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Sonu Nigam Biography

Sonu Nigam: Popular and Versatile Singer

Sonu Nigam is an established playback singer, composer, live performer, host, and actor of Bollywood and known for his distinct style and versatile voice. He has recorded Romantic, Rock, Sad, Devotional, Ghazal and Patriotic songs. He has released several Buddhist albums. He predominantly sings in Hindi and Kannada and has also sung for several Indi-pop albums. He has also sung in many other languages such as: Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Chattisgarhi, English, Gujarati, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telegu, Tulu and Urdu till date.

Sonu was born to Agam Kumar Nigam from Agra and Shobha Nigam from Garhwal on July 30, 1973 in Faridabad, Haryana and also has a sister Teesha Nigam. He shifted to Delhi with his family when he was quite young. He is one of the highest paid Indian singers and is often regarded as a “Modern Rafi” and the “Lord of Chords”.

While studying at J.D. Tytler School, he inherited the talent of singing from his singer father Agam Kumar, and began accompanying his father on his singing appearances at weddings and parties. At the age of 18, he moved to Mumbai with his father to begin his Bollywood singing career. There, he was trained by Hindustani classical singer Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. He was given an opportunity to sing by Gulshan Kumar of T-Series, one of the major Indian recording companies. He married Madhurima Mishra in Kolkata on February 15, 2002 and has a son named Neevan.

Sonu Nigam’s career as a singer started when he was four with his singing covers of songs by ”Mohammad Rafi”. As a playback singer his debut film was Janam which was not released officially. His next break as a playback singer was in Gulshan Kumar’s film Aaja Meri Jaan in the song “O Aasman Wale”, followed by the released his first album “Rafi Ki Yaadein” in 1992. He has sung in movies such as Muqabla, Meheraban, Shabnam, Aag, Khuddar, Hulchul, Stuntman, Ramjaane, Gaddar etc. He began hosting the TV show, Sa Re Ga Ma in 1995 and sang “Accha Sila Diya Tune” for Bewafa Sanam (1996), which brought him great success. A few popular songs of Sonu Nigam which shot him to fame are “Sandese Aate Hain” which was composed by Anu Mallik from Border (1997), and “Yeh Dil, Deewana” composed by Nadeem-Shravan in Pardes (1997) which took him out from his stereotyped image of singing. One of his most selling and celebrated albums till date, Deewana, with music by Sajid-Wajid, was released by T-Series in 1999. “Kal Ho Naa Ho” in Kal Ho Naa Ho (2004), “Saathiya” in Saathiya,”Suraj Hua Maddham” in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, “Tanhayee” in Dil Chahta Hai are some of his chartbusting songs. He did playback singing for innumerable Hindi movies such as Kal Ho Naa Ho and Agneepath and many more.

He composed the title track of the film Singh Saab The Great in 2013 and has also composed music for other films including: Sooper Se Ooper and Jal, in collaboration with percussionist Bickram Ghosh in the same year.

He contributed to the lyrics of several songs and directed the music for his album Chanda Ki Doli.

Nigam released a song as a tribute to Jackson which was included on the tribute album The Beat of Our Hearts after the death of Michael Jackson.

He was ranked the Number 1 artist on the US Billboard Uncharted charts twice in September and October 2013.

Awards won by Sonu Nigam:

  • Swaralaya Yesudas Award, for his outstanding performance in Music (2005)
  • MTV Immies – Best Pop Album, for his album “Chanda Ki Doli” (2005)
  • Star Screen Award Best Male Playback, for the song “Dheere Jalna”, from the film “Paheli” (2005)
  • National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer, for the song “Kal Ho Naa Ho”, from the film Kal Ho Naa Ho (2004)
  • IIFA Best Male Playback Award, for the song “Kal Ho Naa Ho”, from the film Kal Ho Naa(2004)
  • Filmfare Best Male Playback Award, for the song “Kal Ho Naa Ho”, from the film Kal Ho Naa Ho”(2003)
  • Zee Cine Award Best Male Playback Singer, for the song “Saathiya”, from the film “Saathiya” (2003)
  • Filmfare Best Male Playback Award, for the song “Saathiya”, from the film Saathiya. (2002)
  • Zee Cine Award Best Playback Singer- Male, for the song “Suraj Hua Maddham”, from the film “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” (2002)
  • Zee Cine Award Best Male Playback Singer, for the song “Sandese Aate Hai”, from the film “Border” (1998)

Sonu Nigam has also sung for popular private pop albums like “Mausam”, “Sapnay Ki Baat”, “Kismat”, “Deewana”, “Jaan”, “Yaad” and “Chanda ki Doli”. He has even tried his luck in the field of acting and acted in movies like Jaani Dushman, Kaash Aap Hamare Hote, and Love in Nepal. He hosted a musical show Sa Re Ga Ma on Zee TV from 1995 until 1999 and became a household name. He returned on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs International as a judge with Suresh Wadkar in October 2007. Nigam was a celebrity judge on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mega Challenge grand finale on 12 December 2009 which became immensely popular. He also hosted Kisme Kitna Hai Dum in 2002 on Star Plus and has been a judge for the talent hunt program Indian Idol on Sony TV season 1 ,2, 3 and 4 as a celebrity judge. Sonu Nigam has even started hosting a radio programme on Radiocity 91.1 FM called Life Ki Dhun, in which he interviews legendary figures of Bollywood. He appeared as a celebrity judge on Amul STAR Voice of India in Season 1, Season 2 and on the grand finale of music reality show Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star on 12 July 2008. Nigam was a judge/mentor on Chhote Ustaad – Do Deshon Ki Ek Awaaz with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, and also on the first season of X Factor (India) along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Shreya Ghoshal. In 2015, he appeared on “The Anupam Kher Show” sharing his life experiences. He has been also one of the three judges of Indian Idol 2016-17. In September 2015, Nigam recorded a song with the music director Khayyam for the upcoming project titled Gulam Bandhu.