Momtaz Begum

For other people named Mumtaz Begum, see Mumtaz Begum (disambiguation).
Momtaz Begum
Native name মমতাজ বেগম
Born Singair, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Origin Manikganj, Bangladesh
Occupation(s) Singer, Member of Parliament
Instruments Vocals

Momtaz Begum (Bengali: মমতাজ বেগম) is a Bangladeshi singer and producer of Bengali folk music.[1] She is also known as The Music Queen, popular for her unconventional lyrics. During her international career which has spanned two decades, she has recorded around 700 albums. In 2009, she was appointed a member of the Parliament of Bangladesh.[2] Momtaz married Abdur Rashid Sorkar, a teacher of folk songs. She first learned music from her father, Modhu Boyati, then from Matal Razzak Dewan and then from Abddur Rashid Sorkar.

Momtaz has performed concerts across Bangladesh, in Britain and in the United States. She has performed numerous events for the Bangladeshi diaspora communities, in particular in London, where she is very popular among the Baishakhi Mela [3][4]

Early life

She was born in the village Joymontop in Singair, in Manikganj. She spent most of her childhood learning music from her father, Modhu Boyati who was also a singer.,[5] Another one of her teachers and mentors was Matal Razzaque Dewan.

Mumtaz Begum's initiation into music occurred early. She was a child when she accompanied her father, first as an audience member, and soon after a co-performer. The kind of music she performed like, Marfati, Boithoki, and Murshidi can roughly be categorized in the mystic songs genre.[6]


Initially Momtaz released albums entirely financed by herself. After these became popular she was hired by producers to make further recordings, though her payment was usually a very low flat fee and the contract stipulated that this would have to be paid back if these did not sell well. However, her albums tended to sell out almost immediately and soon she found herself quite busy, sometimes recording two albums in a single day. In an interview with the Bangladeshi daily Daily Star she stated: "I used to be handed down the lyrics and the music tracks minutes before and there used to be hardly any time for rehearsal and I had to record it at all in one go". Some of her music albums include Return Ticket, Ashol Boithoki, Murshider Talim, and Ronger Bazar.

Charity work

Momtaz established a 50-bed Momtaz Eye Hospital with support from Orbis International, in her native village Joymontop. The hospital was established in memory of her father, Modhu Boyati, who lost his eyesight as he could not afford a cataract operation due to poverty.[2]


  1. Concert: Concert for Bangladesh held The New Nation, July 19, 2008.
  2. 1 2 A Singer’s Love Of Her Country Is Music To The Eyes Orbis International.
  3. Mela Magic Tower Hamlets Council.
  4. International artists announced for Mela Tower Hamlets Council.
  5. Interview: Faizul Khan Tanim (June 13, 2008) Momtaz, The travelling songbird. (Article first published in New Age's XTRA Magazine's Inaugural Issue - June 13, 2008). Retrieved on 2006-06-07.
  6. Momtaz:The Music Queen The Daily Star (Bangladesh), December 31, 2004.
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