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'One Pound Fish': Pakistani fishmonger turns pop star, national hero with YouTube hit

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Dec. 31, 2012 at 4:33 PM   |   Comments

Dec. 31 (UPI) -- As if you needed any more proof that YouTube has democratized and globalized the music distribution process, the popular video-sharing website has found its next pop star from a very unlikely source.

Muhammad Shahid Nazir, a 31-year-old fishmonger and father of four, came up with "One Pound Fish" as a catchy way to sell produce at his London market stall. "Come on ladies, come on ladies, one pound fish," Nazir's jingle begins in a video posted to YouTube by a British web designer earlier this year.

The original video garnered nearly 8 million views, making Nazir such an Internet celebrity that Warner Music Group signed him to their label and put his song on iTunes, which you can now buy for £1.99, twice as much as the price of his famous fish. His professionally produced "O-Fish-Al" rendition of "One Pound Fish" has more than 10 million YouTube views.

According to the New York Times, Nazir's web stardom has even reached his native Pakistan, where a block on YouTube failed to prevent the viral hit from reaching his countrymen. Nazir received a warm welcome on a recent trip home to Lahore:

Around 250 people, including local politicians met him at the airport, showering him with rose petals and chanting "Long Live One Pound Fish!" while TV networks interrupted coverage of the fifth anniversary of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination to show his return live.
[Pakistan's The Nation via The New York Times]

Nazir couldn't be happier about his newfound fame in the music industry, tweeting New Year's thank-you's to his 33,000 Twitter followers:




He's also pleased that his song's fans have a new appreciation for fish:


© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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