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Ali Zafar

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Ali Zafar
Ali Zafar at Indian Film Festival 2011.jpg
Ali Zafar at Indian Film Festival, 2011
Background information
Native name علی ظفر
Birth name Ali Mohammad Zafar
Born (1980-05-18) 18 May 1980 (age 35)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Genres Pop, Electronic, Folk, Classical, Sufi rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, composer, actor, painter, model
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard
Years active 2003–present
Labels Universal Records, Coke Studio,[1][2][3] Sony Music, Alif Records, Frank Finn, Fire Records
Website [1]

Ali Zafar (Punjabi, Urdu: علی ظفر‎; born as Ali Mohammad Zafar on 18 May 1980), is a Pakistani music composer, singer-songwriter, painter and actor.[4] He started his singing career with the song Jugnuon Se Bhar Le Aanchal in the film Shararat, directed by Pakistani actress and director Samina Peerzada but made a big mark with his first single Channo from his first album Huqa Pani that sold over five million copies worldwide.[5] The album turned out to be one of the biggest hits ever in Pakistan with Channo topping the charts all the way for a long time.[6][7] He paid tribute to the victims of Peshawar massacre with the song "Urain Ge".[8]

Zafar began his acting career with Bollywood film Tere Bin Laden, which was moderately successful at the box office, and for which he was nominated for Filmfare Best Male Debut Award.[9] In 2011, Zafar appeared as a guest in Yash Raj's Luv Ka The End and received his second commercial success with his next release—the romantic comedy Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. Zafar went on to win Stardust Award for Superstar of Tomorrow – Male. Zafar starred in a number of commercially successful films like London, Paris, New York (2012), Chashme Baddoor (2013) and Total Siyapaa (2014).[10][11][12]

Zafar has won three Lux Style Awards, three Indus Music Awards, three MTV Style Awards and one Stardust Award. In 2012, Zafar was awarded by Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards in India.[13][14] In 2013, Zafar was voted as the "Sexiest Asian Man on the Planet" based on a worldwide poll conducted by the British weekly newspaper Eastern Eye.[15]

Early life and career[edit]

Ali Zafar was born in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan[16] in a Punjabi family. His parents were Mohammad Zafarullah and Kanwal Ameen, both professors at the University of Punjab, Pakistan. He studied at the C.A.A. Public School and Beaconhouse School System where he topped his matriculation exams. He completed his graduation from the Government College of Lahore and the National College of Arts in fine arts. Zafar made his first comic book at the age of eight. Early in his career, he worked as a sketch artist at Pearl Continental Hotel in Lahore.

Music career[edit]

Ali Zafar made his debut as a musician with the album Huqa Pani, released in Pakistan in 2003 and worldwide in 2005. The album was an instant hit, selling over 600,000 copies worldwide and winning several major awards and nominations. It also put him into the league of the most popular artists ever to have come out of Pakistan with a massive fan following locally and internationally. With time he proved to be perhaps one of the most versatile singer in the modern generation with a distinct vocal tone and qualities, specially during his folk and Sufi renditions in the "Coke Studio (Pakistan)", where he surprised his audiences with live renditions of difficult notes with much ease and ranging his singing from pop to folk to semi-classical. His new songs, namely "Allah Hu", "Yaar Dhadhi Ishq" (a cover), "Nahin Ray Nahin" and "Daastan-e-Ishq", won the hearts of millions all over the world once again and earned him a new era of fan following.[citation needed]

Zafar at the premiere of Tere Bin Laden

He won the award for "Best Album" category at the Lux Style Awards in 2004 for his massive hit album Huqa Pani and also the "Best Male Artist" at the 2008 MTV awards.[17] In addition to the album's popularity being reflected in the music stores and by critics, it has been widely claimed that Himesh Reshammiya copied one of the most well-known tracks from the album, "Rangeen", for his song "Dillagi Mein Jo".[18][19] Soon Pritam too copied his track "Channo" as "Chori ki Baatein" in the film Fight Club.

Zafar launched his second album "Masty" nationwide in November 2006. He has since released four videos from the album, titled "Masty", "Sajania", "Dekha" and "Aasmaan", which again went to become a big hit and the audience loved it a lot.[11][12]

He released his third video of the single "Dekha", from his second album, which was the most expensive music video of Pakistan, costing more than ten million rupees. The video was shot in Malaysia, produced by the Lux Company, and had the Pakistani actress-models Reema Khan, Meera, and Amina Haq starring in it. Zafar also won the "Youth Icon" award in the Lux Style Awards 2007, in Malaysia.

Besides being a singer, painter, model and an actor, Zafar also produced and directed his music video "Ek Pal" from his first album Huqa Pani. His song "Dekha" from his album Masty was part of the soundtrack of the American film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which was released on 24 September 2010. He is the fourth Pakistani artist after Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Strings and Atif Aslam to have a song(s) featured in an American film.

On 14 February, Zafar released his third album, which was much different from his earlier works consisting of Sufi semi-classical rendition of folk and Sufi verses fused with modern instruments. It also included renditions from Coke studio and Ghazals from Mirza Ghalib. This time Zafar seemed more mature and thoughtful in his approach to music, revealing a more serious side to his personality and music. Tracks such as the title track "Jhoom", "Jee Dhoondta Hai", "Koi Umeed" and "Jaane-e-Man" had a timeless feel to them and earned him further respect and popularity in the field of serious music listening.[20]

Zafar also became the first of sorts to have rendered his services as an actor, singer, composer, lyricist, writer, arranger, programmer, recordist for his recent film London, Paris, New York. Amongst the popular tracks from the album are the title track "London, Paris, New York", "Voh Dekhnay Mein", "Thehree Si Zindagee" and "Ting Rang". Now Zafar is working on the music of his next venture Total Siyappa, as the music director.

In 2015, Zafar released a single and music video for his new song titled Urainge.[21]

Acting career[edit]

Ali Zafar's first experience in acting was in Pakistani television drama's before becoming one of the most popular singers of this generation in Pakistan. He acted in dramas like Kanch Ke Par and miniseries Kollege Jeans. After becoming a music sensation in Pakistan and beyond, he was offered the role of Sarmad in Khuda Kay Liye, a film by Shoaib Mansoor released in 2007 which he accepted, but was unable to sign due to some personal reasons. The role was then performed by Fawad Afzal Khan.

After few years' hiatus from acting, apart from in his own videos, Ali yet again set a precedent by being the first ever Pakistani star/singer to be featured as a solo main lead in his debut movie, a Bollywood movie namely Tere Bin Laden, directed by Abhishek Sharma which was a success both critically and commercially.[22] Tere Bin Laden released on 16 July 2010 and was a major hit in India for a low budget movie but was not allowed to be released in Pakistan by the film censor board. He got nominated for IIFA Awards, Screen Awards, Zee Cine Awards and Filmfare Awards of 2011 in the Best Male Debut category. He was also the first Pakistani to be called to Indian Film Festival at Australia in March 2011 for his movie screening.

Zafar with Salman Khan in Dubai

Ali Zafar who took up movies as a serious career after his debut film has proved himself once again with his third film (second being a special appearance in another Bollywood film) under Yash Raj Films, banner Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, directed and written by Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by Aditya Chopra. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. Released on 9 September, the film was both critically acclaimed and a commercial success like his first film. Ali's performance was specially praised by the industry.[23] The film also stars Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif.[23]

In 2012, Zafar starred in London, Paris, New York, which also received great critical acclaim as well as impressive overseas revenue, but didn't manage to perform very well at the Indian box office. Apart from acting as male protagonist in films, he is also heavily involved in the music of the films he stars in.

In 2012, he received Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards in a ceremony held in India, for Best New Talent-Male and also got Superstar of tomorrow in Stardust Awards for his performance in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan.[13][14]

His fifth movie was Chashme Baddoor (2013), a romantic adult-comedy film directed by David Dhawan, which was declared a box office super hit, adding another commercial success to Zafar's filmography.

As of the beginning of 2014, Ali was set to star in multiple films, with the first being Total Siyappa, a romantic comedy due 7 March 2014.[24] In the same year he was seen in a rough avatar as Tutu in the movie Kill Dil which released on 14 November 2014.He'll be doing a cameo appearance in Tere Bin Laden 2 (the sequel to Tere Bin Laden).

Currently Zafar is back in Pakistan and is exploring the beautiful side of his country, he'll be producing a movie titled as Deosai[25] which he has written,he'll be seen as the protagonist.

Personal life[edit]

Zafar married his long-time fiancee Ayesha Fazli (paternally related to Indian actor Aamir Khan through her father's cousin's mother) in an Islamic wedding ceremony[26][27] on 28 July 2009 in Lahore, Pakistan. On 6 March 2010, he became a father to a baby boy, whom he named Azaan Zafar.[28] On 23 February 2015, his wife gave birth to their daughter, their second child, in Lahore. The baby girl's name is Alyza Zafar suggested by Azaan Zafar.[29]


Ali Zafar in his concert entitled Dil Jhoom Jhoom on 2014's Valentine,

Zafar performs on the piano at the Lux Style Awards.[30]

Zafar takes to the stage along with Humaima Malick in a highly memorable and exciting performance. [31] He also pays tribute to the great legend of Pakistan Mehdi Hassan. Listen to Mehdi Hassan's greatest Ghazal 'Mujhe Tum Nazar Say' in Ali Zafar's melodious voice.[32] Zafar performed at the Pantaloons Femina Miss India 2012 contest held at Bhavans Ground in Mumbai on March 30, 2012.

Zafar also performed on the 3rd GiMA Awards 2012. Zafar also performed at Police Show events, concerts and also a performance at Temptations Reloaded concert with Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Preity Zinta in Muscat in 2013.

Zafar entertained the audience on the second day of Lifestyle Pakistan Expo here when he danced to Bollywood numbers, and appeared on stage with a dhol in his hands.He walked the ramp at the first ever Lifestyle Pakistan Expo for designer brand ChenOne, and came with a dhol to add zing to the show.A venture between the Pakistani and Indian governments, Lifestyle Pakistan Expo is a four-day event where 100 Pakistani fashion and lifestyle brands are exhibiting their collections at Pragati Maidan here.

In 2013, Zafar was invited in 2013 Cannes Film Festival held at Cannes, France.

In 2014 Ali Zafar performed in Naz Choudhury's Bollywood Showstoppers at The O2 Arena with Sonakshi Sinha, Jacqueline Fernandez, Mika Singh, Shahid Kapoor and Bolly Flex.[33]

In 2015, Zafar will be seen in Coke Studio's season 8, he was seen humming few lines in the preview video of Coke Studio in the song "Sohni Dharti" [34]

After 6 years Zafar returned on Coke Studio Pakistan with the Season 8. Zafar's first song on Coke Studio 8 was 'Rockstar' which was of Blues genre music. This song was composed in 3 minutes.[22] Zafar sported a flapper jacket designed by talented Pakistani designer Ali Xeeshan. Rockstar was just not appreciated by Fans it was even appreciated by politician Imran Khan,[23] Pakistani actress Mahira Khan also enjoyed the song. Across borders Sonu Nigam was the first singer who appreciated Zafar's Rockstar even actor Hrithik Roshan took it to Twitter and praised Zafar.[24] Second song of Zafar in Coke Studio 8 is 'Ae Dil Kissi Ke Yaad Mein' a duet song where talented Sara Haider was singing alongside Zafar. Ae Dil Kissi Ke Yaad Mein is a Jazz genre song considered as a classic, which is fusion of earthy melody with western jazz, it is a rendition. Zafar was seen wearing a tux designed by Ismail Farid for this song.[25] Third and final song by Zafar in Coke Studio 8 is 'Ajj Din Vehre Vich' which is a Punjabi-Sufi genre song, this song released late due to the Hajj Stampede tragic. Lyrics of the song penned by Zafar's uncle Shahnawaz Zaidi and Zafar recites a poem by Ghalib in the middle of the song.


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Role Notes
2010 Tere Bin Laden Ali Hassan Nominated-Filmfare Best Male Debut Award
2011 Luv Ka The End Freddy Kapoor Special appearance in song "Fun Funaa"
2011 Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Luv Agnihotri
2012 London, Paris, New York Nikhil Chopra
2013 Chashme Baddoor Siddharth Kashyap
2014 Total Siyapaa Aman Ali
2014 Marina X Zaheer
2014 Kill Dil Tutu
2015 Tere Bin Laden 2 Films that have not yet been released TBA Cameo
2015 Ahsan Rahim's Next Films that have not yet been released TBA Filming[35][36]
2016 Deosai Films that have not yet been released TBA Pre-production[37]
2016 Abhishek Dogra's Next Films that have not yet been released TBA Pre-production[38][39]


Year Serial Role Channel
2000 Kanch Ke Par Temur PTV Home
2002 Landa Bazar Ramis PTV Home

Songs for films[edit]


Year Film Song Music Director(s) Co-Singer(s)
2010 Tere Bin Laden Bas Ek Soch
I Love Amreeka
Ullu Da Pattha
Welcome To Amreeka
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Solo
Akriti Kakkar
Shankar Mahadevan
2011 Luv Ka The End F.U.N Fun Funna Ram Sampath Solo
2011 Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Madhubala Sohail Sen Shweta Pandit
2012 London, Paris, New York London Paris New York
Voh Dekhnay Mein
Ting Rang
Thehree Si Zindagi
Ali Zafar Sunidhi Chauhan
Aditi Rao Hydari
2013 Chashme Baddoor Early Morning (Remix)
Dhichkyaaon Doom Doom
Andha Ghoda Race Mein Dauda
Sajid-Wajid Solo
Shreya Ghoshal
2014 Total Siyapaa Total Siyapaa
Palat Meri Jaan
Nahi Maloom
Chal Buleya
Ali Zafar Solo
Fariha Pervez
2014 Kill Dil Nakhriley Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Shankar Mahadevan, Mahalakshmi Iyer, Gulzar
2015 Hey Bro DJ Nitz 'N' Sony Sunidhi Chauhan


Year Film Song Music Director(s) Co-singer(s)
2003 Shararat Jugnuon Se Bhar Le Aanchal Wajahat Attray Solo
2011 Love Mein Ghum Love Mein Ghum Waqar Ali Waqar Ali



Release Date Album
21 November 2003 Huqa Pani
1 December 2006 Masty
14 February 2011 Jhoom

Coke Studio (Pakistan)[edit]

Year Song
2008 Allah Hu
2008 Janay Na Koi
2008 Chal Dil Meray
2008 Channo
2008 Rangeen
2009 Yaar Daddi
2009 Nahin Ray Nahin
2015 Sohni Dharti
2015 Rockstar
2015 Ae Dil Kissi Ke Yaad Mein
2015 Ajj Din Vehre Vich


Those For Truth
Ain't No Sunshine (Cover)
Rise For Jazba (Official Pakistan Cricket World Cup 2011 song)
Dunia Hai Dil Walon Ki (Pepsi World Cup 2011 song)
Zindagi Gulzar Hai
Facebook Pe Chalta Hai
Youn Challay Ke Ballay Ballay
Mobilink Har Dil Har Din
Pakistan Idol Anthem
Burka Avenger
Urain Ge (Tribute for APS students)
Hanstay Hanstay (Pakistan's Defense Day)
Ab Khel Ke Dikha (PSL's official anthem)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Category Title Result
Indus Music Awards
2004 Best Debut Artist Huqa Pani Won
2004 Best Album Huqa Pani Won
2005 Best Pop Artist Huqa Pani Won
Lux Style Awards
2004 Best Music Album Huqa Pani Won
2007 Best Music Album Masty Nominated
2007 Youth Icon Award  – Won
2012 Best Album Jhoom Won
Song of the Year Jhoom Nominated
2013 Best Original Soundtrack Zindagi Gulzar Hai Won
Asian Bollywood Music Awards
2005 Best Pop Music Album in Pakistan Huqa Pani Won
MTV Style Awards
2008 Best Male Artist (Unspecified) Won
2008 Most Stylish Artist  – Won
2009 Best Male Singer (Unspecified) Won
Zee Cine Awards
2011 Best Male Debut Tere Bin Laden Nominated
ARY Film Awards
2014 International Icon - Won
Filmfare Awards
2011 Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut Tere Bin Laden Nominated
International Indian Film Academy Awards(IIFA)
2011 Star Debut of the Year-Male Tere Bin Laden Nominated
Star Screen Awards
2011 Most Promising Newcomer-Male Tere Bin Laden Nominated
Style Awards
2011 Song of the Year Jhoom Won
2011 Personality of the Year  – Nominated
Stardust Awards
2011 Superstar of Tomorrow-Male Tere Bin Laden Nominated
2012 New Musical Sensations-Male "Madhubala" from Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Nominated
2012 Superstar of Tomorrow-Male Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Won
Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards
2012 Best New Talent-Male Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Won
Pakistan Media Awards
2012 Best Singer Male[40] Jhoom Nominated
2012 Best Playback Singer Love Mein Ghum Nominated
2014 Best Drama Original Soundtrack Zindagi Gulzar Hai Nominated
2014 Best Singer Male Nominated
Hum Awards
2014 Hum Award for Best Original Soundtrack Zindagi Gulzar Hai Nominated
Karawood Film Festival
2015 Most Versatile Artist Won

Other awards and honours[edit]

  • 18th Sexiest Man Of Asia (Eastern Eye – 2006)
  • 8th Sexiest Man Of Asia (Eastern Eye – 2007)
  • YAN National Youth Forum 2007 – Youth Ambassador
  • 4th Sexiest Man Of Asia (Eastern Eye – 2008)
  • 8th Sexiest Man Of Asia (Eastern Eye – 2009)
  • 4th rank in "51 Most Beautiful and Handsome Men" (fortnightly newspaper)
  • 5th Sexiest Man Of Asia (Eastern Eye – 2010)
  • 19th Most Desirable Man ( – 2010)
  • Indian Poll : Face of the Year – 2010 (More Than 400000 Votes)
  • 5th Sexiest Man Of Asia (Eastern Eye – 2011)
  • 17th Most Desirable Man ( – 2011)
  • 2nd Sexiest Man Of Asia (Eastern Eye – 2012)
  • Paper People's Choice Award: 2nd Hottest Pakistani Men in Media
  • Sexiest Asian Man On The Planet (Eastern Eye - 2013)[41][42]
  • 3rd Sexiest Man Of Asia (Eastern Eye - 2014)
  • Most Stylish Import (HT Style Mumbai - 2015)
  • Most Stylish Import (HT Style Delhi - 2015)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ali Zafar, Rockstar, Coke Studio Season 8, Episode 2". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  2. ^ "Coke Studio 8: Sugar, spice and some things nice". Express Tribune. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  3. ^ "Coke Studio: Will songs from Episode 2 make it to your wedding soundtrack?". Dawn. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  4. ^ "Ali Zafar – Pakistani Fashion Model". Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  5. ^ "Indian Film Festival 2011". Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ali Zafar". 
  7. ^ "Huqa Pani - Ali Zafar Pakistani Songs-Channo,Huqa Pani,Chal Dil Merey". 
  8. ^ "Ali Zafar tugs at heartstrings with 'Urain Ge'". Anum Rehman Chagani. Dawn. 7 Feb 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Saltz, Rachel (5 August 2010). "Tere Bin Laden". Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  10. ^ "Total Siyapaa is a comedy with a cause: Ali Zafar". 
  11. ^ a b "Ali Zafar’s new film ‘Total Siyapaa’ hits Pakistani cinemas". The News International, Pakistan. 9 March 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Agha Majid. "Chashme Baddoor Remake Starring Ali Zafar Releasing In August". Play TV. 
  13. ^ a b "Ali Zafar to receive Indian award". 
  14. ^ a b "Amitabh, Dilip Kumar receive Dadasaheb Phalke Academy award". 
  15. ^ "Ali Zafar Crowned Sexiest Asian Man on the Planet". 
  16. ^ "Girls used to come to me to get their portraits made: Ali Zafar". The Times of India. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "Lux Style Awards 2004 exclusively on Sony Entertainment Television Asia (official press release) (PDF)" (PDF). 25 June 2004. 
  18. ^ "'Dillagi' and 'Marjawan'". 
  19. ^ Aelina (4 August 2005). "Aashiq Banaya Aapne – When Himesh meets Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan". IndiaGlitz. Archived from the original on 14 June 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-29. 
  20. ^ "Review: London Paris New York". 
  21. ^ "Ali Zafar excited for 'Urainge'". The Times of India. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "All you wanted to know about 'Tere Bin Laden'". Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  23. ^ a b Shah, Kunal M (18 August 2010). "Ali Zafar signs Yash Raj film". Times of India. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  24. ^ "Did you know? Ali Zafar’s Aman ki Asha has been renamed Total Siyappa". The Express Tribune. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Ali Zafar and Aamir Khan related". 
  27. ^ Ali Zafar, Aamir Khan related?
  28. ^ "Ali Zafar is now a father!". 9 March 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ "added performances". Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  31. ^ "perform with humaimah". Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  32. ^ "tribute to legend mehdi hassan". Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  33. ^ "We Danced our heart out in Bollywood Showstoppers". Digital Spy. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ Maliha Rehman. "Ali Zafar: Balancing act". 
  36. ^ "Ali Zafar’s fans to participate in Pak’s biggest flashmob". Daily Times. 
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ "Pakistanmedia awards". Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  41. ^ "Ali Zafar beats Hrithik Roshan to become the sexiest Asian man on the planet". 
  42. ^ "Did you know? Ali Zafar first Pakistani to be named Hottest Asian Man". The Express Tribune. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 

External links[edit]