Salmah Ismail

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"Saloma" redirects here. For the small town in the United States, see Saloma, Kentucky.
Background information
Birth name Salmah binti Ismail
Born (1932-01-22)January 22, 1932
Pasir Panjang, Singapore
Died April 25, 1983(1983-04-25) (aged 48)
Assunta Hospital, Petaling Jaya,
Selangor, Malaysia
Genres Traditional, pop
Occupations Singer, actress
Instruments vocal
Years active 1961 - 1983
Labels Parlophone, EMI

Biduanita Negara Puan Sri Datin Amar Salmah binti Ismail, AMN better known as Saloma (22 January 1932 – 25 April 1983) was a Singaporean-Malaysian singer who became famous in late 50's until early 80's. She was the second of three girls in her family, the other two being Mariani and Mimi Loma. Saloma was the third wife of the film actor, director, singer, and songwriter, Tan Sri P. Ramlee. She also appears as film actress during 1960s.

Early life[edit]

Saloma was born on 22 January 1932 in Pasir Panjang, Singapore. She was married to P. Ramlee on November 1961.


Saloma began singing at the age of seven and was a professional singer by the time she was in her teens. Her singing was in the style of Ella Fitzgerald. While she did become an actress later, she has always said she preferred singing to acting. As a singer, she sharpened her talents with Orkes Fajar Murni, led by Yusof Osman, early in her career. She was also involved with another orchestra Panca Sitara in the 1960s. The song Pandang Kasih, made by Rahmat Ali, brought Saloma luck as a singer.


Here are some of her popular songs :

  • Mengapa Di Rindu
  • Kain Songket
  • Bunga Tanjung
  • Gelora
  • Hilang Terang Timbul Gelap
  • Perwira
  • Tiru Macam Saya
  • Inang Baru
  • Bila Larut Malam
  • Joget Malaysia
  • Lagu Anak Rantau
  • Bila Hati Telah Retak
  • Tari Silat Melayu
  • Bossanova
  • Selamat Hari Raya


Some memorable films acted by Saloma:

  • Azimat
  • Ahmad Albab
  • Seniman Bujang Lapok
  • Ragam P. Ramlee
  • Sabaruddin Tukang Kasut
  • Bila Hati Telah Retak
  • Kaki Kuda
  • Si Tanggang


Saloma died on 25 April 1983 at Assunta Hospital, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. She was buried next to her husband, P. Ramlee at Jalan Ampang Muslim Cemetery, Kuala Lumpur.


In 1978, she was awarded by the Malaysian government at Kecapi Awards as Biduanita Negara (National Songbird). To date, the late 70s singer Sharifah Aini was only one singer who has received the same honor.

The Saloma Bistro & Theater Restaurant at Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur was opened in 2003 and named after Saloma in honor of her contribution to the Malaysian entertainment industry. During her heyday, Saloma was also known as the "Marilyn Monroe of Malaysia", due to her ability to attract male adulation like Marilyn Monroe. In 2014 , a film titled 'Saloma' which has 2 part,'Pandang Guruh' and 'Mencuri Kaseh ' were made and reacted by Nabila Huda who took the role of Saloma. The film can be watched on Astro First.

Saloma Bistro & Theater Restaurant, named after Saloma in honor of her contribution to the entertainment industry of Malaysia.

External links[edit]