|Birth name||Latif Muhammad
|Also known as||Manak, Kalian Da Baadshah|
November 15, 1951|
Jalal, Bathinda district, East Punjab
|Died||November 30, 2011
Ludhiana, Punjab, India
|Occupations||Singer, Actor, Musician|
|Labels||HMV, T-Series, Goyal music|
|Associated acts||Yudhvir Manak|
Kuldeep Manak (Punjabi: ਕੁਲਦੀਪ ਮਾਣਕ) ( 15 November 1951 - 30 November 2011) was a noted Punjabi singer of Indian Punjab. He was best known for singing a rare genre of Punjabi music, Kali, also known by its plural form kalian or kaliyan. In the late 1970's and early 1980's Manak was generally regarded as the best Punjabi singer in the world. His high pitched strong voice was unique, and instantly recognisable.
Manak was born as on November 1951, to father Nikka Khan, in the village of Jalal in Bathinda district of Indian Punjab. He completed his matriculation from the village school, where he was a keen hockey player. He had an inclination towards singing from an extremely young age and was constantly persuaded by his ustad to graft in his raags and perform on stage. In his early career he became the baadshah of kaliyan. He had lyrics written by famous writers such as Debi Maksoospuri, Dev Threekewala and Jandu Litranwala. His most known tracks were gadeya millade sohne yaar, tere tille ton and dulleya ve tokra. Manak learnt the hazuri raagi methods of gaiki and was in direct competition with surinder shinda. Some compare the late amar Singh chamkila to manak and regard them as legends, despite the continuous debate of who was the best.
Manak's father, Nikka Khan, was a singer himself. Manak had two brothers: Siddqui, a devotional singer, and Rafiq, arrested in 2003 for raping a 6 year old child, who was also briefly noted. Kuldeep Manak's ancestors were the Hazoori Raagis (designated cantors) of Kirtan for Maharaja Hira Singh of Nabha.
Manak learned music under Ustad Khushi Muhammad Qawwal of Firozpur He left Bathinda and went to Ludhiana to pursue his career as a singer and started singing with the duo Harcharan Grewal and Seema. When they came to Delhi, a music company official spotted Manak and asked him to record the song jija akhian na maar ve main kall di kurhi (written by Babu Singh Maan Mararawala) with Seema. In 1968, at the age of 17, he was given the chance to record the song with Seema. His first record features this song along with laung karaa mittra, machhli paunge maape (written by Gurdev Singh Maan). This record was a runaway success.
Later, he started an office at Bathinda along with writer Dilip Singh Sidhu of Kanakwal, but did not stay there for long and returned to Ludhiana. The first folk song sung by Manak was “maa Mirze di boldi”, followed by, “ohne maut nu waajan maarian”.
His first EP, Punjab Dian Lok Gathawan, was released by HMV in 1973 which included the 4 songs Jaimal Phatta, Heer Di Kali (Teri Khatar Heere) (Kali), Raja Rasalu and Dulla Bhatti (Dulleya ve tokra chukayeen aanke), all penned by Hardev Dilgir and music composed by Ram Saran Das. This was followed by another Lok Gathawan album in 1974 including Gorakh da Tilla and Allah Bismillah teri Jugni. In 1976 his first LP, Ik Tara, was released including the kali Tere Tille Ton, Chheti Kar Sarwan Bachcha and Garh Mughlane Dian Naaran and more. Further albums included, 'Sahiban Bani Bharaawan Di' (1978), 'Sahiban Da Tarla' (1979), 'Maa Hundhi Ae Maa' (1980), 'Akhan ch Najaiz Vikdi', 'Ichhran Dhaahan Maardi' (1981), 'Mehroo Posti' (1982) 'Jugni Yaaran Di' (1983), 'Bhul Jaan Waaliye' (1986), 'Singh Soorme' and 'Do Gabhru Punjab De'. Manak's voice was versatile as within one album he sang in many different pitches and tones to reflect a song's meaning. For example in the album 'Sahiban da Tarla' the songs Sahiban da Tarla, Yaari Yaaran di and Teri aan ma Teri Ranjha are all sang with different pitches.
He also acted and sung in many Punjabi films like 'Saidan Jogan' (1979) with the song, sathon naee majhin chaar hundian, 'Lambardaarni' (1980) with yaaran da truck balliye (song), and Balbiro Bhabi (1981) as actor, singer and composer. He also sung a song, "ajj dhee ik raje di", in the 1983 film Sassi Punnu.
In popular culture
On 25 December 2012, a tribute single was released by Aman Hayer under Moviebox Records with the title The Folk King (subtitle Ustaad Kuldeep Manak Ji Tribute) and featured a number of artists interpreting his songs, the track was first played and performed at the Britasia Music Awards 2012 by Angrej Ali who started the song with 'Vaar Banda Bahadur' which Ustaad Kuldeep Manak Ji used to start his shows with, Malkit Singh - 'G.T. Road Te', Sukshinder Shinda - 'Maa Hundi Ae Maa', A.S Kang - 'Chitiyan Sahiba Jatti Ne' Manmohan Waris - 'Sahiba Bani Bharaawa Di', Balwinder Safri - 'Nakhre Bin Sohni' and the final song sang in this tribute was 'Tere Tille Ton' by Jazzy B, a close student of Ustaad Kuldeep Manak Ji.
- Kali (chhand)
- Dev Tharikewala
- Surinder Kaur
- Didar Sandhu
- Asa Singh Mastana
- List of Punjabi singers
- Punjabi folk music
- Singh, Jasmine (December 1, 2012). "A VOICE that was...". Chandigarh. The Tribune. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "KULDEEP MANAK". Sa Re Ga Ma. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "Mela marked by melee". Bathinda. The Tribune. February 27, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "Artistes mourn Kuldeep Manak’s demise". Ludhiana. The Tribune. December 1, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- Pande, Alka (1999). Folk music & musical instruments of Punjab. Mapin. p. 27. ISBN 1-890206-15-6.
- "RIP: Kaliyan da Badshah". Amritsar. The Tribune. December 2, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "Watching Indo-Pak encounter, singer slips into coma". Ludhiana. The Tribune. April 1, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- Rajpura, Ali (2008). Eh Hai Kuldeep Manak. Ludhiana: Unistar Books Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 978-81-7142-528-0.
- "Kuldip Manak – Punjab Diyan Lok Gathawan". www.discogs.com. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- "Sassi Punnu ECLP 8929 LP Vinyl". Buy LP record. ngh.co.in. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- "A song on their lips, a prayer in their hearts". Chandigarh. The Tribune. January 11, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2012.