Hassan Bin Rashid Al Khalifa Image Credit: Supplied

When bad things happen to Hassan Bin Rashid Al Khalifa he picks himself up, dusts himself off and then writes a song about it.

A member of the Bahrain royal family, Al Khalifa was the talk of Bollywood this summer due to his "are-they, aren't-they" relationship with actress Jacqueline Fernandez. Exciting rumours of a romantic engagement — categorically denied by Al Khalifa's team to tabloid! — soon turned sour as talk of a painful break-up overwhelmed.

"Jackie and me were in a long-distance relationship and it was a difficult situation," said Al Khalifa, speaking exclusively to tabloid! for the first time about his relationship with the Sri Lankan beauty. "So a lot of the lyrics came from all the ups and the downs of being in a 10-year-old relationship."

But unfortunately for Al Khalifa, also a singer, his problems aren't limited to just girl troubles.

"In February 2009 I ended up in hospital for partying too much," he recalls. "I was way, way, way out there. In a dangerous place. So when I got out I started to change a bit. I slowed down the partying and focused a bit more on my life."

Singer, songwriter and keen equestrian, Al Khalifa got back in the saddle and started riding horses for the first time in more than 15 years. Before he knew it he had a debut solo album on his hands as life started to return to normality. "It inspired me. It's when I started writing this album."

Aptly titled Jackie, Oh No, the album debuts in the Middle East this month.

However, the drama doesn't end there. Al Khalifa was tested yet again, both physically and emotionally following a freak accident.

To coincide with the release and as luck (or bad luck) would have it, the singer was kicked in the face by one of his horses. A dedicated member of the Bahrain Equestrian Team, the accident happened in Netherlands during a showjumping competition.

"I was in a competition and was going for the win. I pushed a bit too hard and fell. My horse, Tennessee W, tried to avoid me but kicked me right in the face."

The horse broke all the bones on the right side of Al Khalifa's face. "I know what you are all thinking," an upbeat Al Khalifa wrote to his fans. "Don't worry, the horse is fine."

Al Khalifa on the other hand was not. The singer was rushed to hospital where he underwent a four-hour operation suffering multiple breaks and fractures.

"I had a black eye the size of a tennis ball," he said before cleverly playing the sympathy card. "We are accepting sympathy in the form of downloading the new album."

The good news is all went well and the new "bionic man", as his team now call him, is on the mend.

"At least I know if I was a boxer I can take a punch."

Al Khalifa has been recording and "cutting his teeth" as he puts it, for many years with various bands and acts. "This is the real me," he said.


Born and raised in Bahrain, educated in Tampa, Florida and now based between Bahrain and Netherlands, he is a globetrotter.

"Bahrain is home. But I love Holland," he said. "I have made lots of close friends over here. I'm planning on buying a ranch where I can keep all my horses. I'll also build a studio in the ranch. Living in Holland has made me a better rider because I hang around with a lot of pros. I also wrote parts of the album while living here."

The album was written with help from guitarist and long-time musical collaborator Charlie Casey along with an impressive line-up of musicians.

Peter Gabriel's Real World Studio in Wiltshire, England, was the place and Robbie Williams' guitarist Melvin Duffy drafted in.

"Truthfully, I didn't really know most of the guys. I work with Charlie and we wrote the album together. He suggested a few people. They were all available and we jumped into the studio and hit the red button. It was the fun-nest experience I have ever had while recording."

A happier ending finally in sight Al Khalifa brought things back to 2Seas Studio in Bahrain, which was originally built with Michael Jackson in mind.

"The guys were not sure about coming over to Bahrain to mix an album, but they did not regret it. The studio has one of the best mixing rooms I have ever been in. There is a wall of fame at the studio and we signed it and joined the likes of Wil.i.am, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton."