|Born||December 5, 1919|
|Died||November 4, 1991 (aged 71)|
|Genres||Sri Lankan music|
|Years active||1934 – 1991|
Mohideen Baig (1919–1991) was a notable Sri Lankan musician known particularly for his Buddhist devotional music, which enjoy popularity to this day. A Muslim who moved to Sri Lanka from Salem in Tamil Nadu, he was considered as a highly influential multicultural/multi-religious figure in the country's arts history. Baig was followed into the music industry by his son Ishak, who also achieved considerable success, although not as well recognized as his father. Baig has dueted with H. R. Jothipala, G.S.B. Rani Perera, Latha Walpola, Sujatha Attanayake and Jamuna Rani among others. He was also the only Sri Lankan to duet with Lata Mangeshkar. Mohideen Baig's most famous and most loved duets were sung with Sri Lankan movie legend, actress and songstress Rukmani Devi.
Life and career
Baig was born in Tamil Nadu, India and migrated to Sri Lanka in 1932, recording his first song Karuna Muhude Namu Gileela in a duet with K. K. Rajaluckshmi in 1934. He debuted as a playback singer in 1947 in the second Sinhalese film Ashokamala.
Baig achieved fame with songs such as Buddhang Saranang, Maya, Girihel Mudune, Adara Nadiya Gala, Pem Mal Mala, Wella Simbina Rella, Anna Sudo, Thaniwai Upanne, and Loke Sihinayak Wageya. This popularity led to appearances at distinguished events such as the country's first Independence Day Ceremony and the 1974 Non-Aligned Summit. In 1956, Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike awarded Baig with a Distinguished Citizenship.
Baig won the Kalashoori Award in 1983 and again in 1987.
Baig died from an unexpected infection during cataract removal surgery. Following Islamic traditions, his funeral was organized within a day.
Baig was a living legend at the time of his death due to his contribution to early Sinhala movie music as a playback singer. Mohideen Baig along with Rukmani Devi was the pioneers of the Sinhala movie playback singing. Many of his songs are part of the movie music history post independence from British colonials. Many of his songs are timeless classics that depict the post colonial history(as well as pre-independence years) of music in Sri Lanka.
- Hindustan Times. "Lanka Govt honours South Indian playback singer". Hindustan Times. Retrieved November 13, 2006.
- Sunday Observer. "Glittering and memorable musical show". Sunday Observer. Retrieved November 13, 2006.
- "Baig family begs for justice". Daily Mirror. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-06-13.