SINGAPORE - Former Singapore Idol and Asian Idol winner Hady Mirza was named co-winner of the sixth season of Malaysian television singing show Gegar Vaganza, sharing the prize with Malaysian singer Naqiu.
Both winners took home RM100,000 (S$32,700), a trophy, a holiday to Eastern Europe and the Middle East, home renovation packages and hotel stays.
It was the first time the annual television show by Malaysian broadcaster Astro had two winners. The judges for the show, music industry veterans Datuk Ramli MS and Hetty Koes Endang, as well as fashion designer Datuk Rizalman, gave both Hady, 39 and Naqiu, 33, a score of 87 per cent.
Fellow Singapore singer Jatt Ali, 63, lead singer of veteran band Black Dog Bone, was the runner-up and was awarded the third prize, which includes RM30,000 in cash.
The finale was broadcast live from MBSA Auditorium Hall in Shah Alam on the evening of Dec 22. Gegar Vaganza features contestants who are either veterans or established names in the Malay music industry. Previous winners include Malaysian singing stalwart Aishah (2017) and jazz singer Noryn Aziz (2018). Singapore-born singers Ferhad and Hetty Sarlene also took part in the contest, in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Hady first made the news when he won the second Singapore Idol reality show in 2006. He also won the inaugural Asian Idol contest the following year.
He has released two albums, Hady Mirza (2006) and Sang Penyanyi (The Singer, 2009). He has won several awards at regional Malay music awards show Anugerah Planet Muzik, and was the biggest winner with three awards in the 2011 edition.
In 2013, he left the entertainment industry and became a youth mentor and started a business selling snacks and beverages. In 2017, a post about the star becoming a Grab driver went viral on social media.
In two videos posted on social media, Hady dedicated the win to his fans, declaring his victory as "our win".
"It's been amazing, no words can describe this feeling," he added.