Hady Mirza makes singing comeback after stint in drug rehab

Hady Mirza (centre) in December 2007 after winning the first Asian Idol held in Jakarta, with Indonesia's Mike Mohede and Vietnam's Phuong Vy. (Photo: Reuters/Crack Palinggi)

SINGAPORE — Singapore Idol winner Hady Mirza has returned to singing after a long period away from the music scene, and a rough year during which he was arrested for drug offences and underwent a rehabilitation programme.

In an interview with The Straits Times (ST), the 39-year-old said he announced late last year that he was available for shows, and has since performed at a few events.

Hady was arrested at a land immigration checkpoint last year for offences involving marijuana, according to a report by The New Paper (TNP) in August. He was later seen at the Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Changi Prison, where drug users undergo treatment.

“Everybody goes through a rough patch in his life,” Hady told ST. “When you are down, the only way to go is up.”

The singer said he had made a comeback due to his love of performing: “It is in my blood. I can never run away from that.”

He also said he stopped singing to try other businesses so that if the day comes when he finally puts down the microphone for good, he would still be able to earn an income.

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Hady made a splash in the local music scene after winning the 2006 season of singing competition Singapore Idol as well as Asian Idol in 2007. He released three albums in 2006, 2007 and 2009, the first of which gained platinum status four days within its release. But for many years since, he stopped singing to focus on other businesses.

These businesses included a chilli tempeh snack business called Tempting Trading, which was started in 2016 and whose licence was cancelled at one point. Hady has revived the business, which he operates with his wife and mother.

Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore reported that Hady became a Grab driver in 2017, but he has since stopped.

He is also currently the brand ambassador and operations director of car dealership Kassimbaba Autohub.

Hady also co-founded local group FRHM Youth, an organisation that supports Muslim education and conducts sports activities for youths, which he started in 2013. He left his position as the group’s director in 2014 to focus on his business, said TNP.

Hady’s upcoming performances include a gig this Sunday (28 April) with his band Raw Energy at the Singapore Motor Fest, as well as a free Mother’s Day concert on 11 May at the Esplanade Concert Hall, where he will sing English and Malay songs alongside local actor-singer Jeff Catz.

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