ABIDA SULTANA | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 30, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:27 PM, October 02, 2017



A leading exponent of modern songs of Bangladesh, Abida Sultana was born to Abdus Salam and Muslima Begum. She had her musical breakthrough in 1974. Her marvelous performances as a playback singer for the films 'Abar Tora Manush Ho', 'Alo Tumi Aleya' and 'Yea Kore Biye' have amazed us all. In 1975, she has gifted her honeyed voice for the film 'Shimana Periye' composed by Bhupen Hazarika. She studied in Political Science and is married to the legendary singer Rafiqul Alam. Their son Farshid Alam is the bassist and vocalist of the famous band Bohemian. She has four sisters; Rebeka Sultana, Rehena Sultana, Chitra Sultana and Salma Sultana, as well as two brothers; Shawkat Ali Emon and Mohammad Ali Shumon. She has the amazing talent of rendering songs in 35 languages. She has received many prestigious awards throughout her musical journey, including the award by Bangladesh Performing Media Centre (BPMC) in 2008. The heart-melting melody of her songs, with her stunning performances, has touched the hearts of millions around the world. Abida Sultana will be cherished forever by the people of our country for her astonishing contributions in the music industry of Bangladesh.


I grew up with a wide range of cultural practices in a warm environment. Unquestionably, my father is my first inspiration. The person whose contribution is prodigiously motivational to my passion is none but my mother. Their heavenly shelter has made me what I am today. Moreover, my siblings and many of my relatives are also inclined to music and other forms of arts. My husband has always been my inspiration in flourishing my potential. Additionally, the love that I have found from my audience is also my inspiration.


Since my childhood, I used to be very polite and subservient. I never show instantaneous reactions to silly matters. Rather, I always try to keep my patience regardless of the situation. I always try to be good to others and keep myself away from arrogance or impoliteness. I think that, to love others is the best way to live a peaceful and successful life.


Singing is both my passion and profession. At the very beginning of my singing career, it was quite challenging to take it as a profession. Hence, I must say that my passion for singing came first, and then it became my profession. The current atmosphere of our music industry is quite good. Nowadays the singers have more opportunities to gather detailed information of every song. The newcomers are doing really well and I appreciate their talents and efforts. It is my request to the young generation to be punctual and sincere at their workplace. The young artists should take singing as their profession and treat it with love, and they should always be respectful to their instructors.


I spend my leisure listening to different forms of music. Yet, my thirst for the ghazals of Mehdi Hassan is eternal. It has an amazing charm which never fails to amaze me.


I have enjoyed a huge number of movies of different languages. The Pianist, Arth, Two Women and Moroner Pore are some of my most favorite movies.


Nowadays, I do not have much time to read story books. It is very difficult to choose a specific book as my favorite one. But if I have to mention one, Ekattorer Dingulee by our beloved martyr-mother Jahanara Imam tops the list of my favorite books.


To me, singing is more like a passion than a profession. Since childhood, I did not have any specific plans with music. I could only feel that I am with music and that I have to be with music. Undeniably, to practice singing regularly is like my habit. But I have a dream to do something for the orphans if I am capable enough. 


I have so many idols in life. Without a doubt, my parents are my idols. Some of my teachers, instructors and seniors have become my idols as well. The “King of Ghazal” Mehdi Hassan, the greatest leader Yasser Arafat and the “Queen of Melody” Lata Mangeshkar have also become my idols. Furthermore, our honorable Ferdausi Rahman is an amazing personality who has left a deep impression on me.

By Shawreen Rahman

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