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Top 10's List of the Most Inspiring Women in Malaysia
TOP10 Malaysian Female Singers
Innumerable talented female singers have sung theirway into our hear ts, then and now, and we shall always be captivated by their singing. In this issue,Top 10 of Malaysia shares the results of i ts recently concluded survey, “Top 10 Malaysian Female Singers’ ,atribute to the singing talents in this nation.
Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza is everyone’s favourite pop princess. She has won an unprecedented number of music awards in Malaysia and in the region including 34 Anugerah Industri Muzik awards, 23 Anugerah Bintang Popular awards, 21 Anugerah Planet Muzik awards, 18 Anugerah Juara Lagi awards and 4 MTV Asia Awards. Siti has been voted ten times in a row for Regional Most Popular Artiste in the Anugerah Planet Muzik and holds two records in the Malaysia Book of Records. She is not only a singer but also a song writer, record producer, television presenter and business woman after launching her Simpy Siti range of cosmetics, skincare and fragrance recently. Coming from a musically inclined family, Siti began to learn traditional songs from her mother atage 12. She then started performing at wedding ceremonies and dinner parties where she was well received by the local crowd in her hometown of Temerloh, Pahang. Her path to stardom began when Siti won the Bintang HMI 1995 awards at 16 years of age. Her first single, Jerat Percintaan from her debut album won the 11th Anugerah Juara Lagu and another two awards for Best Performance and Best Ballad.
Jaclyn Victor or Jac, as she is known amongst fans catapulted to stardom when she beat 10,000 contestants to claim the Malaysian Idol crownin 2004. Her hit song, Gemilang which she sang at the finals achieved Gold status within weeks after it was released. Life for Jac was never going to be the same again. Since winning the coveted Malaysian Idolcrown, Jac has appeared in numerous television and talk shows like Pillow Talk and Muzik-Muzik. 2006 was a successful year for Jac when she made her mark internationally by winning the Asian Music Festival2006 in Shanghai and grabbed the Best Female Artiste award at the Anugerah Planet Muzik 2006 (Music Planet Awards) in Singapore. Herwinning streak continued in April 2006 when Jac was nominated forseven awards at the Anugerah Industri Muzik, out of which she wonfour awards. Singing has always been an integral part of Jac’s life. She began singing in church and performed in a live band before making it big in the music industry.
Hip-hop electro groove pop princess, Mizz Nina started singing at the tender age of 8 by taking music lessons from The Singing Shop in Petaling Jaya which was founded by her mother. Her father is corporategiant, Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hashim, Chairman of AmBank. Mizz Nina’s musical career took off with Teh Tarik Crew, whom she foundedin 1999. The group’s full length album, How’s the Level? earned two nominations at the Anugerah Industri Music (AIM) in 2002. By 2004,Mizz Nina already had radio shows, a modelling career and two more AIM nominations for Teh Tarik Crew’s sophomore album, What’s Next?She also had a modelling career and performed in notable events such asRock the World and Asian X Games. Her debut solo album, What YouWaiting For which was released in 2010 was a collaboration with local and international artists. But it was its title track and first single, WhatYou Waiting For, a collaboration with Colby O’Donis that became MizzNina’s winning ticket to mass appeal. The infectious hit top the local music charts and the digital download charts for ringtones in Malaysia.Mizz Nina is also fashion designer for her own women’s fashion label called Mizz Demeanor and Managing Director of The Singing Shopwhere she received singing lessons as a kid.
Fish Leong, is known as the Queen of Love Songs because of her famous love-themed ballads, many of which have become the favourites of karaoke crooners. This Mandarin pop singer whose popularity has reached the shores of Taiwan, China, Hong Kong,Japan and Singapore adopted the name, ‘Fish’ when she started her career in Taiwan in 1997. She chose the name, ‘Fish’ because the last character of her Chinese name sounds like ‘fish’ in Cantonese. After two years in Taiwan, Fish released her debut album, Yi Ye Zhang Dain 1999 to luke warm response. Fish only tasted stardom after the successful launch of her second album, Yong Qi which means courage.Following the success of her Love Parade World Tour in 2004 and 2005, Fish performed another series of world tour concerts in 2007which brought her to Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Singapore and Malaysia. In December of that same year, Fish began another series of concerts called Today is Our Valentine’s Day Concert. In these concerts Fish tells her fans that “everyday can be Valentine’s Day when the right person is beside you”. Fish has certainly earned her reputation as the Queen of Love Songs
Famously known as the Jazz Queen of Malaysia, Sheila Majid, is no stranger to the entertainment industry. Having spent close to 30 years in the industry, Sheila Majid is a legend in her own right. Her debut album, Dimensi Baru was released in 1985, followed by a sopho more effort, Emosi, a year later, and multi-platinum selling album, Warna in1988. However it was her Lagenda album that captured the attention of the nation when it was released in 1990. Featuring her fresh interpretation of several classics by the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee, Lagenda is Sheila Majid’s best-selling album to date. Her success with Lagenda was complemented by an enormously successful nationwide tour spanning over two years and culminating in a concert at Stadium Negara, KualaLumpur which drew a crowd of more than 10,000 people. In July 2000,Sheila Majid created history by being the first local artiste to perform atthe Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in conjunction with her fifteenth year in the music industry. Her 2-night sell out concerts was attended by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, the Raja Permaisuri Agong as well as the Prime Minister and the First Lady.
Ning Baizura, is a pop, R&B and soul singer who sings in many languages – English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese,Italian and French. Ning is best known for her live stage performance where her powerful vocals and engaging interaction with her audience makes her a favourite. Her discography includes 10 studio albums and numerous compilations. She has won numerous industry awards and has performed around Asia, Europe and the United States. Apartfrom singing, Ning is also an actress and has had roles in musicals,major films, short films and telemovies. In 2006, Ning setup her own recording company, Artiste United Records where she nurtured herprotégés like Nikki from Malaysian Idol Season 1, Yanie from Mentor Season 1 and Nubhan from Akademi Fantasia Season 6.
Ziana Zain entered the local music scene with a bang in the early 90s with her signature single, Madah Berhelah. She continued mesmerizing fans with her subsequent hits like Anggapanmu, Setia Ku Di Sini and Puncak Kasih. All her albums have hit gold and platinum status andwon numerous awards. Prior to becoming a songstress, Ziana had held various jobs including that of a cook in a school canteen, a factory operator, cashier and flight attendant. In 1998, Ziana married herlong-time boyfriend whom she met when she was a flight attendant with Malaysian Airlines. They became proud parents to a pair of twin boy and girl in 2009. Apart from singing, Ziana has acted in movies like Magika which was directed by Edry KRU and theatrical performances like Teater Muzikal Gamat 2 together with fellow singer Misha Omar.Ziana has also been brand ambassador for Slim world Beauty House forthe past 7 years.
Syafinaz Selamat is a prominent singer and hosts of numerous musical entertainment shows. She has been a judge for Akademi Fantasia Season 3 and 4, Who Will Win and Mentor. Syafinaz is also lyrical soprano whose performance repertoire includes arias for operas from composers like Mozart, Puccini and Verdi. She was chosen to play therole of the soprano solo in the Carl Offs, ‘Carmina Burana’ with 100 choir members and the National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia,conducted by reputed Australian conductor, Roland Peelman. Her career achievements include winning the Gold Medal in the R&B/Pop/Rock/Contemporary category during the World Championships of Performing Arts held in Los Angeles in 1999. Syafinaz holds a degreefrom University Technology Mara and currently lectures there as well asat The National Arts Academy. She is also advisor and vocal master ofThe National Choir of Malaysia.
Siti Adira Suhaimi
Siti Adira Suhaimi, also known by her stage name, Adira, is the runner-up of the 8th season of Akademi Fantasia (AF8), a television reality programme by Astro. She was born in Ranau, Sabah and isof Kadazan-Dusun descent. During her school days in Kundasang Secondary School, Adira was part of her Nasyid group in school. Shealso represented her school in poetry and song reciting competitions and won singing competitions. Adira auditioned for Akademi Fantasia together with her sister, Ema. Both siblings successfully garnered entry into the popular reality programme. However her sister was eliminated in the second week, whilst Adira remained till the end and emerged second runner up. Subsequently, Adira released a promotional single,Ku Ada Kamu, via the compilation album, Hitz AF8 featuring songs by contestants of the programme. The song went on to become a hit,topping several radio charts. In January 2011, Adira performed her hitsong at the Anugerah Juara Lagu which was held at the Stadium Bukit Jalil Kuala Lumpur.
Yunalis Zarai or Yuna, hails from Alor Star, Kedah. This singer song writer extraordinaire is blessed with melodious soft vocals and the talent to strum her warm acoustic guitar. Yuna learned how to play the guitar at the age of 19 when she was studying law. She also ventured into song writing and drew inspiration from international acts like No Doubt, The Cranberries and Fiona Apple. Her first self-titled EP,‘Deeper Conversation’ was released in Malaysia in 2008, which won the title of Best English Song at the 2009 AIM Awards. Yuna soon ventured into the United States where she joined FADER Label in2010 and released her digital EP, Decorate in March 2011. Her effortearned rave reviews amongst critics in Billboard magazine and The New York Post. In the same year, SPIN featured Yuna in their ‘Eight BandsYou Need to Hear Now’. She was also a finalist at the Best Band in the World competition where she gave a stellar performance at MTV Iggy’sBest Band in the World competition which was broadcasted live on MTV’s HD screen in New York’s Time Square. In August 2012, Yuna performed her hit song, Lullabies live on CBS This Morning.