M.S. Fernando was born in Mount Lavinia as the eldest son of Laron Fernando and Lilee Gomez. He studied at St.Anthonys College Mt. Lavinia and Christ Church Dehiwala. From the early ages he was keen on music and with his parents blessings he studied music under veteran J.A. Sathyadasan. His debut was a duet with Pushparani Ariyaratne called Malak Kadaa Konday Gasalaa, by the great lyricist Karunaratne Abeysekara. It became a popular song and paved the way to his first own recording of "Sili Siliye Nava Suvandak" which became another success.
Eventually he sang songs for 150 plus films which was seen as a great achievement in his singing career. He was also sought after for minor comedy roles of over 25 films and some teledramas. He won 159 Silver trophies for his Baila performances and earned the title Baila Chakrawarthi. The high point of his career was when he was awarded the Golden Lotus award by the President William Gopallawa in 1973 for the service rendered to Sinhala Cinema. He has held concerts for his fans in the UK, France, Australia, Canada, Singapore and the Middle East.
M.S. died on the 09th April 1994. He was married to Tulin Fernando and had six sons. Susil Fernando, son and Walter Fernando his brother continue to perform M.S.s songs in memory of him.