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.
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.
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