Remembering Didi Kempot: The Godfather of Broken Hearts

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On Sunday (26/2), Didi Kempot, the king of Javanese campursari music and renowned for his heart-wrenching ballads, was featured on Google Doodle. Although February 26 is not his birth or death anniversary, it commemorates the day he received the Billboard Indonesia Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020 for penning more than 700 songs during his illustrious career.

Didi Kempot was born in Solo, Central Java, on December 31, 1966, into a family of artists, and it was no surprise that he became a musician. His family’s background and support, along with his talent and hard work, propelled him to become one of Indonesia’s most revered musicians, earning him the moniker “Sobat Ambyar” among his loyal fans.

Early in his career, the artist had to make ends meet by busking on the streets, but he soon moved to the capital city in search of a bigger audience. It was then that he found success in the Javanese campursari genre, which fuses traditional and contemporary music.

Here are a few facts about Didi Kempot that may pique your interest:

The Meaning Behind “Kempot”

Not many people know that “Kempot” is an acronym for “Kelompok Pengamen Trotoar,” which means “Street Buskers Group.” It was a fitting name for an artist who began his career playing music on the streets.

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A Family of Artists

Didi Kempot’s father, Ranto Edi Gudel, was a famous ketoprak (traditional Javanese theatre) artist and comedian. He often took Didi Kempot and his sister, Mamiek Prakoso, along to his performances, which inspired them to pursue a career in the arts. Didi’s mother, Umiyati Siti Nurjanah, was also a traditional singer.

A Famous Sibling

Didi Kempot’s older sister, Mamiek Prakoso, followed in their father’s footsteps and became a comedian. She also appeared on Srimulat, a popular comedy show in Indonesia, where she made a name for herself.

Didi Kempot’s music touched the hearts of millions and will continue to do so for generations to come. Though he passed away in 2020, his legacy lives on through his music, and his fans will always remember him as the “Godfather of Broken Hearts.”

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