Sonu Nigam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam121.jpg
Nigam in 2013
Background information
Born 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 is an Indian playback singer whose songs have been featured mainly in Hindi, Odia, Kannada, Punjabi and Marathi movies. He has also released Indian pop albums and acted in a few movies.[1]

Early and personal life[edit]

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".[2][3] 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.[4] He was trained by Hindustani classical singer Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.

Nigam married Madhurima, who is from a Bengali family, on 15 February 2002.[5] He says that he is spiritual rather than religious.[6]

Singing and composing work[edit]

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.

Nigam started hosting the TV show, Sa Re Ga Ma, in 1995. Soon after, he sang "Accha Sila Diya" for the film Bewafa Sanam (1995).[4] He sang the Anu Malik-composed song "Sandese Aate Hai" in Border (1997). He performed the Nadeem-Shravan-composed song "Yeh Dil Deewana" in Pardes in the same year. Nigam's album Deewana, with music directed by Sajid-Wajid, was released by T-Series in 1999.[4]

Nigam provided playback singing for Hindi movies including the title song of the film Kal Ho Naa Ho and "Abhi Mujhme Kahin" (Agneepath-2013). He 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.[4]

Nigam composed the title track of the film Singh Saab The Great as a solo composer. He has also composed the music of films including Sooper Se Ooper and Jal in collaboration with percussionist Bickram Ghosh.

Nigam has released pop albums in Hindi, Odia, Chhattisgarhi, Punjabi and Kannada. He has released Hindu and Islamic devotional albums. Also, he sung several Buddhist albums, as well as albums of Mohammed Rafi's songs. These are from the Rafi Ki Yaadein collection from his early years, which were re-released in September 2007 as a six-disc collection of 100 songs, titled Kal Aaj Aur Kal, in Rafi's memory.[7] In 2008, soon after releasing Classically Mild, he released a single Punjabi track called "Punjabi Please"[8] 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. The song was included on the tribute album The Beat of Our Hearts.[9]

Nigam collaborated with Britney Spears on a remix of her "I Wanna Go" track.[10][11]

Nigam has performed in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Russia, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Caribbean|West Indies, Suriname, Mauritius, Nigeria and South Africa. In May and June 2007, he participated in a "The Incredibles" with Asha Bhosle, Kunal Ganjawala and Kailash Kher. In September and October of the same year, he gave solo concerts titled "Simply Sonu" in Canada and Germany, becoming the first Indian singer to perform in the latter country.[12] In April 2008, he toured India promoting his Punjabi single "Punjabi Please".[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 the 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]

Among several other concerts, 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.

2011, Nigam collaborated with Kakas Entertainment and Laxmikant-Pyarelal for "Maestros" Concert where he sang Mohammed Rafi songs.[16]

Nigam has also sung a song "Avicii vs. Sonu Nigam - Indian Levels" produced by Avicii.

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

He was ranked no 1 artist in the US Billboard Uncharted charts for two times (7 September and 5 October 2013).[17][18]

In September 2015 Nignam recorded a song with the music director Khayyam for the upcoming project titled Gulam Bandhu.[19]

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.[20] He is called the "The Golden Singer Of Karnataka".[21][22][23]

His songs include "Cheluve Yeke Bande" from the film Majnu composed by Gurukiran; "Usire Usire" from Huccha composed by Rajesh Ramnath,"Titanic Heroine nee nanna cheluve" from the film Snehaloka; the title track from the film Monalisa composed by Valisha Sandeep;[24] "Hamsave Hamsave" from the film Gatti mela composed by Hamsalekha, "Kannale Kannale" from the film Aham Premasmi composed by V.Ravichandran[25] and "Baaninda Baa Chandira from the movie Kanti composed by Gurukiran. The 2006 film Mungaru Male created a sensation and several records, mainly in Karnataka.[26][27]

The songs "Mungaru Maleye" and "Anisuthide" were composed by Mano Murthy and written by Yogaraj Bhat and Jayant Kaikini respectively. Nigam became a sensation in the South and is called the Golden Singer of Karnataka. Nigam says that he finds Kannada songs more fulfilling than the Hindi numbers.[28] Sonu Nigam, in a recent interview to the Deccan Herald news paper has said ‘Kannada songs make me feel positive’.[29] He said, "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".[20]

With the same Mungaru Male combination, music director Mano Murthy, lyricist Jayant Kaikini and Nigam got together for a Kannada album Neene Bari Neene produced by Ashok Kheny. 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.[30][31] Sonu Nigam also composed a theme song for the Karnataka Bulldozer's team in the Celebrity Cricket League. The song was sung by Sonu Nigam, Kunal Ganjawala and Sowmya Raoh, who also penned the lyrics.[32]

In December 2012, Ningam released a single in collaboration with Avicii, a Swedish dance producer.[33]

Work as a host and celebrity judge[edit]

Nigam was the host of Sa Re Ga Ma from the start of the show till 1999.[34] 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 .

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

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

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.

Nigam provided the voice for the lead character, in the Hindi translated version of Aladdin.[35]

He 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.[34]

He also appeared on The Anupam Kher Show on 23 August 2015, where he shared his life experiences.

In 2006, Nigam hosted Life Ki Dhun with Sonu Nigaam on Radiocity 91.1 FM, where he interviewed musicians.[36]

Film and voiceover acting[edit]

Nigam's acting career[37] 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.[38]

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


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)
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[43] 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.[44]

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

External links[edit]