She has won an unprecedented number of music awards in Malaysia and its environs: 34 Anugerah Industri Muzik awards, 22 Anugerah Bintang Popular awards, 21 Anugerah Planet Muzik awards, 18 Anugerah Juara Lagu awards, four MTV Asia Awards and the holder of two records in the Malaysian Book of Records. Backed with 14 studio albums, she is one of the most popular artistes in the Malay Archipelago and Nusantara region and she has been voted ten times in a row for Regional Most Popular Artiste in the Anugerah Planet Muzik since 2001. Currently, she has been listed as one of Malaysia's richest, most-influential, most award-winning, most single-produced artists.
In 2005, she was listed second by MTV Asia in Asia's Best Musical Artiste and Channel V's Biggest Asian Artiste. In 2008, she was named as one of Asia's Idol by Asia News Network.
Early Life (1983–1995)
Siti was born on January 11, 1979 in Berek Polis Kg. Awah, Temerloh where she is the fourth child in a family of eight siblings to Tarudin Ismail and Siti Salmah Bachik. She comes from a musically inclined family; her brother, Saiful Bahri Tarudin, and her sisters Siti Norsaida and Siti Saerah are also singers. Her grandfather was a famous violinist, and her mother was a famous local traditional singer.
From the age of 13, she followed her uncle to invitational shows like wedding ceremonies and dinner parties to give her exposure performing live, where she was well received by the local community. During her childhood she was involved in various school activities, including sports and class speeches. Siti Nurhaliza attended pre-school at the Sekolah Tabika Perkep, Balai Polis Kampung Awah, Temerloh. Here she showed her early singing talent at the age of six when she sang "Sirih Pinang", a Malay traditional song, at her kindergarten's end of year event. She attended primary school at Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Clifford and followed up her secondary education at Sekolah Menengah Clifford, Kuala Lipis, Pahang.
She was an athlete in school and active in sports and this showed when at the opening ceremony of the Fiesta Media Idola 2006 in Kuantan she was a torch bearer to light the games of the Fiesta, together with actress Fasha Sandha.
Early Commercial Success (1995–1996)
Siti Nurhaliza's family performed at many local ceremonies in their hometown, such as weddings. At the age of 12, Siti began to learn traditional songs from her mother and went on performing that genre of music during special occasions and events.
She also was the vocalist for 'Family Group', a small band founded by her uncle, Abdul Rahim Bachik. She started to improvise her singing skills by participating in numerous local singing competitions before ultimately at the age of 16, she finally competed in the 1995 RTM Bintang HMI competition where she auditioned with a song made famous by Ruth Sahanaya, Kaulah Segalanya. While in the competition, she met Adnan Abu Hassan, music composer who tutored and helped her with her vocal performance, before she ultimately winning the contest with the song by Aishah, Camar Yang Pulang. She was granted a contract with Suria Records after making a decision over four offers from different international recording companies, including offers from Sony Music, BMG Music and Warner Music. In 1996, Suria Records released her first self-titled album, Siti Nurhaliza and the first single, Jerat Percintaan won the 11th Anugerah Juara Lagu and another two awards for Best Performance and Best Ballad in addition to her quadruple winnings in Anugerah Bintang Popular for Most Popular Television Entertainer, Most Popular Female Singer, Most Popular Teen Artiste and overall winner, Most Popular Star.
Career Development (1996–1998)
In 1997, Siti started to be a well known figure in Indonesia's music industry when her story appeared in one of the most popular magazines in Indonesia, POS Kota, in April 1997's edition. Siti was assumed as a great figure because it was difficult for foreign artists to break through in Indonesian's music industry if the artist has less to offer compared to their own artists. Siti was also said to be the first Malaysian singer to hold a live concert on Indosiar, a popular television station in Indonesia and it was televised nationwide. Siti has became one of the most influential artists in Indonesia and she held a series of big scale concerts in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and many more cities over the next few years. In the same year, she won Best New Artist and Best Song (Jerat Percintaan) from Anugerah Industri Muzik.
In 1998, at the early age of 19, she launched her own company on January 12, Siti Nurhaliza Productions (M) Sdn. Bhd. which acts as the official management production to handle and manage her schedule. Siti made her first and biggest appearance on the international stage during the 1998 Commonwealth Games which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Siti shared the same stage with two international stars Céline Dion and Rod Stewart to entertain the crowd during the closing ceremony. The ceremony was televised in 70 nations worldwide, which led her to become known in the international arena for the first time. In November of the same year, she was invited to perform in Japan for five days at the Pop Queen Festival, also known as Saga Fiesta '98.
Early International Stardom (1999–2005)
On December 1999, Siti received her first international winning from an international singing competition when she took part in 'Shanghai Music Festival 1999' that was held in China, where she managed to win the Gold Award. She was also invited in 2000 and 2002 for the same competition as featuring artiste. In the same year earlier in May, she took part in 'South Pacific International Song and Singing Competition 1999' held in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and she won the Pop Winner title beating contestants from all over South Pacific and 'Top 40 for International Song' category through her single, We'll Be As One. Siti also managed to catch the juries' attention with her vocal prowess, that finally led her to be awarded with the Best Female Vocal Performance with the same single even though the single was judged by cassette tape/compact disc sent by her recording company to the organizer and not through live performance. For the next few years, Siti took part in 'Voice of Asia 2002' which was held in Kazakhstan where she performed one of her signature singles, Purnama Merindu and managed to grab the Grand Prix Champion title, the ultimate prize.
Siti was the first non-Chinese artiste to be invited to perform at the 15th Golden Melody Awards, Taiwan in 2004. Apart from performing solo with 征服 (Charming) cover of Na Ying's single, she also sang a duet with Leehom Wang in a song called 月亮代表我的心 (The Moon Represents My Heart) which is a cover of the late Teresa Teng. She also appeared on a half hour special program by Azio TV during her brief four days in Taipei. Siti made her third appearance on MTV Asia Awards in 2004, where she performed with Gareth Gates, the runner up from the first series of England version of Idol, Pop Idol, in a song originally by Gareth's himself, 'Say It Isn't So'.
In 2005, she was dubbed as The Voice of Asia, when Alicia Keys first introduced her with the title during the MTV Asia Aid in 2005 held in Bangkok, Thailand due to her powerful vocal, and her outstanding achievements locally and internationally. In the same year, Siti held a successful solo concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London in April 2005, although the majority of the audience were Malaysians living in the United Kingdom, together with the local citizens. British press called her as Asia's Celine Dion due to her powerful vocal and outstanding performances. During the concert, she was backed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Indonesian maestro, Erwin Gutawa where the concert was even attended by the Sultan and Sultanah of Pahang and royal families from Brunei. In 2005 also, Channel V has listed her as the Second Biggest Asian Artist due to her great achievements whereas the Taiwanese singer, Jay Chou is on the top of the list. Coincidentally, MTV Asia also rated her as the Second Asia's Best Musical Artist, also behind the same Taiwanese artiste, Jay Chou.
Datukship and Transkripsi (2006–2007)
Siti's eleventh studio album, Transkripsi, was released in April 2006 and contained contributions from producers and composers from Indonesia like Erin Gutawa, Melly Goeslow and Glenn and Malaysians, like Aubrey Suwito, Cat Farish, Jenny Chin, Firdaus Mahmud, Mac Chew, Yasin and Damian VE. Transkripsi became the year's best album after winning the Best Pop Album and Best Album categories in the Anugerah Industri Muzik. It also received praises before by critics as one of her best albums ever produced and the album released was her debut attempt of producing an album under her own production company.
On October 24, 2006, she was conferred as "Datuk" after receiving the title of Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP) from the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah on his 76th birthday along with designers, Bernard Chandran and Dayang Tom Abang Saufi.
In 2007, She made her first appearance at the Grammy Award for the red carpet session on February 11, 2007 where she was the first Malaysian to walk the red carpet. On April 20 and April 21, 2007, Siti performed at the successful Konsert Istana Cinta Nostalgia, which was a tribute concert for the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee and Puan Sri Saloma at Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur. The concert featured popular songs composed by Tan Sri P. Ramlee himself, performed by Siti and other invited artistes. Before this, Siti was also invited to perform a tribute concert for the late Sudirman Hj Arshad, also at Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur in 2002. On April 30, 2007, she garnered 4 nominations in the Anugerah Industri Muzik including Best Pop Album (Transkripsi), Best Vocal Female Performance In An Album (Transkripsi), Best Music Video (Bisakah) and Best Cover for an Album (Transkripsi). Out of these, she won two: Best Pop Album and Best Album for Transkripsi. She also received five nominations from Anugerah Planet Muzik 2007 for two categories that were voted by fans from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – Most Popular Female Artist and Most Popular Song (Biarlah Rahsia) and three categories that were judged by professional juries and judges – Best Female Artist, Best Song (Biarlah Rahsia) and Best Album. She won three out of five – Most Popular Female Artist, Best Female Artist and Best Song.
Hadiah Daripada Hati and Other Works (2007–2008)
2007 showed Siti's participation on soundtracks for films where she recorded two songs for two different films where she sung Menanti Pasti and Hati for Kayangan and 1957: Hati Malaya respectively. However, only the song Hati was included in her twelfth studio album, Hadiah Daripada Hati and also received the award of Best Original Theme Song from Anugerah Festival Filem Malaysia ke-21 (21st Malaysian Film Festival) in 2008. Siti performed as Azizah, P. Ramlee's mysterious lover, in the musical 'Remy ... Kisah P. Ramlee (Remy ... The Story of P. Ramlee), which is a tribute to the late P. Ramlee, staged at Istana Budaya from October 19 to November 3, 2007.
Siti's twelfth studio album Hadiah Daripada Hati was released on December 10, 2007. Siti released the Latin-influenced pop song Ku Mahu as the first single of this album and it was featured as the opening theme song for a drama called Spa-Q. Melawan Kesepian was her second single and was the first track of this album to have a video clip. The song was a remake of a hit that was once popularized by an Indonesian band called Jikustik. Hadiah Daripada Hati came under criticism from the press when it was released. Critics said it was a moderate performance from Siti Nurhaliza and was not on the same par as her previous album Transkripsi, which was touted as the best album she had ever made. Yet these criticisms were rebutted when Hadiah Daripada Hati received five nominations in the 15th edition of AIM including Best Pop Album, Song of The Year, Best Vocal Performance in an Album (Female), Best Arrangement and Best Album Cover making Siti the second nominee with the most nominations after newcomer Faizal Tahir. Out of five categories including three multiple nominations for Best Arrangement category, the album earned her three awards for Best Pop Album, Best Musical Arrangement in a Song (Malay) for the song Cintamu as well as her ninth Best Vocal Performance in an Album (Female) in which she had lost to Jaclyn Victor the previous year. Her acting debut in the musical 'Remy... The Story of P. Ramlee' also saw the debut of her third single Mulanya Cinta, which was created by Dick Lee, a Singaporean composer. Siti has also became one the most frequently searched persons on Google by Malaysian Google users, according to Google's 2007 Malaysia Year-End Zeitgeist, beating celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.
In January 2008, she was cited as one of the Asia's Idols by Asia News Network for her exemplary achievements and gaining the status as the icon of Malaysian entertainment. On March 21, 2008, Siti held one of her first solo acoustic concert at the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore. The concert was called Diari Hati (A Diary of Her Heart). She performed numbers of hits from her latest album, Hadiah Daripada Hati and previous albums.
Lentera Timur (2008)
On 26 December 2008, was the release date of her 13th album, Lentera Timur, her most recent traditional contemporary album, Irama Malaysia (her fourth Ethnic Creative album) since her third one, Sanggar Mustika in 2002. She commented that the album has more modern and contemporary songs unlike her usual traditional genre. Siti also worked with renowned composers like M. Nasir and Indonesia's Katon Bagaskara. Nine out of 13 songs (which all was created and composed under three days) that have been chosen came from a songwriting workshop, Cipta Ekspress – Berirama Malaysia. The event which was organized by Malaysian Authors Copyright Protection (MACP) was specially organized to find the materials for the album. Despite of the poor sale due to the lack of promotions, the quality of the album has never been denied. As in Anugerah Industri Muzik 16, Lentera Timur grabbed top awards, Best Pop Ethnic and later on honoured Album Of The Year in AIM 16. She also took home Best Female Vocal trophy for the song ' Di Taman Teman '. She was not present at the award ceremony as she went to Mecca to perform Umrah with her family.
Siti has also recorded two songs for the soundtrack for an Indonesian film, Perempuan Berkalong Sorban. One of the songs recorded are cover of Opick's Ketika Cinta and also a new song, Batasku Asaku which was written by Siti herself. Both songs were included in her fourteenth album, Tahajjud Cinta.
In the same year, her wealth is said to have reached RM 50 Million by MTV Asia and was named one of the millionaires in entertainment in South East Asia.
SATU, Tahajjud Cinta and CTKD (2009)
On February 15, her father, Taruddin Ismail 67, died at 11.50 AM, after a heart bypass operation days before does not show any improvement, leaving seven children, and 10 grandchildren behind. She announced a 40-day state of mourning for her father and put singing activity on hold, except for Konsert Malam Sinar Maulidur Rasul 1430 Hijrah (1430 Hegira Special Mawlid Night Concert). Months after the loss, Siti's back to business where she announced her major three days concert at the prestigious Istana Budaya, SATU Konsert Eksklusif Dato' Siti Nurhaliza. It began its run on June 26, 2009 in Kuala Lumpur. The tickets were sold out weeks before the debut night. The concert received compliments from critics, and the show was attended by distinguished people such as region well-known artistes like Krisdayanti and Rossa from Indonesia to name some. A month before the concert, she bagged her ninth consecutive award of Most Popular Malaysian Artist 0f 2009 and also the Regional Most Popular Artist 0f 2009 from Anugerah Planet Muzik 2009, beating another 11 contestants where each country, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore has four representatives based on SMS votes.
In March, Siti revealed that she would begin work on her next album later in the year. Apparently, the idea came about while Siti was taking part in an Erma Fatima theater production, Sirah Junjungan. She also stated that, this will be her first attempt at spiritual songs and she plans to release the album for the holy month Ramadan of 2009 known as Tahajjud Cinta. Later, Siti and fellow friend, Indonesian singer, Krisdayanti have planned to produce a duet album featuring eight duets where Siti will choose four Malaysian compositions while Krisdayanti will pick the other four from Indonesia. The album was released on December 28 in Malaysia and January 27 in Indonesia, under the name CTKD where it is an abbreviation with double meaning where it stands as the acronyms for the combination of both singers names, CT and KD, and also as the whole title of the album, which is Canda (Joke), Tangis (Cry), Ketawa (Laugh) and Duka (Sad).
In July, her skill as a former ambassador for the Malaysian Red Crescent Society was put to the test when she and a panel doctor of Media Prima performed a Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the late Yasmin Ahmad when she fell unconscious during a presentation in a meeting in TV3's headquarter and in August, Siti was given a privileged of her own channel on Astro at Channel 188, Channel Siti for 28 hours on 30 August 2009 which has broadcasted her concert in June of the same year, SATU Konsert Eksklusif Dato' Siti Nurhaliza, her previous concert which was held at Bukit Jalil, the Siti's Fantasia Tour concert in 2004 and some of her music videos.
Bagaikan Sakti and SimplySiti (2010-2011)
Siti's most recent concert was Konsert Bagaikan Sakti which was held in Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore alongside Malaysian producer-composer-songwriter, M. Nasir which also was broadcasted live through Astro Box Office Events (Channel 955) on January 1, and the repeat show from 2nd till 10 January. Her own company, Siti Nurhaliza Productions (M) Sdn. Bhd. has also produced a concert for two Malaysian award winning artists, Faizal Tahir and Aizat entitled Konsert Satu Suara which was accompanied by Simfoni Orkestra Kebangsaan (National Orchestra Symphony) on February 12 until 14th at Istana Budaya. On March 25, she received her first award of the year, Anugerah Artis Contoh HIP TV 2009 (HIP TV Role Model Artist Award 2009) defeating four other candidates based on votes from viewers through short message service (SMS). On March 30, she launched her own beauty and cosmetic products under the name SimplySiti. The products underwent research and development in Korea, and are incorporated with Nanotechnology before receiving approval of Halal status by JAKIM. 6 days later, she received her 13th consecutive award of Penyanyi Wanita Paling Popular 2009 (Most Popular Female Singer 2009) and the overall category award, Bintang Paling Popular 2009 (Most Popular Artist of 2009) from Anugerah Bintang Popular Bintang Harian 2009 with votes from over 225 300 votes from the readers of Berita Harian. The latter one is her seventh time winning the same accolade.
On April 21, Siti won herself another two awards based on popular votes through SMS service from Anugerah Pilihan Pembaca Media Hiburan (APPMH) 2009/10 (Media Hiburan Readers' Choice Awards 2009/10). She won the award for Artis Wanita Berkulit Cantik 2009/10 (Female Artist With A Flawless Skin 2009/10) and special piece of the ceremony, Anugerah Khas APPMH 2009/10 (Special Award of APPMH 2009/10). In addition, on May 2, she won herself her sixth and seventh awards of 2010 from Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) ke-17 2010 (17th Malaysian Music Industry Awards 2010) where she bagged two vocal awards, Persembahan Vokal Terbaik Dalam Lagu (Wanita) (Best Vocal Performance In A Song (Female)) through her single, Ku Percaya Ada Cinta and Persembahan Vokal Berkumpulan Dalam Lagu (Best Group Vocal Performance In A Song) through her single, Amarah from her collaboration album with Indonesian artiste, Krisdayanti, CTKD. This is her 11th time winning Best Vocal Performance out of 17 years history of AIM, creating a record of her own. She also won another two awards from local fashion magazine, EH! voted by users through online and mail poles, Anugerah Stail EH! 2010 (EH!'s 2010 Style Awards) for the category of Selebriti Pencapaian Terbaik (Celebrity with the Best Achievements) and Selebriti Contoh (Role Model Celebrity) on July 21.
Less than two months after being commercialized since late March, her skincare products range, SimplySiti received "The Best Halal Product" under Cosmetic category by Halal Journal Magazine. On January 11, 2011, she received two awards from The BrandLaureate – Small and Medium Enterprises Chapter Awards (The BrandLaureate – SME's Chapter Awards), one for her SimplySiti range, for Most Promising Brand and another one for herself, first time introduced in 2011, The BrandLaureate Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah SME’s Women of The Year 2010 which was presented by Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah, wife of Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir herself. She also received Inspiration Woman Award from Association of Malaysian and Indonesian Journalists (ISWAMI) on January 29.
SITI, All Your Love and History Channel (2011)
She also hosted her own talk show programe, SITI, which with 13 episodes, encompassing four main segments – V.I.P. Siti, Sentuhan Kasih (Caring Touch), Siti’s Perspective and Siti’s Symphony with the first episode aried on February 12.
In early March 2011, she announced that she is working on her first full English album, entitled All Your Love which was produced by her own stepson's production team What’s Up Entertainment, with all the songs written and produced by Australian singers, Christian Alexanda and Bryan Bouro and released on September 26 with her first English single, Falling In Love debuted at a concert in UiTM where she also expressed her interest to further her study in that university. Two out of ten tracks from the album, Remember You and I Wait Forever were a duet between her and Sean Kingston and Christian Alexanda respectively.
On July 16, she won her tenth Regional Most Popular Artiste in a row beating fellow artistes from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, thus setting a new record in the Anugerah Planet Muzik. However, this would be her last appearance in the category after the organizer has decided to drop her name from participating in the same category in the future.
On October 17, she was reported to be working on her life documentary which was aired on History Channel on January 11, 2012 to coincide with her 33rd birthday.