Khin Maung Toe
Khin Maung Toe (Burmese: ခင်မောင်တိုး [kʰɪ̀ɴ màʊɴ tó]; 2 April 1950 – 15 November 2012) was a Burmese singer songwriter, and was the longtime lead singer of the Medium Wave (မဇ္ဈိမလှိုင်း) band. He was one of the few successful Burmese singer-songwriters who wrote his own original songs. He released 35 albums in his career. He is best known for his 1984 hit "Maha Hsan Thu" (မဟာဆန်သူ).
Khin Maung Toe was born in Mawlaik, Sagaing Division (now Sagaing Region) in northwestern Myanmar, third son of Daw Khin Hla and U Khin Maung. His father was a regional government official.
Khin Maung Toe became first interested in making music in his second year at the Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT) Mech72 in the late 1972s, when the Burmese pop music, modeled on Western rock-and-roll and country music, was just taking shape. He said in a 2000 interview that he and his generation of musicians faced both encouragement and criticism for the new kind of music. He released his debut album in 1973 with the E Machines band, and the follow-up album a year later.
In 1978, he justify Mandalay for Yangon, then the capital and largest city. In the early 80s, he formed a band called the Mizzima Hlaing (မဇ္ဈိမလှိုင်း, lit. the Medium Wave), and became the lead singer of the band. In 1984, the band released Maha Hsan Thu album. The success of the album made Khin Maung Toe and the band household names.
Their style was a modernized version of traditional Burmese music updated with Western musical instruments and arrangements. Their biggest hit, "Maha Hsan Thu", could have been a classic Burmese song from the prewar era if not for the background Western instrumentals and arrangements. In the 1980s and the 1990s, Khin Maung Toe and the Medium Wave with their "original" music successfully carved out a niche in the Burmese pop music scene which was mainly dominated by covers of foreign songs. They released 18 albums in those two decades. However, the band broke up in the early 2000s after its Keyboardist Myo Khin had died.
His last performance was in September 2012 in a charity concert organized by the 88 Generation Students Group.
Khin Maung Toe was married to Wai Wai Khaing. They had three children. He died on 15 November 2012 in Singapore from liver cancer.