These iconic singers, who were also actors, will always be remembered for their spirited performances and memorable songs.
Known as Malaysia’s number one entertainer, Sudirman’s life and career were intricately tied to a number of locations.
One of his greatest hits ever is the festival staple Balik Kampung. For Sudirman, his kampung or hometown was Temerloh, Pahang. It was where he was born as Sudirman bin Arshad on 25 May 1954; where he grew up and went to school; and finally, where he was laid to rest after his death.
Another iconic Sudirman location is Kuala Lumpur’s Chow Kit Road, or officially, Jalan Chow Kit. It is not only the title of one of his most famous songs, but also the venue for his 14 April 1986 open air concert, which drew a massive 100,000-strong crowd and is still considered one of the most iconic and memorable concerts ever held on Malaysian soil.
And finally, over to the Royal Albert Hall in London, where Sudirman did the country proud at the Asia Music Awards in 1989 by beating out the likes of Leslie Cheung and Anita Sarawak to win the title of Best Performer.
The song he sang at the event, One Thousand Million Smiles, is considered one of Malaysia’s most iconic songs of all time.
Tragically, Sudirman passed away on Feb 22, 1992 after a prolonged bout with pneumonia at the young age of 37.
But no matter where he has been or where he is right now, Sudirman will forever remain as Malaysia’s number one entertainer.
Datuk Sharifah Aini
The iconic Datuk Sharifah Aini was only 15 when she was discovered by EMI music executives in 1968.
After winning third place in a singing competition organised by Radio Television Singapore, Sharifah Aini released her debut EP Seri Dewi Malam in 1970. Her second EP Kekasih Pujaan followed and then in 1972, she was awarded Best Entertainer at Anugerah Seri Angkasa.
The singer also made a lasting impression in her film debut Hapuslah Airmatamu.
She starred alongside top Indonesian crooner Broery Marantika, recorded a best–selling duet of the same title and even won Best Actress at the Asia Pacific Film Festival.
Sharifah Aini earned her “diva” title for her dedication and hard work in the local music industry. Throughout her career, she recorded over 700 songs and has released 93 albums.
The multi-talented singer was also very versatile as she has recorded songs in various genres from pop to ghazal and even in English.
In 2006, she was honoured with the Biduanita Negara title.
She passed away in July this year, leaving an enduring legacy in the local entertainment scene.