It has been 10 years since he won the inaugural Singapore Idol singing competition and Taufik Batisah is still on top of his game.
The Singapore singer emerged the big winner at last Friday night's regional Malay music awards show, Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM), bagging three of the 19 awards given out.
He won the Most Popular Song (Singapore), Most Popular Artist and Social Media Icon awards, all of which were based on fan votes submitted to the APM Facebook page.
The event, organised by MediaCorp's Malay Broadcast Division, Suria and radio stations Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM, is in its 13th year.
Besides thanking his record company, Hype Records, family and fans, Taufik showed his comedic side by addressing his mother, who was at home, saying, "Don't pick up that cold drink, mum. You're not supposed to drink cold drinks or you'll cough. I'm watching you."
The 33-year-old performed three songs, including his new single, #AwakKatMane (Where Are You), off his recent album, Fique. Speaking to media backstage, he said: "I'm thankful for my fans who still cheer when I go onstage. It's not something I take for granted."
Other big winners included Malaysian singer Siti Nurhaliza, Indonesian alternative group Noah and Indonesian singer Cakra Khan, who took home two tropies each. Noah won for Best Band for the second year running.
Despite being the biggest nominee with six nominations, Singapore singer Awi Rafael won only one award, Best Collaboration (Artist), for the song Kalau Aku Kaya (If I Were Rich) with Malaysian singer Altimet.
This was a good year for first-time nominees - a visibly nervous Sufie Rashid, 23, accepted the award for Best Singapore Song, while 20-year-old Aisyah Aziz was emotional when she accepted the win for Best Collaboration (Song).
"I'm going to cry," she said, just before shedding tears. She admitted later that she had not worn shoes onstage because she "did not expect" to win.
The older artists were not forgotten.
Nurhaliza, 35, alluded to her seniority during the event, joking that she had never received the Best New Female Artist award and that it was too late to do so, but she bagged the Best Female Artist award, which is chosen by the APM jury.
The two wins add to her tally of 26 APM trophies, making her the most awarded artist in the history of the show.
The night was rounded off with a special tribute to Malaysian rock legend Wings, who received the Planet Music Special Award. The band, led by frontman Awie, have been in the industry for 28 years.
Asked for the secret of their longevity, the group's guitarist Joe, 44, whose real name is Abdul Zamin Abdul Kadir, said: "People see us as rockers with long hair, but we are committed and we are disciplined."
The event was watched by a packed auditorium of almost 3,500 people at Suntec City Convention Centre. The hashtag #APM2014 trended worldwide for the first time, reflecting the significance of the regional Malay music scene.
WINNERS OF MAJOR AWARDS
Best New Artist (Male): Tulus (Indonesia) for Jangan Cintai Aku Apa Adanya
Best New Artist (Female): Fynn Jamal (Malaysia) for Arjuna Beta
Best Collaboration (Artist): Altimet (Malaysia) & Awi Rafael (Singapore) for Kalau Aku Kaya
Best Collaboration (Song): Mimpi by Aisyah Aziz (singer), Faizal Tahir (composer and lyricist) and Omar K (lyricist)
Best Male Artist: Judika (Indonesia) for Mama Papa Larang
Best Female Artist: Siti Nurhaliza (Malaysia) for Lebih Indah
Best Duo/Group: Rossa and Hafiz (Malaysia) for Salahkah
Best Band: Noah (Indonesia) for Tak Lagi Sama
Best Song (Singapore): Tiada Pengganti by Sufie Rashid (singer and lyricist), Izwan Khuzair and Rusdi Badri (composers) and Shafiq Iskandar (lyricist)
Best APM Song: Setelah Kau Tiada by Cakra Khan (singer) and Aldi Nada Permana (composer and lyricist)
Most Popular Singapore Artist: Taufik Batisah
Most Popular Singapore Song: Ikrar Kasih by Taufik Batisah
Most Popular APM Artist: Noah (Indonesia)
Most Popular APM Song: Dia Dia Dia by Fatin Shidqia Lubis (Indonesia)
Social Media Icon: Taufik Batisah (Singapore)
Planet Music Special Award: Wings (Malaysia)
This article was first published on Oct 20, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.