Deshamanya Rita Jenevi Fernando, better known by her stage name Latha Walpola (Sinhalese: ලතා වල්පොල) was born on 11 November 1934 in Galkissa Colombo, to Joseph Fernando and Elizabeth Muriel. Latha was then one of five children. Her mother Elizabeth, a teacher, encouraged her daughter to become a vocal artist.
Latha received primary education at St. Anthony College in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia wherein she led the Church Choir. It was at this time that Latha began to pave her path to becoming Sri Lanka’s premier singer of her day. Today her fans remember an honor her with the title of “The Nightingale of Sri lanka.”

By 1950 she was a well known female singer in the country and coped with Sukomala Banda Lelawa, Dunhinda Helena and Diyaluma Helena originally sung by Chitra Somapala. Latha has recorded her voice for both Columbia and HMV record labels. The song “Malbara Himidiriye Pipune Esala Araliya Mala”, sung with C.T. Fernando is one of her most popular songs.

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