Malik at the Colors TV annual bash.
Anwar Sardar Malik
2 November 1960
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Other names||Annu Malik (1978–1992)|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, composer, music director, music arranger|
Anwar Sardar Malik (born 2 November 1960) is an Indian music director and singer, best known by the stage name Anu Malik. He is an Indian National Award and Filmfare Award winning music director, who primarily composes music for the Hindi film industry. He is the son of Sardar Malik. Anu Malik made his debut as a music composer in 1977 with the film Hunterwali 77. He is also the only music director in Bollywood to win a Filmfare Special Award, for the movie Refugee (2000).
As a music director, he has composed music for various genres of films, and has created several commercially successful songs for the Hindi (Bollywood) film music industry. Malik is known for the use of the tabla in his songs, including "Taal Pe Jab"' and "Mere Humsafar" from the film Refugee, "Tumse Milke Dilka Jo Haal" from Main Hoon Na, "Eli Re Eli" from Yaadein and "Baazigar O Baazigar" from the film Baazigar. Malik's song "Chamma Chamma" from China Gate was used in the Hollywood film Moulin Rouge! starring Nicole Kidman.
Malik was a judge on Indian Idol from its first season in 2004 until 2018 when he left after sexual harassment allegations. He returned as a judge in 2019 but left again after three weeks due to media response.
1977–1992: Early years and struggle phase
Malik began his career as a music director with Hunterwali 77 in 1977 with the stage name Annu Malik. The film was a failure at the box office and the soundtrack went unnoticed. It marked the beginning of his lengthy association with Asha Bhosle, who recorded two songs for the soundtrack. He had to struggle to find work during his early career and his subsequent soundtracks for films Poonam (1981), Aapas Ki Baat (1981), Mangal Pandey (1982) and Ek Jaan Hai Hum (1983) went unnoticed and the films were box office failures. He gained his first exposure in 1984 with Aasmaan which featured catchy tracks such as "Banke Nazar Dil Ki Zubaan" rendered by Kishore Kumar and "Time Bomb" rendered by Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar, which received critical acclaim. His next soundtrack for the film Sohni Mahiwal released later that year was a huge success and earned him his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director.
Malik began getting more recognition and more work after his success in 1984 as he got more soundtracks throughout the mid-1980s but was unable to find a footing in Bollywood due to the rule of R.D. Burman, Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Malik introduced Mohammad Aziz in Mard and Aziz frequently collaborated with Malik in his various soundtracks. During this phase, his song "Apno Me Mai Begana" from Begaana became a hit and gained a cult following. In 1987, Malik began playback singing while recording a song "Julie Julie" for Jeete Hain Shaan Se when Kishore Kumar did not show up for recording the song. Kumar's son Amit Kumar was then called on for the song but he did not arrive as well and then the film's lead actor Mithun Chakraborty recommended Malik to sing the song. He recorded two more songs for the soundtrack, "Salaam Seth Salaam Seth" and "Rab Roothe Roothe". This soundtrack also marked the first time that he collaborated with Kumar Sanu to record a version of "Julie Julie" with Kavita Krishnamurthy which was not included in the film. However, it would lead to several collaborations with Sanu in the future. "Julie Julie" became a huge hit and the film emerged as a major success at the box office.
He had many soundtracks throughout the following years without much success. He earned acclaim for his music in Awaargi (1990). While initially recording music under the typical 1970s and 1980s style, Malik switched to his trademark music style with the soundtrack of Maa with the songs "Maa Hi Mandir" by Mohammad Aziz and "Aaine Ke Sau Tukde" by Kumar Sanu. The latter song emerged as a success. Nadeem-Shravan became the top music director duo of Bollywood during this time and it allowed new music directors to gain more prominence during the early 1990s. Malik had more hit songs such as "Dil Diwane Ka Dola Dildaar Ke Liye" from Tahalka (1992) and "Is Pyar Se Meri Taraf Na Dekho" from Chamatkar (1992). It was during this era that his name was modified to Anu Malik.
1993–2004: Domination of Bollywood music
The year 1993 marked a turning point in Malik's career as it was the most successful year of his career upto that point. His first release that year was Phool Aur Angaar which was a huge success. Malik received his first taste of success with Mahesh Bhatt's films Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee and Sir. His final release of that year was Baazigar which was a huge success with the songs "Baazigar O Baazigar", "Kitabein Bahut Si", "Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata", "Aye Mere Humsafar" and most notably "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein", for which Malik rapped a few lines. It sold 10 million units and became the year's best selling soundtrack for Bollywood. It also brought Malik to the limelight and established him as one of the top music directors of Bollywood. Malik won his first Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for Baazigar.
Malik would join Nadeem-Shravan and Jatin-Lalit as one of Bollywood's top music directors throughout the 1990s with popular and successful soundtracks such as Khuddar (1994), Imtihaan (1994), Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1994), Vijaypath (1994), Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994), Naajayaz (1995), The Gambler (1995), Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995), Chaahat (1996), Diljale (1996), Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996), Daraar (1996), Krishna (1996), Virasat (1997), Judwaa (1997), Border (1997), Ishq (1997), Ankhon Mein Tum Ho (1997), China Gate (1998), Soldier (1998), Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain (1999), Jaanam Samjha Karo (1999), Biwi No.1 (1999), Haseena Maan Jaayegi (1999) and Baadshah (1999). He received further nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Border, Soldier, Biwi No.1 and Haseena Maan Jaayegi during the decade.
Aside from composing, Malik lent his voice for his compositions on various occasions such as "Maari Gayi" from Jaanam (1992), "My Adorable Darling" and the rapping portion of "Main Khiladi Tu Anari" from Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994) and "Oonchi Hai Building" and "East or West" from Judwaa (1997). He also released several albums in the Indipop genre which he sang by himself including Tera Chehra (1995), English album Eyes (1997), Lafda Na Ho Jaye (1997) and Ho Raha Hai Sama (1999).
Malik had major success in the year 2000 with best-selling soundtracks including Hera Pheri, Badal, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Aaghaaz, Fiza, Josh and Refugee. His soundtrack for Refugee was critically acclaimed as he became the only music director to win the Filmfare Special Award for his compositions in the movie at the 46th Filmfare Awards. He also received the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for Refugee at the 48th National Film Awards. In 2001, Malik had best-selling albums with Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Yaadein, Asoka, Lajja, Ajnabee and Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai. His soundtrack for Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai earned him his twelfth nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director and his soundtrack for Asoka earned him a nomination for the Screen Award for Best Music Director. His soundtracks during the year 2002 went unnoticed but he had a resurgence in 2003 with best-selling albums Ishq Vishk, Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, Khushi, Munnabhai MBBS and Inteha and LOC: Kargil. He received critical acclaim for LOC: Kargil, which earned him his thirteenth nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director and won him his first Screen Award for Best Music Direction.
Malik found success with successful best-selling soundtracks such as Main Hoon Na, Murder and Fida in 2004. His soundtrack for Main Hoon Na earned critical acclaim and won Malik his second Filmfare Award for Best Music Director, his second Screen Award for Best Music Director and his first Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director.
2005–present: Later career
The mid-2000s marked the rise of a new generation of music directors including Himesh Reshammiya, Vishal-Shekhar, Pritam Chakraborty and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and the amount of Malik's work began reducing after 2005 and he accepted his new role as a regular judge on the reality singing competition show Indian Idol on Sony Entertainment Television, beginning with its first season in 2004. He received a nomination for the Screen Award for Best Music Director for Jaan-E-Mann (2006). The year 2007 marked for the first time since 1983 that Malik composed soundtrack for only one film Undertrial.
Malik remained prominent as a judge for various reality television shows but lost major offers as a music director in the coming years. His recent work includes Kambakkht Ishq (2009), Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011), Shootout at Wadala (2013), Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), Begum Jaan (2017) and Sui Dhaaga (2018). He won his second Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director for Dum Laga Ke Haisha, which marked his reunion with Kumar Sanu since No Entry (2005).
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Malik has worked with many Indian playback singers including Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle, Amit Kumar, and others. During the '80s, he mostly worked with singers such as Mohammad Aziz, Shabbir Kumar, Manhar Udhas, Suresh Wadkar, Nitin Mukesh and Anwar.
His collaborations with Indian film lyricist Javed Akhtar have included songs from
- Phool Aur Angaar
- Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee
- Main Khiladi Tu Anari
- Akele Hum Akele Tum
- Ishq Vishk
Sanu and Yagnik were regular singers for Anu Malik and Malik created many songs individually with Sanu such as "Aaine Ke Sau Tukde" from Maa (1991) and the single "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen" from Baazigar (1993) (Malik sang the rap part of the song) among others.
Malik collaborated with Udit Narayan in:
- Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi
- Akele Hum Akele Tum
- Ram Jaane
- Himalay Putra
- Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain
- Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega
Malik collaborated with Abhijeet in:
- the song "Ke Ghar Kab Aaoge from the film Border
- Songs entitled "Main Hoon Na" and "Tumse Milke Dilka Jo Haal" from the film Main Hoon Na
- Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo
- Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega
- Humko Deewana Kar Gaye
- LOC: Kargil
- Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
Malik remained one of the judges on the TV show Indian Idol throughout each season till it ended. In the first two seasons, he was accompanied by Sonu Nigam and Farah Khan, and in the third by Alisha Chinai, Udit Narayan and Javed Akhtar. He was a judge in the first Asian Idol held in Indonesia, representing Indian Idol. He appeared on Indian Idol 4 with Sonali Bendre, Kailash Kher and Javed Akhtar. After that, he appeared as a judge with Sunidhi Chauhan and Salim Merchant in Indian Idol 5.
Malik was the only judge from India on Asian Idol, who represented Indian Idol winner Abhijeet Sawant, with other judges Indra Lesmana, Paul Moss, Pilita Corrales, Ken Lim and Siu Black. Malik had been judging the television show Indian Idol since its inception until October 2018 when he left the show following allegations of sexual harassment. Malik returned as a judge in 2019 for the 11th season.
Although he is not a mainstream singer, Malik does playback singing. Written off as a singer in his early days ("Julie Julie," for instance), he continues to sing his own compositions, with songs such as "Ek Garam Chaye ki Pyali" from the movie Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, "Gori Gori" in Main Hoon Na or the recent "Meri Jane Jigar" in Deewane Huye Paagal. Among his works are "Oonchi Hai Building" and "East or West India is the best" from the movie Judwaa. and the rap part of "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen" of Baazigar.
While he sings entire songs for some movies, especially those starring Sunil Shetty, Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar and Shahid Kapoor (in Deewane Huye Paagal he sang almost every song), and has also sung as part of a chorus in "Mehbooba Mehbooba" in the film Ajnabee, and "Tumse Milke Dilka Jo Haal" for Main Hoon Na.
Malik is married to Anju. They have two children Anmol Malik and Ada Malik.
Malik has faced criticism for using music written by other composers, for instance in the film The Gentleman where the music of several songs credited to Malik was written by A. R. Rahman, and "Mera Piya Ghar Aaya" in Yaarana which was allegedly identical to a song by the same name written by Pakistani Qawwali musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948–1997). Khan was reportedly tolerant towards Bollywood music directors plagiarising his songs, but disapproved strongly of Malik's using the music of a song which originally had a religious theme as a secular love song. According to Khan, Malik had repeatedly said to him that he loved his music and was actually showing admiration by using his tunes, and in an interview for IANS Malik dismissed all plagiarism allegations, saying that "no one in this world is original" and claiming that all similarities are due to there being "just seven notes in music".
In October 2018, in the wake of the MeToo movement in India, Anu Malik was accused of sexual harassment by several women in separate claims. One accusation came from singer Shweta Pandit, who said he had made an unwanted sexual pass at her when she was 15 years old. Lyricist Sameer came out in support of Anu Malik, saying that he was present during the audition where the harassment of Pandit was claimed to have happened. Sona Mohapatra and Neha Bhasin also accused Anu Malik of predatory behaviour. Malik denied the allegations, but the public backlash resulted in him leaving as a judge for season 10 of Indian Idol. Alisha Chinoy, who had sued Malik for molestation in the 1990s, supported the allegations. Sonu Nigam came out in support of Anu Malik, claiming that he had not seen any proof that the allegations were true. In 2019, Malik was reinstated as a judge on Season 11 of Indian Idol, a decision that resulted in heavy criticism. Malik stepped down, claiming that he had decided to take a break as he was unable to focus on his work on the show. On 17 January, 2020, National Commission for Women closed the sexual harassment case on Anu Malik due to lack of substantial evidence, but clarifying that it could be reopened. Sona Mohapatra criticised the commission's decision.
Awards and nominations
National Film Award
|2001||Refugee||Best Music Direction||Won|
- Filmfare Awards
- 1994 – Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Baazigar
- 2001 – Winner, Filmfare Special Award – Refugee
- 2005 – Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Main Hoon Na
- 1985 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Sohni Mahiwal (1984)
- 1995 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Main Khiladi Tu Anari
- 1996 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Akele Hum Akele Tum
- 1998 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Virasat (1997 film)
- 1998 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Border
- 1999 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Soldier
- 2000 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Biwi No.1
- 2000 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Haseena Maan Jaayegi
- 2001 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Josh
- 2001 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Fiza
- 2002 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai
- 2002 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Aśoka (2001 film)
- 2004 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – LOC: Kargil
- 2005 – Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award – Murder
- Zee Cine Awards
- 2016 – Winner, Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director – Dum Laga Ke Haisha
- 2005 – Winner, Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director – Main Hoon Na
- 1998 – Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director – Border
- 1999 – Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director – Soldier
- 2000 – Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director – Haseena Maan Jaayegi
- 2000 – Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director – Biwi No.1
- 2001 – Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director – Refugee
- 2001 – Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director – Fiza
- 2002 – Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director – Asoka
- 2004 – Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director – LOC: Kargil
- Star Screen Awards
- 2005 – Winner, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Main Hoon Na
- 2004 – Winner, Star Screen Award Special Tribute – Artist of the decade
- 1995 – Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Main Khiladi Tu Anari
- 1996 – Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Akele Hum Akele Tum
- 1998 – Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Border
- 1999 – Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Soldier
- 2000 – Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Haseena Maan Jaayegi
- 2000 – Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Biwi No.1
- 2001 – Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Refugee
- 2001 – Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Fiza
- 2002 – Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Asoka
- 2004 – Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – LOC: Kargil
- 2004 – Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.
- 2005 – Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
- 2007 – Star Screen Award for Best Music Director – Jaan-E-Mann
- International Indian Film Academy Awards – Anu Malik has highest nominations (7) without a win
- 2005 – Nominated, IIFA Award for Best Music Director – Murder
- 2005 – Nominated, IIFA Award for Best Music Director – Main Hoon Na
- 2004 – Nominated, IIFA Award for Best Music Director – LOC Kargil
- 2004 – Nominated, IIFA Award for Best Music Director – Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.
- 2002 – Nominated, IIFA Award for Best Music Director – Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai
- 2001 – Nominated, IIFA Award for Best Music Director – Fiza
- 2001 – Nominated, IIFA Award for Best Music Director – Josh
- 2005 – Winner, Popular Award – Best Music Director for Main Hoon Na (2004)
- 2010 – Winner, Asha Bhosle Award – Outstanding Contribution in Music
- 2010 – Winner, Indian Telly Awards – Best reality show judge
- 2014 – Winner, Giants International Awards – lifetime achievement in Music
- 2015 – Winner, Big Star Entertainment Awards – 92.7 BIG FM – Suhana Safar Music Award
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