Adnan Sami

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Adnan Sami
Adnan Sami.jpg
Background information
Birth name Adnan Sami Khan
Born London, United Kingdom
Origin Pakistan
Genres Classical, jazz, pop rock
Occupation(s) Singer, musician, composer, actor, television presenter
Instruments Piano
Years active 1986–present[citation needed]

Adnan Sami (Urdu: عدنان سميع‎) is a singer, musician, pianist,[1][2] actor and composer of Pakistani origin[3][4] with a command of Indian and Western classical/semi-classical notes, jazz, rock and pop music. Born to Naureen and Arshad Sami Khan in London, UK,[5] he is a Canadian citizen of Pakistani and Indian ancestry and currently works and lives in Mumbai, India.[6][7][8]

Early life and education[edit]

Adnan Sami in 2011

Born in London, UK, to a Pakistani Pashtun[5] father, Arshad Sami Khan,[9] and an Indian mother, Naureen Khan,[10] Sami was brought up as an aristocrat and educated in the United Kingdom. Arshad went on to become an accomplished Pakistan Air Force fighter pilot and was awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat for his actions in aerial combats during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, later Ashrad served as ambassador to three Scandinavian countries simultaneously; Sweden, Denmark and Norway.[11][12] Sami attended Rugby School in Rugby, West Midlands, UK.[13][14]

As a teenager, Adnan, when performing on the piano at a TV program in Stockholm, was noticed by the US based Keyboard Magazine as being the 'Fastest man on Keyboard in the world & the Keyboard Discovery of the Nineties'.[5] At the age of sixteen, Sami was approached to write a song for famine hit Ethiopia for which he won a special award from UNICEF.[2]

He graduated from King's College London.[15]


Adnan Sami in 2007

Adnan's first single was released in 1986 with an English single in the Middle East which went straight to No.1 position[dubious ] in its first week entry onto the music charts of the region[which?] with a song he wrote and recorded in his voice for the United Nations and UNICEF called "Run for his life". This was followed by three more No. 1s[dubious ], "Talk To Me", "Get Out of My Face!”&“You're My Best Kept Secret".[citation needed]

His first formal album was an Indian classical album on the piano accompanied by tabla maestro Zakir Hussain in 1989 called "The One & Only". He had his first vocal solo album "Raag Time" in 1991. The song from his album "Teri Yaad" was the title track of his first album.

In 1994, he composed music for a film for the first time.[which?] The 1995 Pakistani film, Sargam in which Adnan was the lead actor and well known Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle did the playback.[16] It was also the first time that an Indian playback singer was featured in an album in Pakistan. However, the authorities banned Asha's voice from the soundtrack in the actual film, which disappointed Adnan. He then had to re-record the songs with Hadiqa Kiyani.[16]

In 2000, Asha Bhosle teamed up again with Adnan to release a collection of love songs named Kabhi to Nazar Milao[17] in India. The music was also composed by Adnan. The album became an instant blockbuster[18] and had topped the Indipop charts[19] for the most of 2001 & 2002.[20][21] According to Business Week magazine, the album sold 4 million copies in India alone.[22]

Two songs from the album, Kabhi To Nazar Milao, which featured model Aditi Gowitrikar[23] and Lift Karaa De featuring the popular Indian actor Govinda were very popular at that time.[citation needed] The videos were shot by Anil Mehta who has shot popular Hindi films like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Lagaan.[24] After the success of that album, Magnasound and Adnan released an album named Always Yours which was a remix version of numbers from that album.[clarification needed][25]

He soon became a sensation, which led Hindi filmmaker Boney Kapoor to invite him to give music for his film.[18] This was the beginning for him to compose and sing for Hindi films and even for the top Hindi film producers of the time like Yash Chopra and Subhash Ghai etc. Because of the popularity of his music videos and live performances, he started getting acting offers at the same time.[24][26]

The song, "Tu Sirf Mera Mehboob", from Hindi film, Ajnabee sung by Adnan had become a rage[27] and was declared a superhit by Screen Magazine, which called him the pop personality of the year in 2001.[21]

In 2002, Pepsi Foods made Adnan its brand ambassador for India, a contract which involved hosting a series of live music concerts across cities. Adnan featured in numerous ads for Pepsi products.[28]

According to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, no Pakistani artist has ever managed to gain as much popularity in India as Adnan has.[29] According to an article in the Indian newspaper The Times of India, Adnan is the most successful face in non-film music in India.[24]

His second studio album, "Tera Chehra", which was released in October 2002[30] to critical eulogies even as his first album was still selling.[24] The music videos for this album were shot by Binod Pradhan who has shot the popular Hindi film Devdas, directed by Bela Sehgal.[31] The album features popular Bollywood stars Rani Mukerji in the title track, Amitabh Bachchan in the track "Kabhi Nahi", who also sang the duet with Adnan.[24][30] Actress Mahima Chaudhry was also seen in another song.[31] The title track was written by well known Hindi movie lyricist Sameer.[30] According to the Screen Magazine, it was the only successful pop album of the year[32]

Hindi film Saathiya (2002) brought him the opportunity to work with maestro A. R. Rahman in the form of "Aye Udi Udi", which he was looking forward to. According to Screen Magazine, the song was the highlight of the album.[33] called him the "Reigning King of Indipop" in early 2003 based on the sales of his albums in the past two years.[31]

His most successful albums have been Kabhi To Nazar Milao (with Asha Bhosle) and Tera Chehra,[34] and his music videos usually have had a host of Bollywood stars in them, including Namrata Shirodkar ("Bheegi Bheegi Raat"), Mahima Chaudhry, Raveena Tandon, Rani Mukerji ("Tera Chehra"), Govinda, Fardeen Khan, Amisha Patel ("O Meri Jaan"), Bhumika Chawla ("Maahiya"), Dia Mirza ("Pal Do Pal") and the most famous, Amitabh Bachchan (Kabhi Nahi).[34]

Since 2003, he has sung for a few Tamil movies like Boys, Aaytha Ezhuthu composed by A.R. Rahman. The songs, "Boom Boom" from Boys[35] and "Nenjamellam Kadhal" from Aayitha Ezhuthu, were hits.[citation needed] He also sang for the Tamil and Telugu versions besides the Hindi version of songs from the movie Yuva (2004) whose music was also composed by A. R. Rahman. Besides Rahman, he also worked together with composer Yuvan Shankar Raja, and sung Tamil songs "Oh Intha Kadhal" from Satham Podathey and "OruKal" from Siva Manasula Sakthi, which got very popular and widely noticed.[citation needed] He sang the song "Chanchadi Adi Urang Nee" in the Malayalam movie called Makalkku.[citation needed] He has also sung for a Kannada film. His first Kannada song, "Don't Worry Madabeda" for the film Super Star starring Upendra. He has also worked with music composers Devi Sri Prasad and M. M. Keeravani and sang songs in Telugu films Varsham, Chatrapathi, Shankar Dada MBBS and 100% Love.[citation needed] In 2005, Adnan suffered from lymphoedema and developed an abscess in the knee which caused a breakdown in Adnan's career.[36][37]

In 2006, he took a sabbatical and reportedly lost over 160 kg[38] to make a comeback in April 2007 with the album "Kisi Din".[citation needed] In 2007, he sang the soundtrack "Dil Kya Kare" from the Hindi film Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love and "Noor-e-Khuda" from My Name Is Khan to name a few. He has composed film music for several other Hindi films including Lucky: No Time for Love, Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke, Dhamaal, 1920, Chance Pe Dance, Mumbai Salsa, Khubsoorat, Sadiyaan, Shaurya and few others.[39]

Adnan Sami had written a song for India to cheer the Indian Cricket team during the World Cup Cricket 2003. The video of this song captures the nationalistic spirit of competition depicting Adnan performing with the Indian Cricket Team along with guest appearances from Indian film stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Fardeen Khan and Kareena Kapoor.[citation needed]

In the summer of 2003, Adnan achieved the distinction of becoming the only artiste from the entire Asian region to have sold out Wembley Stadium in London for two nights in a row- a feat which has won him a place in the Limca Book of World Records.[40][41]

In 2010, Adnan received the prestigious "LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD" from the Prime Minister of Pakistan at a ceremony by Pakistan Television.[dubious ]

In 2011, Adnan was bestowed with a very distinguished honour, the "GLORY OF INDIA" Award, by the Government of India. Recently the world famous 'Wonder of the World' the Taj Mahal completed its 350 years of existence. To mark this historic occasion, the Government of India organised a year long festivities which culminated with a once in a life time solo concert performance by Adnan on the final Grand finale night in front of the Taj Mahal.[42]

Adnan hosted the Indian version of the American music game show Don't Forget the Lyrics! called Bol Baby Bol on the Star TV network in 2008.[43] Prior to that in 2005, Adnan was the sole jury for the singing competition program on Channel [V] called "Super Singer".[citation needed] In 2011, Adnan returned as a judge on the singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs,[44]

Personal life[edit]

Adnan Sami on Set

Adnan was first married to actress Zeba Bakhtiar[45] (her second marriage) in 1993 from whom he has a son Azaan Sami Khan.[46] They divorced in 1997.[47]

In 2001, Adnan married Dubai based Arab Sabah Galadari[48] and it was her second marriage as well. This relationship quit after a year-and-a-half.[48] It was reported in the media that Sabah left him because he was obese.[49]

In 2005, Adnan suffered from lymphoedema and developed an abscess in the knee. He was in intensive care, had to undergo a risky surgery and was in bed for three months at Cromwell Hospital in London.[36][37]

In June 2006, Adnan weighed 230 kg (506 lb) and according to him, his doctor said he was giving him just six months to live. By diet, exercise and will-power, Adnan lost 145 kg (319 lb) weight in 16 months.[citation needed]

In 2008, Adnan's wife Sabah returned to Mumbai remarried and began staying with Adnan[50] but the marriage only lasted for a year after which Sabah filed for divorce.

Adnan married for the third time on 29 January 2010, with an Afghan origin woman, Roya Faryabi,[51][52] the daughter of a retired diplomat & Army General. According to media, Adnan first met Roya in India and proposed to her after some time, while Roya says that she always liked Adnan and he is the best match for her.[52]

In October 2013, Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena, the film wing of Raj Thackeray lead Maharashtra Navnirman Sena asked Adnan Sami to leave India on expiry of his visa.[53]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Adnan in Concert

Adnan has won many international awards, including the Nigar Award,[54] the Bolan Academy Award,[54] and the Graduate Award.[30] He was given a special award by UNICEF for the song he wrote for famine-hit Ethiopia as a teenager and a United Nations Peace Medal for a song he wrote and performed for Africa.[30]

A review of his piano solo performance on Channel 4, UK, in Keyboard Magazine acknowledged him as the Keyboard Discovery of The 90s.[30][55]

In 2001, he was awarded the Breakthrough Artist of the Year by MTV.[31][56]

Swedish and British Radio and Television have often referred to him as the fastest keyboard player in the world.[57][58] Adnan has performed for prestigious music festivals to sold-out stadiums of his solo concert tours all over the world in over forty countries. In summer 2003, he became the only Asian artist to have sold out, Wembley Stadium, London, for two consecutive nights, which won him a place in the Limca Book of Records.[40][41]

As a classical concert pianist, Sami has had the honour of giving 'Royal Command' performances before the King of Sweden and King Hussein of Jordan.[55][59]

In 2008, he was presented the "Naushad Music Award" by Andhra Pradesh Department of Culture, in Hyderabad.[60][61]

In 2008 he also won "Best International Act" at the UK Asian Music Awards.[62]

In 2013, Adnan was honoured with the BrandLaureate International Brand Personality award by the President of The BrandLaureate, Dr KK Johan, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[63]


Year Album Songs Co-singers
1990 Live in Karachi 1. "Durga" Zakir Hussain
2. "Folk Tune" Zakir Hussain
3. "Jazz Piece" Zakir Hussain
4. "Bageshri" Zakir Hussain
1990 Ecstasy 1. "Raag Bairagi" Zakir Hussain
2. "Folk Tune from N.W.F.P" Zakir Hussain
3. "Dhun in Mishr Khamaj" Zakir Hussain
4. "Dhun in Pillu" Zakir Hussain
1991 Raag Time 1. "Wahin Kahin Paao Gi"
2. Teri Yaad Aati Hay
3. "Raag Time"
4. "Kahan Bas Gay Ho"
5. "I Can Never"
6. "Feel Your Soul"
7. "Burning for You"
1992 Behta Darya 1. "Durga"
1995 Sargam 1. "Aae Khuda, aae Khuda"
2. "Suhani rutt ayi" Hamid Ali Khan, Hadiqa Kiyani
3. "Pall do pall kay"
4. "Bheega hua mousam"
5. "Chamki kiran" Hamid Ali Khan
6. "Kab sey khili ho" Maharaj Ghulam Hussain Kathak, Hadiqa Kiyani
7. "Kya hay, yeh uljhan" Hadiqa Kiyani
8. "Zara Dholki bajao" Asha Bhosle
9. "Pyar bina jeena nahin" Hadiqa Kiyani
10. "Barse Badal" Hadiqa Kiyani
11. "Woh mujhay yaad" Hadiqa Kiyani
1997 Badaltey Mausam 1. "Badaltay Mausam"
2. "Kabhi to Nazar Milao" Asha Bhosle
3. "Bahoon Kay Gheray"
4. "Pehli Wari"
5. "Hum Phir Milengay"
6. "Dil to Mera"
7. "Koi Rehta Hai"
8. "Aao Na"
9. "Nakhra Us Ka"
2000 Always Yours 1. "Bheega Mausam" Asha Bhosle
2."Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein"
3. "Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein(Unplugged)"
4. "Lift Karadey" Ft.Govinda (actor)
5. "Mehndi Masala" Asha Bhosle
6. "Pyar Bina" Asha Bhosle
2002 Tera Chehra 1. "Kabhi Nahin" Ft.Amitabh Bachchan
2. "Meri Yaad"
3. "Nain Se Nain" Ft. Raveena Tandon
4. "Roothey Hue" Ft. Aarti Chhabria
5. "Sanson Mein"
6. "Tera Chehra" Ft. Rani Mukherjee
7. "Teri Baahon Mein" Ft. Namrata Shirodkar
8. "Tera Bina" Ft. Mahima Chaudhry (actress)
2003 Kabhi To Nazar Milao 1. "Kabhi To Nazar Milao" Asha Bhosle
2. "Pyar Hai" Asha Bhosle
3. "Dholki" Asha Bhosle
2004 Teri Kasam 1. "Kasam" Ft. Amisha Patel
2. "Mahiya" Ft. Bhoomika Chawla
3. "Kabhi Aisa Lage" Ft. Shonali Nagrani
4. "Pal Do Pal" Ft. Dia Mirza
5. "Chand Nikla"
6. "Tauba!"
7. "Poocho..."
8. "Best Friend!"
2007 Kisi Din 1.Asalaam Walekum
3.Baarish (Unplugged)
4."Dekho Jaaneman"
6."Kisi Din"
7."Kisi Din(Remix)"
8."Koi Rehta Hai"
10."Teri Yaad"
11."Teri Yaad(Remix)"
12."Best Friend"
2009 Ek Ladki Deewani Si 1. "Chalo"
2. "Dekha Tujhe" Tulsi Kumar
3. "Ek Ladki"
4. "Laila"
5. "Let's Go Mumbai City" Jermaine Jackson
6. "Let's Go Mumbai City (Remix)"
7. "Mehfooz"
8. "Sharmili"
9. "Tu Salaamat Rahe"
2013 Press Play 1. "Ali Ali"
2. "Roya"
3. "Mere Baap"
4. "Kudi Tight"
5. "Mein Tere Saath Hun"
6. "Karun Na Yaad"
7. "Baba"
8. "Dua De"
9. "Ali Ali (Remix)"
10. "Roya (Remix)"
11. "The Azaan (Call To Prayer)"

Badaltay Mausam (1997) was re-released in India as Kabhi To Nazar Milao (2000).


As an actor[edit]

As a playback singer[edit]

Year Film Songs Co-singers
1995 Sargam Aae Khuda, Aae Khuda, Jis Nay Ki Justuju
Suhani Rutt Ayi, Mann Jhoomay Hamid Ali Khan, Hadiqa Kiyani
Pall Do Pall Kay Hayn Andheray
Bheega Hua Mousam Pyara
Chamki Kiran, Khilay Purwa Hamid Ali Khan
Kab Sey Khili Ho (Classic music vs Pop music) Maharaj Ghulam Hussain Kathak, Hadiqa
Kya Hay, Yeh Uljhan Kya Hay...? Hadiqa Kiyani
Zara Dholki Bajao Gorio Asha Bhosle
Pyar Bina Jeena Nahin Jeena Hadiqa Kiyani
Barse Badal, Dil Mein Halchal Hadiqa Kiyani
2001 Ajnabee Tu Sirf Mera Mehboob Sunidhi Chauhan
Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar Kuch Pyar Bhi Kar
Deewaanapan Nach Nach Nach Falguni Pathak, Sukhwinder Singh
2002 Junoon Aankhon Ne Kiya Ishara – (Duet) Kavita Subramaniam
Aankhon Ne Kiya Ishara – (Male)
Super Star (Kannada) Bittaku Bittaku Shweta Malviya
Ab Ke Baras Mujhe Rab Se Pyaar Anuradha Sriram
Awara Paagal Deewana Ya Habibi Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan
Chor Machaaye Shor Ishqan Ishqan – Karsan Sargathiya Sunidhi Chauhan
Shakti: The Power Dil Ne Pukara Alka Yagnik, Ravindre Sathe, Prakash
Hum Tum Mile
Pyaasa Tere Pyaar Ka Chhaya Sunidhi Chauhan
Annarth Bewafa Bar Mein Pinky, Preeti Jhangiani
Kehtaa Hai Dil Baar Baar Indian Se Aaia
Karz: The Burden of Truth Aashiqui Ban Ke Kavita Subramaniam
Saathiya Aye Udi Udi Udi
2003 Love at Times Square Aaja Aaja
Raat Hai Jawan
Calcutta Mail Kahan Pe Meri Jaan Pamela Jain
'Chori Chori' Ruthe Yaar Nu Sabri Brothers
Koi... Mil Gaya Jadoo Jadoo Alka Yagnik
Boys Boom Boom Sadhana Sargam
Joggers' Park Ishq Hota Nahin Sabke Liye Zameer Kazmi
Janasheen Nashe Nashe Mein Yaar Sunidhi Chauhan
Sssshhh... Dheere Dheere Hua Alka Yagnik
2004 Plan Kaise Kaise Sunidhi Chauhan
Tum – A Dangerous Obsession Kyun Mera Dil Tujhko Chaahe
Muskaan Yaad Aayee
Yuva Baadal Alka Yagnik
Aaytha Ezhuthu (Tamil) Nenjam Ellam Sujatha Mohan
Chot Aaj Isko, Kal Tere Ko Pani Re Pani Sunidhi Chauhan
Shankar Dada MBBS (Telugu) Ye Jilla Kalpana
Naach Ishq Da Tadka Sonu Kakkar
Aitraaz Gela Gela Gela Sunidhi Chauhan
Sullan (Tamil) Kilu Kiluppana Premji Amaran, Pop Shalini
Varsham (Telugu) Nizam Pori Suneeta Rao
2005 Sehar Palken Jhukaao Na Alka Yagnik
Page 3 Mere Wajood
Jurm Nazrein Teri Nazrein
Lucky: No Time for Love Shayad Yahi To Pyar Hai Lata Mangeshkar
Sun Zara
Waqt: The Race Against Time Apne Jahanke Sonu Nigam
Koi Mere Dil Mein Hai Bahon Mein Nahin Rehna Asha Bhosle
Garam Masala Kiss Me Baby
Mahanandi (Telugu) Katthilaanti Ammayi Kamalakar, Sujatha Mohan
Makalkku (Malayalam) Chanjadiyaadi
2006 Rehguzar Allah Hu
Taxi No. 9211 Meter Down
Meter Down (Rock N Roll Mix) Guru Sharma (Remix)
Kachchi Sadak Khwaja Mere Khwaja
Khosla Ka Ghosla Sayane Hai Janaab
Ab Kya Karenge Bhaiya
Jaan-E-Mann Udh Jaana ? Kunal Ganjawala, Sunidhi Chauhan
Udh Jaana ? – Club Mix Kunal Ganjawala, Sunidhi Chauhan
2007 Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love Dil Kya Kare
Soundarya (Kannada) Sneha Preethi
'Yogi' (Telugu) Gana Gana Gana Sudha
Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule (Telugu) Cheli Chamaku Anushka Manchanda, Swetha
Life in a... Metro Baatein Kuch Ankahein Si
Shankar Dada Zindabad (Telugu) Bhoogolamantha Gopika Poornima
Darling Saathiya Tulsi Kumar
Saathiya (Remix) Tulsi Kumar
Dhamaal Chal Na Che Shor Machlein Shaan
Dekho Dekho Dil Ye Bole Shaan
Miss India Martee Mujhpe Amit Kumar
Satham Podathey (Tamil) O Indha Kaadhal Yuvan Shankar Raja
No Smoking Jab Bhi Ciggaret (Jazz)
Taare Zameen Par Mera Jahan Auriel Cordo, Ananya Wadkar
Return of Hanuman Blackhole
2008 Shaurya Dheere Dheere Sunidhi Chauhan
Dheemaku (Kannada) Suryaane
'Superstar' Don't I Love Or Do I Love U Sunidhi Chauhan
U Me Aur Hum Jee Le Shreya Ghoshal
Phatte Sunidhi Chauhan
Dil Dhakda Hai Shreya Ghoshal
Tahaan Jee Lo
Khushboo Kyon Hai Mujhe Lagta
Tum Jo Mile Humko
Kyon Hai Mujhe Lagta – (Remix)
Money Hai Toh Honey Hai Awaara Dil
Kidnap Haan Ji
Gumnaam – The Mystery Ishq Ne Kitna Shreya Ghoshal
2009 Jayeebhava (Telugu) Zindhagi Andriya
Siva Manasula Sakthi (Tamil) Oru Kal
2010 Dulha Mil Gaya Akela Dil, Akela Dil (Remix) Anushka Manchanda
My Name Is Khan Noor E Khuda Tu Kaha Chhupa Hai Shreya Ghoshal
Click Click Click Click Click Shamir Tandon
Sadiyaan Taron Bhari Hai Ye Raat Sajaan Sunidhi Chauhan
Ek Second... Jo Zindagi Badal De? Hota Hai Har Faisala Ek Second Mein
Hota Hai Har Faisala Ek Second Mein – (Remix)
Chikku Bukku (Tamil) Vizhi Oru Paadhi Sujatha Mohan
2011 100% Love (Telugu) Infatuation
Oosaravelli (Telugu) Nenante
2012 'Ishq' (Telugu) Oh Priya Priya Nithya Menen
Julai (Telugu) Oh Madhu
'Devudu Chesina Manushulu' (Telugu) Nuvvantey Chala
Dhenikaina Ready (Telugu) Ninnu Choodakunda
Rush O Re Khuda Javed Basheer
2013 3G Bulbulliya
Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde(Telugu) Neeve neeve
2014 Veeram (Tamil) Thangame Thangame Priyadharshini
Oka Laila Kosam (Telugu) O Cheli Nuvve Naa Cheli
Kill Dil (Hindi) Sweeta

As a music director and composer[edit]


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