Friday, June 19, 2009

It Is Now Datuk Sudirman Arshad

The Star

PEKAN: One of Malaysia’s greatest singing sensations, the late Sudirman Arshad, was awarded a posthumous Datukship by the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah, at Istana Abu Bakar here Thursday.

Sudirman (1954-1992), burst onto the local entertainment scene when he won the local talent contest Bintang RTM in 1976 before going on to establish a lucrative chart-topping career.

He was known as the “Singing Lawyer” and the “Elvis of Malaysia,” recording hits not only in Malaysia but also in other countries around the region.

His performances brought him standing ovations in Australia, Japan, Kuwait and the United States.

He was named a “Singing Ambassador” by the Malaysia Tourism Development Board and his rendition of the To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia is still played in promotions.

One of the many high points in his career was on April 15, 1986, when he held an open air concert at Chow Kit Road in Kuala Lumpur, believed to have been the country’s first ever “street concert.”

A crowd of more than 100,000 jammed the streets, leading The Star then to report that “KL came to a standstill and it had nothing to do with the recession but with one man, Malaysia’s top entertainer,” adding that it was “an electrifying performance and a most memorable night.”

He won the title of “Best Performer” at the Asia Music Awards 1989 held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

He died at the age of 37 on Feb 22 in 1992 after suffering a stroke as a result of a cerebrovascular disease.

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