Inul Daratista: Indonesia’s most controversial dangdut singer

For a while Inul Daratista was the most talked about person in Indonesia.

Although her name literally means "the girl with the breasts", it was a quite different part of her body that would bring her success.

She came to the attention of the nation with her legendary hip-gyrating dance called “the drill”, titillating most of us, but infuriating the fanatics who claimed that Inul's performances would encourage “lustful acts”.

Hailing from the East Java village of Kejapanan, Gempol, Inul’s transformation to a national star is a true rags to riches story.

Although she began her performing career as a rock singer at the age of 12, she soon switched to dangdut, a beat-happy folk-pop blend of Indian, Arab and Malay music, providing the lower classes a form of entertainment that allowed them to forget about their humdrum lives with its bawdy lyrics and sexually suggestive dancing.

But her time in the spotlight didn’t last long – she was basically a rubbish singer and not even that sexy. The general public soon bored of her forbidden dance, which despite what the fanatics said, was actually far more pneumatic than erotic. Swinging her butt in a 120° arc she was little more than a human piston, shimmering like glitter in her gaudy outfits.

And it even seems that her past performances have come back to haunt her.

Only last week, conservative dangdut legend Rhoma Irama took the opportunity to slag the poor girl off in a parliamentary commission which is deliberating a new bill on pornography.

And the poor girl couldn’t take it. She bawled her eyes out.

But she shouldn’t be too upset over how things have turned out. After all, she’s done pretty well for herself, and now lives in a huge house in the elite Jakarta district of Pondok Indah, a far cry from her humble house in Kejapanan.

So cheer up Inul. And wipe away the tears!

Inul Daratista