Jaclyn Victor: from lounge singer to national icon

Jaclyn Victor: from lounge singer to national icon

You might know her as Jaclyn Victor or you might know her as Jac. Whatever you call her, you should know that Jaclyn Victor is one of the most powerful and popular singers in the Malaysian pop scene. After winning the inaugural Malaysian Idol and Ikon Malayisa contests, she went on release a string of hugely popular and influential albums and represented Malaysia in Asian Idol and Ikon Asean.

Before Malaysian Idol, Jac had already been earning a living by singing in clubs and bars across Kuala Lumpur. She had even recorded an album, entitled Dreams, and sang on a national television show but had not come to mainstream attention.

Malaysian Idol changed all that. She auditioned on the encouragement of her mother and stormed the show, with her faultless covers of staples such as Sweet Child O Mine, Lady Marmalade and If I Ain't Got you. In the final, she won an incredible 76% of the audience's vote, before singing Gemilang, the song written for the winner that would eventually become her signature tune.

She quickly released an album of the same name, which went gold almost instantly. Jac picked up award after award across the next few years, playing in various huge events across Asia. Her second album, entitled Inilah Jac, dropped in 2006. Supported by her first proper music video Ceritera Cinta with Rio Febrian, it was another critical and commercial success.

At the AIM awards in 2007 she was nominated for a four awards and took home one for Best Female Vocal Performance in an Album. She also sang on a special edition of the hugely successful High School Musical 2 soundtrack, helping to promote it across Malaysia.

Jac was also a very big part of the 50 Years of Malaysian Independence celebrations, headlining the Live and Loud KL concerts that ran across 10 days in the capital. This was followed by more touring concerts in Europe and Asia.

Since then Jac has released two more acclaimed albums and begun a successful acting career. She starred in Talentime, directed by Yasmin Ahmad in 2009, bagging an award for Best Promising Actress at the Malaysian Film Festival.

Jaclyn Victor is one of the most brilliant vocal talents in Asia. Her extraordinary career continues to be one of the most exciting things in Malaysian pop.