Siti goes to the Grammys

By Sheela Narayanan

February 09, 2007

IF you are watching the live telecast of the Grammy Awards on Monday, there is a chance you may catch a glimpse of a familiar face.

As you read this, 28-year-old Malaysian diva Siti Nurhaliza is on her way to Los Angeles to attend the US music industry’s biggest night.

She has been invited to tread the red carpet at the Staples Centre with the likes of Shakira, Mary J Blige and Christina Aguilera.

This makes her the first Malaysian on the Grammy celebrity floor-runner. Singapore songbird Sun Ho made her Grammy red-carpet debut in 2004.

The awards ceremony will be shown live on Star World (StarHub Ch 18) on Monday at 9am, with a repeat at 8pm.

Even though Siti will not be appearing on the main show, Star World’s music channel Channel V will be filming the red carpet event separately to be aired at a later date.

Siti won a pair of tickets to attend the event as the best-dressed celebrity at Star World’s Breakfast With The Stars, an Oscar party hosted by the cable channel for over 300 Malaysian celebrities last year.

Star World later managed to get an invitation from the Grammy organisers to have the singer and her husband, Datuk Khalid Mohd Jiwa, 48, walk the red carpet.

In a phone interview with The New Paper yesterday, Siti said she felt truly fortunate.

‘It was an opportunity I could not miss. Who wouldn’t want to walk the red carpet at the Grammys?

‘I am so used to walking the red carpet in Malaysia – the Grammys will be something else.’

She added that she plans to wear a black and white two-piece outfit, with a long skirt, designed by Malaysian couturier Bernard Chandran.

True to her image, Siti said the outfit, while modern, would be ‘conservative’ with Malaysian-inspired detailing.

Her accessories will be from Chopard, although she hasn’t picked out the premium pieces yet.

This is another feather in Siti’s already crowded cap.

Last October, she was awarded the Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang as part of the Sultan of Pahang’s 76th birthday honours, which allows her to use the title Datuk.

There was no mistaking the giddy happiness in her voice – and we don’t think it is only because of the Grammys or the Datukship.

Siti is a woman in love and she admitted as much.

‘I am very happy. I feel very secure. I have a shoulder to cry on.

‘And I have filled out, that’s for sure,’ she said with a giggle, alluding to her slightly chubby frame, which sent the Malaysian media speculating about a possible pregnancy.

She said she wasn’t surprised by the baby frenzy her weight gain has started.

‘It was inevitable. As soon as you get married, they will ask you when you are going to have babies,’ she said.

‘I am just relaxed about it. If they ask the question, I just answer.’

MUM ABOUT BABY

Whether she has a bun in the oven at the moment, she is not saying.

As usual, she said she will let everyone know when it happens.

As for her husband, Siti said Datuk Khalid is still getting used to being in the limelight and the centre of gossip since the couple wed last August.

There were rumours around Kuala Lumpur that their marriage was shaky and that Datuk Khalid controlled Siti’s freedom.

Said Siti: ‘He is a little taken aback, but I told him that he had to get used to it since he married a celebrity.’

There was also talk that she was considering a career as a politician.

Malaysian newspaper Utusan Malaysia’s Sunday edition, Mingguan Malaysia, reported that she was enamoured with politics after following her husband around during his activities.

This was further emphasised when she pitched in to help flood victims in Johor.

But Siti clarified: ‘I have no political ambitions. I was only helping the flood victims.’

When asked whether she entertained any thoughts of joining politics, she firmly said: ‘I don’t think I am right for it.’