‘Idol’ hands out new aud record

World Brief

NEW DELHI — A young slum-dweller who grew up singing on trains to support his sick mother has won Bangladesh’s first music “Idol” competition, netting $15,000 plus a new car.

“Tomakey kujse Bangladesh” (Bangladesh Looks for You), based on “American Idol,” attracted 40,000 entrants to a contest staged over seven months by commercial net NTV.

Nolok Babu, now 20, began singing in public after his father walked out on the family when he was 9. He burst into tears when he was declared the winner Dec. 22.

Babu pulled in 775,000 text-message votes — double the number received by his two closest competitors, full-time singer Rajiv and farmer’s daughter Beauty.

NTV, which aired the final live, said at least 10 million people tuned in, making it Bangladesh’s highest-rated TV show ever.

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