Rock­ing it at 50

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Showbiz - By EDDINO AB­DUL HADI

MORE than three decades af­ter she started out in show busi­ness, singer Ella (pic) is still Malaysia’s undis­puted “Ratu Rock” or rock queen.

Last month, the coun­try’s en­ter­tain­ment and me­dia in­dus­try hon­oured the 50-year-old with a Life­time Achieve­ment Award at the Anugerah Bin­tang Pop­u­lar awards show.

The crown is not one she wears lightly. “I find it tough. I’m thank­ful, but hav­ing that ti­tle means I have to al­ways work harder,” she said.

Ella, whose real name is Norzila Haji Amin­ud­din, will mark her 30th an­niver­sary as a singer with a show at Sin­ga­pore’s Es­planade Con­cert Hall on July 22. It is part of Pesta Raya, the Es­planade’s an­nual Malay arts fes­ti­val.

She is ex­cited about play­ing her first solo con­cert here in 20 years. “While I’ve per­formed in Sin­ga­pore a few times with other artistes or at pri­vate shows, my fans are al­ways ask­ing when I’ll be back to do a full solo show. I think now is the right time.”

Born in Pe­nang and raised in Se­lan­gor, she be­gan her ca­reer singing in Kuala Lumpur’s club cir­cuit in the early 1980s.

She has re­leased more than 30 records ei­ther as a solo singer or with other acts, in­clud­ing the band she made her de­but with, Ella & The Boys.

She found greater suc­cess af­ter strik­ing it out on her own. Her first three solo al­bums – Pengemis Cinta (1988), Pu­teri Kota (1989) and Iden­titi (1990) – achieved plat­inum sales in Malaysia. She has also acted in films such as Bayan­gan Maut (1990) and KIL (2013).

She plans to re­lease a new al­bum next month, which comes 10 years af­ter her last stu­dio al­bum, Rama Rama.

Aside from her hi­jab (head­scarf ), which she started wear­ing last year, many of her fans have re­marked that she looks and sounds the same as she did in the 1980s.

The singer, who mar­ried pi­lot Azhar Ghaz­ali in 2012, says there is no for­mula be­hind her abil­ity to main­tain her looks and voice.

“There’s no se­cret – I guess I just try to al­ways be happy.”

Photo: Hand­out

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