Shahul Hameed was an Indian playback singer born in 1953 in Chennai. He sang in Tamil cinema under the music direction of Academy Award winner A. R. Rahman. In the 1980s, he mostly sang TV jingles. Some of his songs which remained a classic in the music industry were ‘Rasaathi En Usuru’ from the movie Thiruda Thiruda in 1993, ‘Senthamizh Naatu Thamizhachiye’ from Vandicholai Chinnaraasu in 1994, ‘Urvasi Urvasi’ and ‘Pettai Rap’ from Kadhalan in 1994, ‘Vaarayo Thozhi’ from Jeans in 1998. He was active in the years 1980-1998. In the early days of his career, he used to be a regular TV show singer. He gained popularity and recognition in the year 1982 which led him to sing more than 30 songs in a prevalent TV show called ‘Isaithendral.’ Shortly after gaining recognition, he met A.R Rahman and soon released an album titled ‘Deen Isai Mazhai,’ a Muslim Devotional album in 1989.
Their friendship blossomed to produce more songs in the early 1990s. He was known to be a great singer with a high pitch and a powerful voice. He had rendered his voice for the tracks ‘Ellam Pughazhum Iraivanukke,’ ‘Yengal Abdul,’ ‘Nagoore Shahul Hameed,’ and ‘Nagoore Naharalum Tooya.’ Although, he said he was not attracted to cinema, he sang his debut song ‘Usilampatti Penkutti,’ with another female playback singer named Swarnalatha for the movie Gentleman. He worked in the cinema for five years. However, his rise to fame was short-lived, because he died in a car crash in Chennai in 1998. Several fans poured condolences shortly after the new of Shahul Hameed’s death spread like wildfire. He was known to have a unique and mystifying voice; this can be witnessed if one listens to his songs.
One fan even flew to Shahul Hameed’s tombstone from Sri Lanka. He said that he was spiritually inspired by Islamic songs Shahul had sung. Shahul Hameed was known to be a person of good deeds. His son, who regularly posts on his Facebook profile said he once found a man lying faint and in a battered condition on the road. He immediately stopped the car and ran towards the man to find out if he needed any help. On an emotional Facebook post, Shahul Hameed’s son poured out regarding the amicable friendship between his father and A.R Rahman. On 11th May 2011, Vijay TV awarded Shahul Hameed posthumously for his contribution to the Tamil Music Industry and ran a tribute.