Jagjit Singh Biography
Biography of Javed Akhtar
Jagjit Singh aka Jagmohan Singh was born on 8 February 1941 in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India (then Bikaner State). He was one of the most famous Ghazal singers in India and is still considered as the ‘Ghazal King’.
He along with his wife gained fame for their contribution to the Indian music industry. His albums which include music from films such as Arth and Saath Saath have been HMV’s largest selling combination album of all time. Singh has not only sung for movies, albums and on concerts, but also composed, sung and recorded songs written by former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Besides music, Singh was also active in philanthropic endeavours and made contributions to ALMA, CRY, Save the Children, Bombay Hospital and St. Mary’s School, Mumbai.
Jagjit Singh was born in a Punjabi Sikh family to Amar Singh and Bachan Kaur. He obtained education from Khalsa High School and Government College in Sri Ganganagar and arts degree from DAV College in Jalandhar. He completed his post-graduate degree in history from Kurukshetra University in Haryana. Singh’s father spotted the talent in him and helped him learn music. Initially, he learned music from Pandit Chaganlal Sharma, who was a visually impaired master of Indian classical music. His next teacher was Ustad Jamaal Khan of Senia Gharana. From Ustaad Jamaa; Khan, Singh learned various styles of Hindustani Classical vocal traditions including Dhrupad, Khayal, Thumri and others. He performed on stage and also composed music during his teenage years.
Singh met Chitra Dutta in 1967. Chitra was already married, but she divorced her husband and tied the knot with Jagjit Singh in 1969. They had a son who was killed in a road accident. After the incident, Singh took a break for some time.
Singh suffered a brain haemorrhage in September 2011 which was then followed by coma, a night before his concert in Mumbai. He passed away in October 2011.
Jagjit Singh started his career in 1965 after moving to Bombay. Initially, he worked as a singer of advertising jingles and later as a playback singer. He worked with his wife Chitra. Their first LP was ‘The Unforgettable’, which made them stars. His song “Baat Niklegi” from this album brought him huge success.
Eventually, Singh became a renowned Ghazal singer. In fact, he is still called the ‘Ghazal King’. He sang many songs and made a successful career. He received numerous awards all through his life. Some of his popular songs are Woh Kaghaz Ki Kasthi, Meri Zindagi Kisi Aur Ki, Koi chaudavi raat ka chaand, Main Bhool Jaau, and many more. He composed songs for the TV serial ‘Mirza Ghalib’.
- The Latest, 1982
- Someone Somewhere, 1 December 1986
- Mirage, 1 February 1996
- Silsilay, 1998
- State Government of Rajasthan posthumously awarded Jagjit Singh the highest civilian award, the Rajasthan Ratna in 2012.
- He received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, by the government of India in 2003.
- He received Sahitya Academy Award, a literary honour in India in 1998. This was awarded to him for popularising the work of Mirza Ghalib.
- He got Sangeet Natak Academy Award.
- Rajasthan government provided him Sahitya Kala Academy Award in 1998.
- He received Ghalib Academy from Delhi Government in 2005
- He was offered Dayawati Modi Award in 1999.
- Madhya Pradesh government offered him Lata Mangeshkar Samman in 1998.
- He received D. Litt. from Kurukshetra University, Haryana in 2003.
- He got Teacher’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
- On his 72nd birthday, Jagjit Singh was honoured by Google India with a doodle on 8 February 2013.
- Bahuroopi, 1966
- Prem Geet, 1981
- Aashiana, 1986
- Nargis, 1992
- Khudai, 1994
- Dushman, 1998
- Sarfarosh, 1999
- Tum Bin, 2001
- Joggers’ Park, 2003, and many more.