Jagjit Singh performing at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar, on 7 September 2011
Jagmohan Singh Dhiman
8 February 1941
|Died||10 October 2011 (aged 70)|
|Occupation||Music Director, Composer, Singer|
|Genres||Ghazal, classical, devotional, folk, Bhajan|
|Instruments||Vocals, harmonium, tanpura, piano, tabla|
|Labels||EMI, HMV, Saregama, Universal, Sony BMG, CBS, Polydor, TIPS, Venus, T-Series, Magna Sound, Big, Times|
Jagjit Singh, born Jagmohan Singh Dhiman (8 February 1941 – 10 October 2011), popularly known as "The Ghazal King" or "King of Ghazals", was an Indian ghazal and bhajan singer, composer and musician. He sang in numerous languages and is credited for the revival and popularity of ghazal as well as bhajan, both being Indian classical art form, by choosing poetry that was relevant to the masses and composing them in a way that laid more emphasis on the meaning of words and melody evoked by them. In terms of Indian Classical music, his style of composing and Gayaki (singing) is considered as Bol-pradhan, one that lays emphasis on words. He highlighted this in his music for films such as Prem Geet (1981), Arth (1982) , and Saath Saath (1982), and TV serials Mirza Ghalib (1988) and Kahkashan (1991). Singh is considered to be the most successful ghazal singer and composer of all time in terms of critical acclaim and commercial success. With a career spanning five decades and many albums, the range and breadth of his work has been regarded as genre-defining. he has also performed deeply devotional bhajans on live concerts such as "Hare Krishna" live bhajan concerts.
Singh's 1987 album, Beyond Time, was the first digitally recorded release in India. He was regarded as one of India's most influential artists. With sitar player Ravi Shankar and other leading figures of Indian classical music and literature, Singh voiced his concerns over politicisation of arts and culture in India and lack of support experienced by the practitioners of India's traditional art forms, particularly folk artists and musicians. He lent active support to several philanthropic endeavours such as the library at St. Mary's School, Mumbai, Bombay Hospital, CRY, Save the Children and ALMA.
Early life and career
Jagjit Singh Dhiman was born at Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India (then Bikaner State). into a Punjabi Ramgarhia Sikh family. His father, Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman, was a surveyor with the government's Public Works' Department and hailed from village Dalla in Ropar district of Punjab. .
Educated initially at Khalsa High School and Government College in Sri Ganganagar, Singh obtained an arts degree from DAV College, Jalandhar. There, he began his professional career in 1961 by undertaking singing and composing assignments at All India Radio's (AIR) Jalandhar station. Later, he studied to obtain a post-graduate degree in history from Kurukshetra University in Haryana. Throughout this time, and as a consequence of a natural talent that was spotted by his father, Singh learned music initially from a visually impaired master of Indian classical music, Pandit Chagan Lal Sharma and later from Ustad Jamal Khan of Maihar gharana, who taught and trained him in all the prominent styles of Hindustani Classical vocal tradition such as Khayal, Dhrupad, Thumri and others. Throughout his teenage years, he performed on stage and composed music. Although his father, who was a government employee, had hoped that he would become an engineer, Singh pursued his passion for music relentlessly. Like all parents in Indian middle-class families, his father aspired for him to become a bureaucrat. However, he also encouraged Singh and his siblings to learn music.
In March 1965, and without the knowledge of his family, Singh moved to Bombay, where there were many opportunities for music artists because of the Hindi film industry. He obtained work initially as a singer of advertising jingles and later progressed to playback singing.
Singh was still struggling to make a living in 1967 when he met the Bengali-born Chitra Dutta. She divorced her husband and married Singh in December 1969. Following the birth of their son, Vivek, the couple performed as a singing duo but it was not until the 1977 release of the album The Unforgettable that they found significant, and surprising, success. In the interval, the primary difficulty for them had been that the ghazal music genre was dominated by Muslim artists and especially those from Pakistan.
The Unforgettable, which was the couple's first LP, was an unconventional recording and it turned them into stars. The song "Baat Niklegi" from the album achieved great popularity for the Singhs. The Independent described it in 2011 as "ground-breaking ... it became a transformative, before-and-after milestone in the history of Indian popular and ghazals music. It remains that." Using modern arrangements, it consists of ten tracks that include two on which they sang as a duo and the remainder equally split between Jagjit and Chitra singing the lead. The Independent further noted that "This format of solo and duet performances from the first commercially successful husband-and-wife team in Indian popular music proved astonishingly successful." Jagjit explained that "I was determined to polish up the genre and make it more acceptable to modern tastes, so chose simple poems and set them to simple tunes. I also introduced western instrumentation to make them livelier." Thereafter, the couple worked both on solo and joint musical projects and performed concerts worldwide. There was success from involvement with the film industry and they amassed considerable wealth,.
Among their subsequent duo recordings of the 1970s were Shiv Kumar Batalvi – Birha da Sultan (1978), Live in Concert at Wembley (1979) and Come Alive (1979). Of those released in the 1980s, "The Latest" by Sudarshan Faakir was the best selling album with his lifetime hit "Woh Kagaz ki Kashti...Woh Baarish ka Paani". It was the first album by the duo with poetry of only one Poet. Ecstasies (1984) has also been described as "one of their finest". The joint projects ceased in 1990 when their 20-year-old son, Vivek, died in a road accident. Chitra felt unable to sing following these events. Monica, Chitra's daughter from her first marriage, committed suicide in 2009.
Although Jagjit continued to work and to have success after Chitra withdrew from public life he, too, was affected by the death of Vivek. The Guardian notes that he "suffered from deep depression and his anguish was often evident in his live performances." Aside from occupying himself with solo projects, which he performed in several languages, he collaborated with Lata Mangeshkar on an album titled Sajda, an Urdu word meaning "prostration".
Singh's work in film encompassed playback singing for productions such as Arth, Saath Saath and Premgeet. He composed all of the songs for the latter, as well as for the TV serial Mirza Ghalib that was based on the life of the eponymous poet, Mirza Ghalib.
On 10 May 2007, in the presence of numerous political and diplomatic luminaries at an event held in the Central Hall of the Parliament of India, Jagjit Singh rendered Bahadur Shah Zafar's famous ghazal Lagta nahin hai dil mera to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
|Release Year||Album Name||Songs|
|1 December 1990||Someone Somewhere||
|1 February 1996||Mirage||
In 1990, Vivek (Jagjit Singh and Chitra's son) died in a road accident at the age of 20. This came as a profound shock to Jagjit and Chitra Singh. They gave up music for a full year after the death. At the end of that period, Jagjit returned slowly to music, but Chitra announced her retirement and declared that she would not sing or record any more songs.
Singh turned 70 in February 2011. To celebrate his 70th birthday he committed 70 concerts in different parts of the world. He toured the UK, Singapore, Mauritius, inter alias, in 2011 and was due to perform with Ghulam Ali in Mumbai but suffered a brain haemorrhage on 23 September 2011. He was in coma for over two weeks and died on 10 October at Lilavati Hospital, in Mumbai. He was cremated the following day at Chandanwadi Crematorium near Marine Lines in Mumbai.
A biography of Singh, entitled Beyond Time based on about 40 hours of interviews with him, was released in 2012. It was transcribed and edited by Ashrani Mathur. A biopic documentary by the name of Kaagaz Ki Kashti has been made on the life journey of Jagjit Singh, who broke through the norms and revolutionised the Ghazal scenario. The film traces the struggle and stardom in his musical career, the love & loss in his personal life and the scope and limitations in the music scenario of the times. The film directed by Brahmanand S Singh is currently available on Amazon Prime Video in India. It is expected to see worldwide release soon.
- In 2012, State Government of Rajasthan posthumously awarded Jagjit Singh its highest civilian award, the Rajasthan Ratna.
- In 2002 and 2005, Singh was awarded the Indian Telly Award for the best title singer for a TV show. 
- In 2003, Singh was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, by the government of India
- In 1998, Jagjit Singh was awarded Sahitya Academy Award, a literary honour in India. He was awarded for popularising the work of Mirza Ghalib.
- Sahitya Kala Academy Award by Rajasthan government in 1998
- Ghalib Academy by Delhi Government in 2005
- Dayawati Modi Award in 1999.
- Lata Mangeshkar Samman in 1998 by Madhya Pradesh government.
- D. Litt. by Kurukshetra University, Haryana in 2003
- Teacher's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.8th Teacher's Achievement Awards.
- Google honoured Jagjit Singh with a doodle on his 72nd birthday on 8 February 2013.
|1966||Bahuroopi||"Laagi Ram bhajan ni lagani"|
|1974||Avishkaar||"Babul Mora Naihar"|
|1980||Ek Baar Kaho||"Raakh Ke Dher Ne", |
"Phir Pukara Hai"
|1981||Prem Geet||"Hontho se chhoo lo tum"|
|1982||Arth||"Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar", |
"Koi Yeh Kaise Bataye",
"Tere Khushboo Mein Base Khat",
"Too Nahin To Zindagi Mein Aur Kya Reha Jayega",
"Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho"
|1982||Saath Saath||"Pyar Mujh Se Jo Kiya Tumne", |
"Tum Ko Dekha To Yeh Khayal Aaya",
"Yeh Bata De Mujhe Zindagi",
"Yeh Bata De Mujhe Zindagi",
"Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar",
"Yun Zindagi Ki Raah Mein"
|1983||Tum Laut Aao|
|1983||Zulf Ke Saye Saye||"Nashili Raat Mein"|
|1984||Raavan||"Hum to Yun Apni Zindagi Se Mile", |
"Main Gar Mein Chunariya"
|1984||Bhavna||"Mere Dil Mein Tu Hi Tu Hai"|
|1985||Phir Aayee Barsat||"Na Mohabbat Na Dosti Ke Liye"|
|1986||Aashiana||"Humsafar Ban Ke Hum"|
|1986||Long Da Lishkara||"Ishq Hai Loko", |
"Main Kandyali Thor Ve",
"Sare Pindch Puare Paye"
|1987||Abhishek||"Deewaron Pe Naqsh Banane Ka Hai Junoon",|
"Meri Ajab Hai Zindagi"
|1988||Mirza Ghalib||TV serial directed by Gulzar|
|1989||Kaanoon Ki Awaaz|
|1992||Nargis||"Dono Ke Dil Hai Majboor Pyar Se", |
"Main Kasie Kahoon Janeman"
|1993||Khalnayak||"O Maa Tujhe Salaam"|
|1994||Neem Ka Ped||TV serial (Title song - Munh ki baat sune har koii)|
|1994||Khudai||"Din Aa Gaye Shabab Ke", |
"Ulfat Ka Jab Kisis Ne Liya Naam",
"Ye Sheeshe Ye Rishte"
|1994||Mammo||"Hazaar baar ruke ham, hazaar baar chale"|
|1995||Hello Zindagi||TV documentary (Title song - "Hai Lau Zindagi")|
|1998||Dushman||"Chithi Na Koi Sandesh"|
|1999||Bhopal Express||"Is duniya mein rakha kya hai"|
|1999||Sarfarosh||"Hosh Walon Ko"|
|1999||Pal Chhin||TV serial (Title song - Koi atka hua hai pal shayad)|
|2000||Tarkieb||"Kiska Chehra ab mai dekhun"|
|2000||Shaheed Udham Singh|
|2001||Deham||"Yun To Guzar Raha Hai"|
|2001||Tum Bin||"Koi Fariyaad"|
|2002||Leela||"Dhuan Uttha Hai", |
"Jaag Ke Kati",
"Jabse Kareeb Ho Ke Chale",
"Tere Khayal Ki"
|2003||Dhoop||"Benaam Sa Ye Dard", |
"Har Ek Ghar Mein Diya",
"Teri Aankhon Se Hi"
|2003||Joggers' Park||"Badi Nazuk Hai"|
|2003||Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai||"Aisi Aankhen Nahin Dekhi"|
|2004||Veer-Zaara||"Tum paas aa rahe ho"|
|2004||STOP||"Dil Tarasta Hai"|
|2005||Aap Ko Dekh Kar Dekhta Reh Gaya|
|2006||Umar||"Khumari Chaddh Ke Utar Gayi"|
|2007||Pyar Kare Dis: Feel the Power of Love|
|2010||Shahrukh Bola "Khoobsurat Hai Tu"||"Bhool Jaana"|
|2011||Gandhi to Hitler||"Har or tabahi ka manzar"|
|2011||Khap||"Tumse Bichhad Kar"|
|2016||Tum Bin 2||"Koi Fariyaad"|
- Mathur, Asharani; Mathur, edited by AshaRani (2002). Beyond time : the ageless music of Jagjit Singh. New Delhi: Habitat Arts. ISBN 978-8190156301.
- "PM Manmohan Singh releases Stamp to Honor Jagjit Singh". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- Sawhney, Anubha (10 November 2002). "Unforgettable moments with Jagjit Singh". Times of India. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- Nazir, Asjad (25 October 2011). "Jagjit Singh obituary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- Hunt, Ken (13 October 2011). "Jagjit Singh: Singer hailed as the maestro of Indian ghazal". The Independent. London. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "Indian singer Jagjit Singh dies". BBC. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "Jagjit Singh". The Telegraph. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Tributes to Jagjit Singh". Asian Image. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Vyas, Neena (11 May 2007). "Small streams of protest swelled into national movement to regain freedom, says Kalam". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "Jagjit Singh, famous Indian singer, dies at age 70". The Guardian. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Shariq Majeed (21 February 2012). "An emotional tribute to ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Badola, Shreya (10 February 2012). "'Jagjit Singh was one in a million'". DNA. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Shaan's tribute to late Jagjit Singh on his birth anniversary". Mid Day. 8 February 2012. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Pal, Divya (11 February 2012). "A musical tribute to Jagjit Singh". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "A musical tribute to Jagjit Singh". Mid Day. Mumbai. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Jagjit Singh's name used for minting money". Zee News. 5 February 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Jagjit Singh... beyond time". The HIndu. 11 November 2002. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "Jagjit Singh... Kaagaz Ki Kashti". The Hindu. 15 July 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "Govt names seven for Rajasthan Ratna award". The Times of India. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "'Music is therapeutic'". The Hindu. 20 May 2002. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "Annual Dayawati Modi Award for Art / Culture / Education". Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- Deoras, Neha Pandey (8 February 2013). "Google celebrates Jagjit Singh's birthday with a doodle". Retrieved 15 March 2018 – via Business Standard.
- "The Gujarati song that launched Jagjit Singh's career - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dnaindia.com. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
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