There is no denying that singers are a big part of everyone’s life. But what makes a truly legendary singer? While there are many aspects to singing that can be studied or taught, a truly legendary singer is an individual who simply cannot be invented. These legends are a unique lot who are passionate about delivering the best and have found themselves firmly lodged in the hearts of many a soul. In this issue, Top 10 of Malaysia shares its pick (presented in no particular order) of the top ten legendary singers in Malaysia who have serenaded many with their soulful voices and famous chart-topping songs locally and even internationally.
Malaysia’s legendary queen of Rock, Nor Zila Aminuddin, better known as Ella, started her singing career as a former frontwoman for Malaysian rock band, “Ella & The Boys” before embarking on her solo career in 1988. Ella is popularly known as “Ratu Rock” or “Queen of Rock” as she is the foremost female rocker in a predominantly male business. She was selected to sing “Standing in the Eyes of the World” for the 16th Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur and “Malaysia, Truly Asia” for Visit Malaysia Year 2014. Ella was listed in the Malaysia Book of Records as “Malaysia’s First Artist with the Highest Number of Sold Albums” and “Malaysia’s First Artist to Record a Full Album in the United States”. During the span of her career, she has released 12 studio albums, 2 video albums and several compilations and hit singles.
Anuar Zain started his career as a child star and all throughout the years as a performer, he has mesmerized the audience with his attractive persona and angelic voice. Anuar is well-known in the Malay music, film, television and fashion industries. Besides, he is also an icon with a resonating presence throughout Southeast Asia and has won numerous awards for his music career as a singer. Anuar has released several albums and is also a renowned actor who acted in films such as “Soal Hati” and “Bintang Hati”. He also appeared in numerous television programs and was the ambassador for Capital Boutique 2010, a business catalogue on luxury lifestyle products such as Noritake, Queen Anne and Tag Heur.
A singer-songwriter and producer, the multi-talented Faizal Tahir is also the founder of Faithful Music with current artists such as Zamani, Hannah Delisha, Aziz Harun, Sissy Imann and Amir Masdi under his label. Faizal won multiple awards for his debut solo album “Aku Muzik Kamu” and also recorded five studio albums with countless hit songs and chart toppers. Besides being one of the most successful local artistes, he is also known for his charity works through his organization iamFaithmen, a growing social enterprise with the mission to inspire to do good works and give back to society by providing education, inspiration and opportunities.
Nurshahila Amir Amzah, better known as Shila Amzah won the “Asian Wave” at Shanghai, China and that was the start of the breakthrough of her singing career. She was listed as the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia (2018) and has collaborated with well-known Malaysian singers such as Jaclyn Victor and Ning Baizura. Shila has won multiple awards over the years and also pursued a singing career in Mandopop at Hong Kong. Her success has garnered her honorific titles such as “Asia’s Sweetheart”, “Princess of Music” and “National Treasure of Malaysia”. Shila also participated in various singing competitions and was the only Malay artiste to be invited to the Global Chinese Music Awards.
The multi-talented Fish Leong has starred in various commercials for brands such as JURE Jewelry Products, Franic, Avon (Ocean Elements), Uni-President (Crystal Sugar Pear) series, Pure Beauty and Colla-e. Besides, the singer has released a total of 12 albums over the years and organized concerts in several countries locally and overseas. Fish has sold over 18 million records over the years and has received popularity and success locally and also internationally. Her fame also spread to countries such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. She debuted her singing career in Taiwan and was signed to Rock Records in October 1997.
Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin
Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin started her singing career at a young age in 1995. She was a winner of the Bintang HMI singing competition broadcasted by Radio Television Malaysia on April 1995. She rose to fame after her producing her award-winning single, “Jerat Percintaan”. The talented Dato’ Sri Siti sings well in songs of various genres such as pop soft rock, R&B, Nasyid, Balada and dance-pop. Besides, she was the first artiste from Southeast Asia and the third artiste from Asia who held a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra in 2005. Dato’ Sri Siti is known as “The Voice of Asia” and “Celine Dion of Asia”.
Datuk Sheila Majid
The popular “Queen of Jazz”, Datuk Sheila Majid rose to fame when she launched her first album called “Dimensi Baru” and won the Gold label status. Her fame soared high after the launch of her second album titled “Emosi” as she became well-known even in Indonesia. Datuk Sheila also went on a 1988 nationwide tour and in 1989, she performed at the Tokyo Music Festival and won the hearts of the people in Japan. Besides, she was also the first local artiste to perform at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas. Her trademark music is contemporary pop with a Jazz and R&B flavour.
Also known as Cao Ge, Gary Chaw is a popular singer-songwriter who has achieved tremendous success in countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Besides being renowned for his rich voice and wide vocal range, Gary also composes songs for himself and other singers. Gary has won numerous awards for his outstanding singing career and his famous song was the Mandarin version of Karyn White’s 1988 song called “Superwoman”. Besides, he also wrote songs which were ranked on top of song charts sung by singers such as Cyndi Wang, S.H.E. and Aaron Kwok.
Legendary rockstar, Suhaimi A Rahman, most popularly known as Amy Search, was the frontman of the band, “Search”. The band produced evergreen albums such as “Rozana”, “Fantasia Bulan Madu” and “Isabella”. The band members also starred in films such as “Fenomena” and “Isabella”. Amy has won several awards over the years and has been selected as one of the mentors for the reality program “Mentor 2”, aired on TV3 due to his wealth of experience in the music industry.
Michael Wong is a Malaysian Chinese singer, composer and actor who made it into the Malaysia Book of Records as the “Malaysian Chinese Male Composer with the highest number of awards” and also for the Best Selling Chinese Album, “Tong Hua”. The award-winning, multi-talented singer has also achieved success in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong through his breakthrough album titled “Fairy Tale”. Michael has sung and written numerous love-theme ballads for himself and others such as the famous ballad “Courage” originally sung by Fish Leong. He is also well-known as the “The Prince of love songs”.