Pankaj Udhas at Westin Hotel New Year Bash
|Born||Jetpur, Gujarat, India|
Pankaj Udhas is an Indian singer, in the Indian music industry, along with other musicians like Jagjit Singh and Talat Aziz, with bringing the Ghazal style to the realm of popular music. Udhas rose to fame for singing in the 1986 film Naam, in which his song "Chitthi Aayee Hai" became an instant hit. Following that, he has also performed as a playback singer for numerous films. He has recorded many albums since then and tours the world as an accomplished ghazal singer. In 2006, Pankaj Udhas was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award.
Pankaj Udhas was born in Jetpur near Rajkot, Gujarat in a Gujarati family and is the youngest of three brothers. He hails from Charakhdi, a small village near Rajkot in Gujarat. His parents are Keshubhai Udhas and Jituben Udhas. His eldest brother Manhar Udhas achieved some success as a Hindi playback singer in Bollywood films. His second elder brother Nirmal Udhas is also a well-known Ghazal Singer and was the first of the three brothers to start singing in the family. He had studied in Sir BPTI Bhavanagar. His family moved to Mumbai and Pankaj attended St. Xavier's College in Mumbai.
Pankaj Udhas' older brother, Manhar, was a stage performer and this aided Pankaj in his introduction to musical performance. His first stage performance was during the Sino-Indian War, when he sang "Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo" and was given Rs. 51 by an audience member as a reward.
Four years later,[when?] he joined the Sangeet Natya Academy in Rajkot and learned the nuances of playing the tabla. After that, he pursued a Bachelor of Science degree at Wilson College, and St Xavier's college Mumbai and started training in Indian classical vocal under the tutelage of Master Navrang. Udhas's first song was in film Kamna a solo song composed by Usha Khanna and written by Naqsh Lailpuri the film was a flop but his rendition was very much appreciated. Subsequently, Udhas developed an interest in ghazals and learned Urdu to try to pursue a career as a ghazal singer. He spent ten months in Canada and the US doing ghazal concerts and returned to India with renewed vigour and confidence. His first ghazal album, Aahat, was released in 1980. From this, he began to have success and, as of 2011 he has released more than fifty albums and hundreds of compilation albums. In 1986, Udhas received another opportunity to perform in film, in the film Naam, which brought him fame. In 1990, he sang the melodious duet "Mahiya Teri Kasam" with Lata Mangeshkar, for the movie Ghayal. This song achieved immense popularity. In 1994, Udhas sang the notable song, "Na Kajre Ki Dhar", from the film Mohra. He continued working as a playback singer, making some on-screen appearances in films such as Saajan, Yeh Dillagi, Naam and Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayee. His album Shagufta launched by Music India in December 1987 was the first to be released on compact disc in India. Later, Udhas started a talent hunt television program called Aadab Aarz Hai on Sony Entertainment Television. Udhas will make his acting debut in a Marathi movie. The film is titled 'Thoda Tujha Thoda Majha' and was launched recently in Pune. Pankaj would be working with Anupam Kher, Varsha Usgaonkar and Ajinkya Deo in this Marathi movie. Actor John Abraham calls Udhas his mentor
Pankaj Udhas is married to Farida. They have two daughters, Nayaab and Reva. .
- 2006 - Pankaj Udhas Awarded Padmashree for completing his Silver Jubilee in Gazal singing career.
- 2006 - Awarded the prestigious "Kalakar" award at Kolkata for "Hasrat" as "Best Ghazal album of 2005".
- 2004 - Special Felicitation at the Wembley Conference Center, London for Completing 20 Years of Performance at the Prestigious Venue.
- 2003 - MTV Immies Award for the successful album 'In Search of Meer'.
- 2003 - Special Achievement Award at the Bollywood Music Award, New York for Popularizing Ghazals Across the Globe.
- 2003 - Dadabhai Naoroji Millennium Award conferred by the Dadabhai Naoroji International Society for Contribution to Ghazal and the Music Industry.
- 2002 - Award for Excellence in Music Field presented by Sahyog Foundation at Mumbai.
- 2002 - Honored by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.
- 2001 - Vocational Recognition Award for Outstanding Performance as a Ghazal singer presented by Rotary Club of Mumbai Downtown.
- 1999 - Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, USA Award for extraordinary services to Indian music, especially promotion of ghazals in India and abroad. Presented at the Festival of Ghazals held in New York.
- 1998 - Indian Arts Awards Gala presented by the Mayor of the City of Jersey City.
- 1998 - Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award presented by the American Academy of Artists at Atlantic City.
- 1996 - Indira Gandhi Priyadarshani Award for Outstanding Services, Achievement and Contribution to Music.
- 1994 - Honorary Citizenship of Lubbock Texas, USA.
- 1994 - Radio Lotus Award for Outstanding Achievement and for the many songs featuring on the official hit parade of the radio. Presented by Radio Lotus, South Africa at the University of Durban.
- 1993 - Giants International Award for extraordinary efforts to achieve the highest standards in the field of music thereby motivating the entire community to pursue excellence.
- 1990 - Outstanding Young Persons' Award (1989–90) for positive leadership and distinguish services rendered to the nation. Presented by the Indian Junior Chambers.
- 1985 - K L Saigal Award for being the Best Ghazal Singer of the Year.
Albums by Pankaj Udhas
- Aahat (1980)
- Pankaj Udhas Live at Albert Hall
- Teen Mausam
- Woh Ladki Yaad Aati Hai
- Stolen Moments
- Best of Pankaj Udhas Vol-1,2
- Pankaj Udas 'Life Story' Vol-1,2
- Pankaj Udhas Vol-1,2,3,4
- Endless Love
- Rajuat (Gujarati)
- Baisakhi (Punjabi)
- Kabhi Ansoo Kabhi Khushboo Kabhi Naghuma
- In Search of Meer (2003)
- Bhalobasha (Bengali)
- Yaara - Music by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
- Shabad - Music by Vaibhav Saxena and Gunjan Jha
- Shaayar (2010)
- Barbad Mohabbat
- "Padma Shri Awardees". Retrieved 19 Dec 2011.
- "Life Sketch". 2004-09-03. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
- Limca Book of Records 1990.(Bombay, Bisleri:1990)
- "Tribuneindia... Film and TV". Mukesh Khosala. TribuneIndia.
- "Pankaj Udhas to make his acting debut soon". The Times of India. The Times of India.
- "John Abraham calls Pankaj Udhas his mentor". IANS. NDTV. 27 October 2012.
- "Udhas launches his music album". Times of India. 2010-08-12. Retrieved 19 Dec 2011.