She was known as Miss Music among her fans. They had a reason to call her so. She wrote her lyrics, composed the music and sang them too! Mesmerizing both young and old, she began her career as a 16-year-old with her band The Jetliners. She is none other than Mignonne Fernando, the golden voice of the 70s and the 80s.
Mignonne had her first taste of success when she won Radio Ceylon's Talent Contest at the age of seven. A year later she wrote her first music composition. This became the stepping stone of her long, colourful journey in music. Not only did she take the voice of Sri Lanka to the international level, she also brought fame and pride to her motherland by winning many international musical contests.
She represented Sri Lanka at World Popular Song Festival for three years in a row from 1971 to 1973.
Her song "Love don't let me down" won the Embassy Award at the World Popular Song Festival where of over 1,200 entries, only 10 were selected to be eligible for the award.
Another one of her original compositions "Someday my love" won the Matsushita Award and Special Jury Award for Composer and Performer at the Festival of Song. She was one of the first Sri Lankans to sign up with the EMI record label in UK and has performed in many countries.
Mignonne is the only female composer/performer to date to have been selected into the finals in three consecutive years in the history of World Popular Song Festival where renowned composers and artistes the world over are invited to submit compositions.
In recognition of her extraordinary achievements she was awarded the Woman of the Year award by the Lions Club of Sri Lanka in 2006. She also won the Zonta Woman of Achievement award in 2004.
Today she divides her time between her residence in Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.
Local fans will have the chance to see Mignonne in action today, Sunday, June 15 at the Holiday Inn at the concert Sing along with the Gypsies, where she will do a guest performance. The show is organized by the Muslim Ladies Study Circle to raise funds for their vocational training centre and for the maintenance of ward 20 of the Cancer Hospital Maharagama.