead of global celebrities — including those from Hollywood, Bollywood, the music industry, television, literature, and social media — for the work he has done across the year.
Wahaj said: “Even though it’s nice to be recognised, my main focus continues to be giving my best every time for my fans. I am grateful to all the great people I have worked with, the amazing audience and my fans, who have given me so much support and humbled me with their unconditional love. I am looking forward to working even harder and crossing more creative horizons.”
The top 50 list celebrating Asian stars who shone the brightest in 2023, is based on brilliant work, positive impact, breaking boundaries, shattering glass ceilings, fan attention, and being inspiring in some way.
There was also a big public input with readers and social media users nominating their favourite.
Entertainment editor Asjad Nazir, who puts together the list revealed to Geo News that Wahaj was the biggest surprise package of 2023 and represented his country admirably with great work.
“Wahaj Ali showed that he is one of this generation’s finest Pakistani actors with strong performances throughout the year, including in record-breaking drama serial Tere Bin, which delighted audiences in diverse countries around the world. The top television star of 2023 impressed everyone with his talent and had one of this year’s fastest growing fan bases. He has laid the foundation for fantastic work in the future,” explained Nazir.
Shah Rukh Khan added to a year of stunning achievements by topping the Top 50 Asian Celebrities In The World list for 2023.
His blockbuster hits Pathaan and Jawan, and a guaranteed third success with red hot release Dunki reignited a floundering Hindi cinema industry and reclaimed his crown as the king of Bollywood.
Nazir also explained why the 58-year-old actor made such a big impact.
“By the time 2023 ends, ‘King Khan’ will become the first leading man from the modern era to have three huge Bollywood blockbuster hits in a calendar year.”
“By drawing big audiences back into cinema halls with global juggernauts, the actor gave a movie industry that has been in deep decline a much needed boost and had a transformative effect. The history-making superstar eclipsed everyone else with his brilliance and reminded global audiences what escapist Bollywood cinema is capable of.”
Alia Bhatt came in second for work in Indian cinema, Hollywood, business, and being a strong role model for working mothers.
Third-placed Priyanka Chopra-Jonas was once again the most famous Indian on the planet and carried on breaking ground internationally, including with big budget series Citadel, Hollywood film Love Again, humanitarian work, and lighting up the red carpet at international events.
Fourth-placed Diljit Dosanjh confirmed himself as the biggest Punjabi star on the planet with stunning work as an actor and singer, which included cinema, major crossover international music collaborations, and a path-breaking performance at the Coachella festival.
Fifth-placed Charli XCX from the UK remained the biggest singing star internationally with a South Asian heritage and did everything from super single releases to blockbuster live performances globally. Sixth place Ranbir Kapoor delivered the year’s most impactful movie performance with blockbuster hit Animal.
Seventh-placed Shreya Ghoshal had another award-winning year that included magnificent songs in multiple languages, global arena shows, and judging Indian Idol. Eighth placed Vijay was the biggest South Indian cinema star of 2023 with two hits.
Other Pakistani-origin stars who made the Top 50 Asian celebrities ‘In The World’ list include Riz Ahmed (11), Sajal Ali (17), Arooj Aftab (24), Yumna Zaidi (32), Shazad Latif (37), Hadiqa Kiani (38), Ahad Raza Mir (42), Mawaan Rizwan (45) and Bilal Abbas Khan (48).