KUALA LUMPUR: The leader of popular nasyid group Rabbani, Asri Ibrahim, passed away at Pantai Medical Centre at 11am this morning.
Asri, 40, who was also Rabbani's lead singer, collapsed following a heart attack during a press conference for RTM’s programme Syahadah at Angkasapuri.
He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A post-morterm which was initially scheduled to be held at University Hospital to determine the cause of death, however, was not carried out at the request of his widow Haliza Shahadan, 39, who wanted the body to be immediately buried.
Asri, also a renowned motivational speaker in schools and universities, is survived by Haliza and six children -- Mohd Nasimudin, 15, Mohd Fathi, 14, Nur Atikah, 12, Mohd Ilhan, 10, Sufiyah Munawarah, six, dan Hamdi Rabbani, four.
Born on Aug 3, 1969 in Klang, Selangor, Asri was his usual jovial self at a Press conference two days earlier at Singgahsana Hotel in Petaling Jaya to announce the group’s activities at the venue during Ramadan, its 18th year so far.
The programme would have Asri leading the terawih prayers for guests after buka puasa, followed by performances of religious songs by the group.
“I was still in school when I first sang at Hotel Singgahsana, with a different nasyid outfit. I had no prior experience so I turned out at the show clad in sarong and flip flops!” he said with a laugh.
The singer and songwriter of the group, who wrote the popular track Pergi Tak Kembali with KRU, is also known for his commitment to the group.
“I will never sing solo. I will never sing without my group members”, he said, adding that when he received offers to speak at an event, he “will make sure that it doesn’t clash with the group’s performing or rehearsing schedules.”
With his nasyid group Rabbani, formed in 1997, Asri has been at the forefront in popularising nasyid genre in the country by introducing a new sound which incorporates modern beats.
Rabbani has released 17 albums and won numerous awards for its inspirational music and songs that praise the Glory of God. Among others, it won Best Nasyid Group at Berita Harian's Anugerah Bintang Popular from 2001 to 2007.
Among the albums are Pergi Tak Kembali (1999), Intifada (2000), Yalla Beena (2004).
The group is slated to record its latest studio album after Hari Raya. This is to be followed by a tour in Kelantan as part of its successful Konsert Antara Dua Alam concert series.