Sonu Nigam

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Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam121.jpg
Nigam in 2013
Background information
Born 30 July 1973
Faridabad, Haryana, India
Genres Pop Rock Singing, Classical Singing, Semi-Classical Singing, Ghazals Singing, Playback Singing
Occupation(s) Singer, composer
Instruments Vocals
Labels Sony Music, T-Series, Tips, Saregama, Venus Records & Tapes
Website Official website

Sonu Nigam (30 July 1973) is an Indian playback singer whose songs have been featured mainly in Hindi, Kannada, Odia, Punjabi, and Marathi movies. He has also released Indian pop albums and acted in a number of movies.[1] He has been one of the highest paid Indian singers. His singing style is considered similar to the legendary Mohd. Rafi whom he also considers his motivation.

Early and personal life[edit]

Nigam was born on 30 July 1973 in a Kayastha family to Agam Kumar Nigam and Shobha Nigam in the city of Faridabad, Haryana.[2]

Nigam began his singing career at the age of four, when he joined his father Agam Kumar Nigam on stage to sing Mohammed Rafi's song "Kya hua tera wada".[3][4] From then on, Nigam accompanied his father on his singing appearances at weddings and parties. He moved to Mumbai with his father to begin his Bollywood singing career at the age of 18.[5] He was trained by Hindustani classical singer Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.[6]

Nigam married Madhurima, who is from a Bengali family, on 15 February 2002.[7] He says that he is spiritual rather than religious.[8] nigam first realesed song o aasman wale from movi aaja meri jaan(1992). Nigam sang around 1000 songs in hindi film.

Singing and composing work[edit]

He has recorded romantic, rock, sad, and patriotic songs in: Hindi, Kannada, Assamese, Bengali, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, English, Maithili , Bhojpuri, Urdu, Nepali, Chhattisgarhi, Malayalam, Tulu and Marathi.[5] Nigam has released pop albums in Hindi, Odia, Chhattisgarhi, Punjabi, and Kannada as well as Hindu and Islamic devotional albums. He has released several Buddhist albums.

Nigam has performed in countries In North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. In May and June 2007, he participated in The Incredibles tour with Asha Bhosle, Kunal Ganjawala, and Kailash Kher. In September and October of the same year, he gave a solo concerts titled Simply Sonu in Canada and Germany, the first Indian singer to do so.[9] In April 2008, he toured India promoting his Punjabi single "Punjabi Please".[10]

Nigam's first movie song as a playback singer was for Janam (1990), which was never officially released. He then began making radio commercials and also acted in some of them.[citation needed]

He began hosting the TV show, Sa Re Ga Ma in 1995 and sang "Accha Sila Diya" for the film Bewafa Sanam in the same year.[5] He sang the Anu Malik-composed song "Sandese Aate Hai" in Border and performed the Nadeem-Shravan-composed song "Yeh Dil Deewana" in Pardes in 1997. Nigam's album Deewana, with music directed by Sajid-Wajid, was released by T-Series in 1999.[5]

Nigam provided playback singing for Hindi movies including the title song for the film Kal Ho Naa Ho in 2003 and "Abhi Mujhme Kahin" for Agneepath in 2013.

He composed the title track of the film Singh Saab The Great in 2013 and has also composed music for other films including: Sooper Se Ooper and Jal, in collaboration with percussionist Bickram Ghosh in the same year.

Nigam has released albums of Mohammed Rafi's songs including Rafi Ki Yaadein a collection early in his career, which was re-released in Rafi's memory in September 2007 as a six-disc collection of 100 songs, titled Kal Aaj Aur Kal.[11] In 2008, soon after releasing Classically Mild, he released a single Punjabi track entitled "Punjabi Please"[12] and Rafi Resurrected, a two-disc collection of Rafi songs with music by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He contributed to the lyrics of several songs and directed the music for his album Chanda Ki Doli.

After the death of Michael Jackson, Nigam released a song as a tribute to Jackson which was included on the tribute album The Beat of Our Hearts.[13]

In November 2007, at the inauguration of Harvard University's 28th president, Drew Gilpin Faust, Nigam sang Mahatma Gandhi's favorite bhajan, "Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye", with the Harvard College Sangeet.[14]

In July 2008, he participated in a three-city tour of the United Kingdom, singing Rafi songs with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) . This followed the release of these songs by the CBSO and the Indian music company Sa Re Ga Ma on Rafi Resurrected.[15]

He participated in a US tour with Sunidhi Chauhan in 2009 called The Explosion 2009 tour and in a UK tour titled All Izz Well in November 2010. In 2011, Nigam collaborated with Kakas Entertainment and Laxmikant-Pyarelal for a Maestros Concert performing Mohammed Rafi songs.[16]

In 2011 Nigam collaborated with Britney Spears on a remix of her "I Wanna Go" track,[17][18] and with DJ Avicii on his song "Indian Levels" produced by Avicii in 2012.[19]

In 2014 Nigam released an online only track, "Trini Ladki".

He was ranked the Number 1 artist on the US Billboard Uncharted charts twice in 7 September and 5 October 2013.[20][21]

In September 2015 Nignam recorded a song with the music director Khayyam for the upcoming project titled Gulam Bandhu.[22]

Work in Kannada[edit]

Nigam's first song in Kannada was in 1996 for the film Jeevanadhi. The song's music was composed by Saluri Koteswara Rao with lyrics by R. N. Jayagopal. Nigam has sung over 700 Kannada songs.[23] He is known as the The Golden Singer Of Karnataka.[24][25][26]

His songs include "Cheluve Yeke Bande" from the film Majnu composed by Gurukiran; "Titanic Heroine nee nanna cheluve" from the film Snehaloka; the title track from the film Monalisa composed by Valisha Sandeep;[27] "Hamsave Hamsave" from the film Gatti mela composed by Hamsalekha, "Kannale Kannale" from the film Aham Premasmi composed by V.Ravichandran[28] and "Baaninda Baa Chandira from the movie Kanti composed by Gurukiran. The 2006 film Mungaru Male created a sensation and spawned several records, mainly in Karnataka.[29][30]

The songs "Mungaru Maleye" and "Anisuthide" were composed by Mano Murthy and written by Yogaraj Bhat and Jayant Kaikini respectively. Nigam has said that he finds Kannada songs more fulfilling than the Hindi numbers.[31] In a recent interview with the Deccan Herald newspaper he said "Kannada songs make me feel positive".[32] He went on to say: "I highly respect the musicians of Karnataka and many of my favorite songs are in Kannada. I consider Bangalore as my second birthplace. Even if someone requests me to sing a Kannada song while I’m performing in the West Indies, I will sing it for them".[23]

With the same Mungaru Male combination, music director Mano Murthy, lyricist Jayant Kaikini and Nigam got together to record a Kannada album Neene Bari Neene produced by Ashok Kheny. Videos for the songs "Neene Bari Neene" and "Baa Nodu Gelathi" were shot on the outskirts of Bengaluru featuring Nigam and model Madhuri Bhattacharya in the lead.[33][34] Sonu Nigam also composed a theme song for the Karnataka Bulldozers team in the Celebrity Cricket League and sang it with Kunal Ganjawala and Sowmya Raoh, who also penned the lyrics.[35]

Work as a host and celebrity judge[edit]

Nigam was the host of Sa Re Ga Ma from the start of the show until 1999.[36] He returned on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs International as a judge with Suresh Wadkar in October 2007. Nigam was a celebrity judge on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mega Challenge grand finale on 12 December 2009 .

Nigam hosted the TV show Kisme Kitna Hai Dum on Star Plus in 2002.

He appeared as the judge on Indian Idol in seasons 1 (October 2004 – March 2005) and 2 (November 2005 – April 2006), and was a celebrity judge in seasons 3 (17 August 2007) and 4 (16 January 2009 and 6 February 2009).

In 2006, Nigam hosted Life Ki Dhun with Sonu Nigaam on Radiocity 91.1 FM, interviewing musicians.[37]

He appeared as a celebrity judge on Amul STAR Voice of India in August 2007 (Season 1) and in December 2008 (Season 2), and on the grand finale of music reality show Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star on 12 July 2008.

Nigam was a judge/mentor on Chhote Ustaad - Do Deshon Ki Ek Awaaz (July – October, 2010) with Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and was a judge/mentor on the first season of X Factor (India) (29 May – 2 September 2011) along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Shreya Ghoshal.[36]

On 23 August 2015, he appeared on "The Anupam Kher Show" sharing his life experiences.

Film and voice-over acting[edit]

Nigam's acting career[38] started as a child in films including Betaab (1983). As an adult, he acted in films such as Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani, Kash Aap Hamare Hote and Love in Nepal. He has been signed to be in Ankhon Ankhon Mein, about a blind singer.[39] Nigam provided the voice for the lead character, in the Hindi translated version of Aladdin.[40]

Sonu Nigaam during a Peace Rally in Mumbai on 20 November 2011


  • 2015 Oscar 2015 nomination list "Jal" Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh for their rustic compositions for the drama film[41]
  • 2015 Socialathon Person of the Year
  • 2014 MMASouth Best Male Vocalist Kannada[42]
  • 2013 MTV Video and Music Award 2013 for Best Male Vocalist for Abhi Mujhme Kahin
  • 2013 Lions Gold Award for the song Abhi Mujhme Kahin from the film Agneepath
  • 2013 Zee Cine Award for Best Male Playback Singer for Abhi Mujhme Kahin from the film Agneepatho
  • 2013 Big Star Entertainment Award for Best Male Playback Singer for Abhi Mujhme Kahin from the film Agneepath
  • 2013 Royal Stag Mirchi Music Award for Best Male Vocalist for the song Abhi Mujhme Kahin from the film Agneepath
  • 2012 Lions Gold Award for Favorite Evergreen Singer
  • 2012 GIMA for Best Global Indian Collaboration - This Is It ft Jermaine Jackson
  • 2011 GIMA(Global Indian Music Award)for MTV Youth Icon.
  • 2011 Gitanjali WoW Award for Live Personality(Music).
  • 2010 GIMA(Global Indian Music Award) for Best Live Performer Male.
  • 2010 GIMA(Global Indian Music Award) for Most Popular Song - All Izz Well.
  • 2010 Amar Rishtey Award for Zee Icoon - TVS Sa Re Ga Ma.
  • 2010 Big Star Entertainment Award for Singer of the Decade.
  • 2009 Indian Television Academy Award, Best Male Singer for Dil Mill Gaye title track.
  • 2009 Filmfare Award, Kannada, Best Male Playback Singer for Yenagali, Mussanje Maathu
  • 2008 Annual Central European Bollywood Awards, Best Male Playback Singer for In Lamhon Ke Daaman Me, Jodha Akbar.
  • 2008 GPBA (German Public Bollywood Award), Best Singer (Male) for Main Agar Kahoon, Om Shanti Om.
  • 2008 Filmfare Award, Kannada, Best Male Playback Singer for Ninnindale, Milana.
  • 2008 Indian Television Academy Award, Best Male Singer for Amber Dhara title male play back singer for "Border"
  • 2008 Lions Gold Award for the song 'In lamhon ke Daaman me' from the film 'Jodha Akbar'.
  • 2007 Annual Central European Bollywood Awards, Best Male Playback Singer for Mein Agar Kahoon, Om Shanti Om.
  • 2006 Bollywood Music and Fashion Awards, Best Male Playback Singer for Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Title Track.
  • 2005 Indian Television Award Best Singer for Miliee Title Track.
  • 2005 MTV Immies - Best Pop Album, for his self-composed album titled "Chanda Ki Doli".
  • 2005 Swaralaya Yesudas Award, for his outstanding performance in Music.
  • 2005 Anadolok Award for "Chanda Ki Doli" album.
  • 2005 Lion Gold's Award for the song Main Hoon Na from the film "Main Hoon Na".
  • 2005 Star Screen Award Best Male Playback, for the song "Dheere Jalna", from the film "Paheli".
  • 2005 Teachers' Achievement Award
  • 2005 Style Icon, MTV Style Awards.
  • 2004 MTV Immies - Best Male Singer, for the song "Main Hoon Na", from the film "Main Hoon Na".
  • 2004 National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer, for the song "Kal Ho Naa Ho", from the film Kal Ho Naa Ho.
  • 2003 Apsara Film Producers' Guild Award for Best Male Playback Singer for "Kal Ho Na Ho" from the film Kal Ho Naa Ho.
  • 2003 Bollywood Music Award for Best Male Playback Singer for "Kal Ho Na Ho" from the film Kal Ho Naa Ho.
  • 2003 IIFA Best Male Playback Award, for the song "Kal Ho Naa Ho", from the film Kal Ho Naa Ho.
  • 2003 Style Icon, MTV Style Awards.
  • 2003 Filmfare Best Male Playback Award, for the song "Kal Ho Naa Ho", from the film Kal Ho Naa Ho".
  • 2002 Filmfare Best Male Playback Award, for the song "Saathiya", from the film Saathiya.
  • 2002 Bollywood Music Award fpr Best Male Playback Singer for the song "Saathiya" from the film "Saathiya".
  • 2002 MTV Immies - Best Male Singer, for the song "Saathiya" from the film "Saathiya".
  • 2002 Zee Cine Award Best Playback Singer- Male, for the song "Saathiya", from the film "Saathiya".
  • 2002 IIFA Best Male Playback Award, for the song "Saathiya", from the film "Saathiya".
  • 2001 Star Screen Award Best Male Playback, for the song "Tanhayee", from the film "Dil Chahta Hai".
  • 2001 Bollywood Music Award for Best Pop Singer for the album "Yaad".
  • 2001 IIFA Best Male Playback Award, for the song "Suraj Hua Maddham", from the film "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham".
  • 2001 Zee Cine Award Best Playback Singer[43]- Male, for the song "Suraj Hua Maddham", from the film "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham".
  • 1998 Star Screen Award for Best Male Pop Artist.
  • 1997 Sansui Viewers' Choice Award for Best Male Singer for the song "Sandese Aate Hai", from the film "Border".
  • 1997 Aashirwad Award for Best Male Singer for the song "Sandese Aate Hai", from the film "Border".
  • 1997 Zee Cine Award Best Playback Singer- Male, for the song "Sandese Aate Hai", from the film "Border".
  • 2003: National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer: Kal Ho Na Ho for "Kal Ho Naa Ho"[44]
  • MTV Style Awards 2004 - Best Male Playback Singer - Bandhan[45]
  • 2010 - Global Indian Music Award for Best Live Performer (Male)[46]
  • 2012-2013 Filmfare Awards South - Best Playback Singer Male for the song "Chendutiya Pakkadali" from the movie Drama.[47]

Filmography as composer[edit]

Year Film
2015 Bachelors Not Allowed
2015 Ishq Junoon
2015 Happy Anniversary
2015 Chowky
2014 Jal
2013 Singh Saab The Great
2013 Sooper Se Ooper



Nigam has acted in various films.

Film Title Character Year
ishq junoon - Passion of Love composer 2015
Pyaara Dushman manish khadnya 1995
Kaamchor Sonu (Rakesh Roshan's nephew) 1982
Ustaadi Ustaad Se Raju (Young Mithun Chakraborty) 1982
Betaab Sunny (Young Sunny Deol) 1983
Hum Se Hai Zamana Shiva (Young Mithun Chakraborty) 1983
Taqdeer Shiva (Young Shatrughan Sinha) 1983
Krishna Krishna Sudhama 1986
Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani Vivek Saxena 2002
Kash Aap Hamare Hote Jai Kumar 2003
Love in Nepal Abby 2004
Navra Maajha Navsacha Guest appearance as himself in a song sequence 2005

Animated films[edit]

Film title Original Voice Character Dub Language Original Language Original Release Dub Release Notes
Disney's Aladdin[48] Scott Weinger
Brad Caleb Kane (Singing)
Aladdin Hindi English 1992 1994 Gave both the speaking and singing voice to Aladdin in this film. Dubbed by Modi Entertainment.[49]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "It's Nigam, not Niigaam, Says Sonu". The Times of India. 8 September 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Sonu Nigam: About Me". Sonu Nigam. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Sonu Nigam: My mother was my best ally — The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  4. ^ India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic: An ..., Volume 1. 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Sonu Nigam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  6. ^ "A look at the rise and careers of Sonu Nigam and Atif Aslam ahead of their concert tomorrow". Abu Dahbi Media. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Sonu Nigam weds city belle". The Times Of India. 15 February 2002. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  8. ^ "I AM: Sonu Nigam". The Times Of India. 11 November 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  9. ^ "Sonu Nigam's Tour to Germany". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  10. ^ "Close-Up and BIG 92.7 FM bring Sonu Nigam’s concert". Retrieved 25 July 2008. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Sonu Niigaam pays homage to Mohd Rafi". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  12. ^ "Big FM launches Sonu Niigaam single Punjabi Please". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  13. ^ "Michael Jackson Trubute portrait". Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Sonu Nigam invited to perform at Harvard University". Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Sonu Nigam's new album 'Rafi Resurrected' in July this year". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  16. ^ "Top singers, 100 musicians at Laxmikant-Pyarelal concert". Indian Express. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  17. ^ "Sonu Nigam and Britney Spears to sing together". Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  18. ^ *Sonu Nigam collaborates with Britney Spears
  19. ^ "Why the Sonu Nigam-Avicii track took a year!". The Times of India. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  20. ^ "Uncharted : Sep 07, 2013 | Billboard Chart Archive". 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  21. ^ "Uncharted : Oct 05, 2013 | Billboard Chart Archive". 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  22. ^ "Words not enough to praise Sonu Nigam: Khayyam". Indian Express. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  23. ^ a b "Pitching it right". 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  24. ^ "The Golden Singer of Karnataka, Sonu Nigam, turns 41 - The Times of India" (in Russian). 2014-07-30. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  25. ^ "Sonu lauded for new song — The Times of India". 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  26. ^ Andanappa, Nagarathna (2013-07-30). "Birthday Boy Sonu Nigam's 15 Best Kannada Songs — Filmibeat". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  27. ^ "SONU NIGAM rocks in Monalisa – Monalisa – Sadaa ,Dhyan | Kannada songs collection, kannada movie news". 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  28. ^ "Welcome —". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  29. ^ "'Mungaru Male' National record — Kannada Movie News". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  30. ^ "Mungaru Male – Successful 365 days!! at Bangalore 365". 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  31. ^ ": Videos". Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  32. ^ Sudha Hegde (2010-08-18). "‘Kannada songs make me feel positive’.". Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  33. ^ "Kannada Sonu Nigam Neene Bari Neene Manomurthy". YouTube. 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  34. ^ "Sonu Nigam — Baa Nodu Gelathi — Neene Bari Neene (HQ)". YouTube. 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  35. ^ "Karnataka Bulldozers OFFICIAL THEME SONG [HQ] Celebrity Cricket League". YouTube. 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  36. ^ a b Rajini Vaidyanathan (30 May 2011). "Does India have the X factor?". BBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  37. ^ "Life Ki Dhun Sonu Niigaam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  38. ^ "Sonu Nigam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  39. ^ Noyon Jyoti Parasara (3 June 2007). "Sonu ready to play blind!". DNA. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  41. ^ "AR Rahman, Sonu Nigam, Bickram Ghosh in Oscar 2015 Nomination List". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 2016-01-30. 
  42. ^ mirchikannada (2014-08-18), #MMASouth Best Male Vocalist Sonu Nigam Kannada Songs specially for Bangalore, retrieved 2016-01-30 
  43. ^ "Sonu Nigam". Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  44. ^ "51st National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  45. ^ "Anandalok Awards 2004". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 22 December 2005. 
  46. ^ "Global Indian Television Awards". The Times Of India. Retrieved 2010-11-16. [dead link]
  47. ^ "Bangalore Times Film Awards 2012 goes to... - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  48. ^ "The Walt Disney Company". 2005-02-23. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  49. ^ "The art of directing dubs: A chat with Ellie Lewis - Animation Xpress". 2004-10-26. Retrieved 2015-07-20. 

External links[edit]