Kozhikode Abdul Kader

19 Jul 1915
13 Feb 1977
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Kozhikode Abdul Kader (Malayalam: കോഴിക്കോട് അബ്ദുൾ കാദർ) (born Lesli Andrews) was an Indian playback singer who was active in Malayalam cinema during the 1950s. He had sung for eight films and many dramas. One of his most popular songs is “Engane Nee Marakkum Kuyile” from the 1954 film Neelakuyil

He was born to J. S. Andrews and Manini on July 19, 1915 as Lesli Andrews. His mother died when he was very young. He converted to Islam and rechristened as Abdul Kader when he landed up in Burma. He was disowned by his father when he returned and was supported by a policeman named Kunjumuhammed who also fostered M. S. Baburaj who would later become a famed music composer.

He was first noticed by the music director V. Dakshinamoorthy who made him sing in the Malayalam film Navalokam in 1951.Baburaj was also deeply impressed by the young man’s voice.

Kader became a popular singer with the song “Engane Nee Marakkum Kuyile” from Neelakuyil (1954).Kader was fondly referred to as Malabar Saigal.

He married Achumma and has six children with her: Najmal Babu, Surayya, Moli, Zeenath, Naseema and Nasar. He met actress Santha Devi in 1948 and started to live with her and they had a son named Satyajith. Abdul Kader died on February 13, 1977. In 2008 Nadeem Noushad, a documentary film maker, has made a documentary film on Kozhikode Abdul Kadar titled Desh Raagathil Oru Jeevitham.

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