Sonu Nigam

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Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam121.jpg
Sonu Nigam in 2013
Background information
Born (1973-07-30) 30 July 1973 (age 40)
Faridabad, Haryana, India
Genres Pop Rock Singing, Classical Singing, Semi-Classical Singing, Ghazals Singing, Playback Singing
Occupations Singer, Musician, Music Composer, Actor, Music Director, Television presenter
Instruments Vocals
Labels Sony Music, T-Series, Tips, Saregama, Venus Records & Tapes
Associated acts Rahul Vaid, Nitin Zira
Website sonunigam.in

Sonu Nigam (born 30 July 1973)[1] is an Indian singer whose songs have been featured mainly in Hindi and Kannada movies. He has also sung many songs in other languages including Oriya, Tamil, Assamese, Punjabi, Bengali, Malayalam, Marathi, Telugu and Nepali movies. He has released Indian pop albums and acted in a few movies. He had changed the spelling of his last name from 'Nigam' to 'Niigaam' in accordance with numerology, but later reverted to the original spelling.[2]

Personal Life[edit]

Sonu Nigam was born at Faridabad in a Kayastha family.[3][4] He began his singing career at the age of three, When he joined his father Agam Kumar Nigam on stage to sing Mohammed Rafi's song "Kya Hua Tera Vaada, Wo Kasam Wo Irada". From then on, Sonu accompanied his father on his singing appearances at weddings and parties. In his teenage years, he successfully participated in music. He moved to Mumbai with his father to begin his Bollywood singing career at the age of 19.[5] He was trained by Hindustani classical singer Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.

Professional Career[edit]

Playback Singing[edit]

Sonu Nigam recording a song in 2013.

His initial years in Mumbai proved to be a struggle, beginning by singing covers of Mohammed Rafi songs, mainly for a number of "Rafi Ki Yaadein" albums released by T-Series. T-Series promoter Gulshan Kumar gave him a chance to reach a larger audience. In these years Nigam's singing style was regarded by some to be a "Rafi clone". Nigam's first movie song as a playback singer was for Janam (1990), which was never officially released. He then began making radio commercials.

Nigam started hosting the popular TV show, Sa Re Ga Ma, in 1995 with the first episode airing on 1 May. The singing talent competition soon became one of the most popular shows on Indian television. Soon after, he sang "Accha Sila Diya" for the film Bewafa Sanam (1995).[5] His first major success was with the Anu Malik-composed song "Sandese Aate Hai" in Border (1997). Sonu's image as a 'Rafi clone' changed after his rendition of the Nadeem-Shravan-composed song "Yeh Dil Deewana" in Pardes in the same year. Sonu's Album "Deewana", with music directed by Sajid-Wajid, was released by T-Series in 1999, revealing his talent for singing romantic songs and it remains one of India's most successful albums. Since then, he has created a unique style of his own and has become a role model for emerging vocal talent in India.[5]

Over the years, Nigam became a major force in the Indian music industry. He provided playback singing for Hindi movies and won many awards, notably the title song of the film Kal Ho Naa Ho. He recorded romantic, rock, sad and patriotic songs. Nigam sang in many languages besides Hindi, including Kannada, Assamese, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, English, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Nepali, Chhattisgarhi, Malayalam and Marathi.[5]

With a career spanning over two decades, Nigam has recorded his voice for almost all top-rated music directors of India including A. R. Rahman, Ilayaraja, Anu Malik, Pritam, Jatin-Lalit, Nadeem Shravan, Mano Murthy, Vishal Shekar, Sanjeev Darshan, Aadesh Shrivastav, Anand Milind, Sajid-Wajid, V. Harikrishna, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Mani Sharma among others.

Pop albums and concerts[edit]

Sonu has released pop albums in Hindi, Oriya, Punjabi and Kannada. The most recent addition to his Hindi releases is Classically Mild, a semi-classical album.[6] He has released Hindu and Islamic devotional albums. Also, he has sung in Album, Buddha Hi Buddha Hai (part 1 and 2), A Album based on Buddha's teachings composed by Rajesh Dhabare and a couple of albums on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in Marathi (Jiwala Jiwach Daan,part 1 and 2) tuned on some of his hits numbers from series of Bewafa Sanam, 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. His last album was Neene Bari Neene in Kannada.

After the death of Michael Jackson, who influenced Nigam considerably (as is evident in his rendition of "Yeh Dil Deewana" in Pardes), Nigam released a song as a tribute to Jackson in collaboration with his fans on Facebook. The song made it to an 18-song global compilation of tribute songs, The Beat of Our Hearts.[9]

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

Sonu Nigam performing at a concert, 2013.

Over the years, Nigam has performed in many countries, including 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/June 2007, he participated in a star-studded show in North America called "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.[11] In April 2008, he toured India promoting his Punjabi single "Punjabi Please".[12]

In November 2007, at the inauguration of Harvard University's 28th president, Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, Nigam sang Mahatma Gandhi's favorite bhajan, "Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye", with the Harvard College Sangeet.[13] 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).[14] 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 notably 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,Sonu Nigam collaborated with Kakas Entertainment and Laxmikant-Pyarelal for "Maestros" Concert where he sang Mohammed Rafi songs.[16]

Other projects[edit]

Nigam was reported to be working on an English album called Spirit Unfolding.[17] and on a project called Time Travel, where his voice will be aligned with recordings of other singers in Hindi songs.[18]

Nigam has also sung a song produced by famous international house music producer David Guetta in collaboration with Jay Sean, the British singer-songwriter, rapper, beatboxer and record producer.

In 2014 Nigam released an online exclusive of his experimental "Trini Ladki" in a style that was a first for him. It has been well received and Nigam has confirmed on Twitter that he will focus on independent albums with songs from a similar genre.

He was ranked no 1 artist in the US Billboard Uncharted charts for two times (Sep 7 and Oct 5, 2013).[19][20]

In Kannada[edit]

Nigam’s first song in Kannada was "Yello Yaro Hego" in 1996 for the film Jeevanadi starring Legendary Super Star Dr.Vishnuvardhan. The song's music was composed by Koti with lyrics by R N Jayagopal. Nigam has sung over 700 Kannada songs[21][22] and has received several awards for them.

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 Valisa Sandeep;[23] "Hamsave Hamsave" from the film Gatti mela composed by Hamsalekha, "Kannale Kannale" from the film Aham Premasmi composed by V.Ravichandran[24] 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.[25][26] The songs not only set records of highest sales and downloads, the film also set a national record on 29 December 2007 of having completed an entire year at the PVR Cinemas Bengaluru, the first time an Indian language film to do so.[27][28][29]

The songs Mungaru Maleye and Anisuthide were composed by Mano Murthy and written by Yogaraj Bhat and Dr.Jayanth Kaikini respectively. Nigam became a sensation in the South and was called the Golden Singer of Karnataka. Nigam says that he finds Kannada songs more fulfilling than the Hindi numbers.[30] Sonu Nigam, in a recent interview to the Deccan Herald news paper has said ‘Kannada songs make me feel positive’.[31] He said, "I highly respect the muscians of Karnataka and many of my favorite songs are in Kannada. I consider Bangalore as my second birth place. Even if someone requests me to sing a Kannada song while I’m performing in the West Indies, I will sing it for them".[22]

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.[32][33] 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.[34]

In Malayalam[edit]

Malayalam was one of the rare Indian languages in which Sonu Nigam did not sing. This condition continued until 2011, when he sang a song 'Chakkaramavin Kombathu', from the movie Bombay March 12. Sonu had earlier sung a song in the movie Kandahar, but the song, 'Aye Janani', was a Hindi song, and the former is his first Malayalam song.He again topped the hit charts by singing in the movie 8.20 ,a romantic song thoomanjin kulirilo.

Television[edit]

Nigam was the host of Sa Re Ga Ma from the start of the show till 1999.[35] 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 which marked the 1000th episode.

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, Aladdin in the Hindi translated version of Aladdin.[36]

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.[35]

Acting career[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, as the male lead opposite Juhi Babbar, and Love in Nepal. None of the films did well at the box office, although his acting was much better appreciated in his last venture. He has not returned to acting since Love in Nepal, but was recently said to be involved in Ankhon Ankhon Mein, about a blind singer.[38]

Music Director[edit]

Recently he has been involved as music composing in the movie Sing Saab The Great collaborated with Anand Raj Anand and movie Jal 2014 collaborated with Bickram Ghosh.

Radio[edit]

In 2006, Nigam hosted Life Ki Dhun with Sonu Nigaam on Radiocity 91.1 FM, where he had the opportunity to interview musicians, including Lata Mangeshkar in the episode aired last.[39]

Dubbing Roles[edit]

Nigam voices certain roles in Hindi for foreign films, especially Hollywood films.

On February 2013, An announcement has been made that Sonu is assigned to lead his voice in a Hindi dubbed version of a Japanese anime film, The Mystical Laws.[40]

Animated Films[edit]

Film title Original Voice Character Dub Language Original Language Original Release Dub Release Notes
Disney's Aladdin[41] Scott Weinger
Brad Caleb Kane (Singing)
Aladdin Hindi English 1992 2005 Gave both the speaking and singing voice to Aladdin in this film. Aired on Disney Channel India.
Rio Jesse Eisenberg Blu Hindi English 2011 2011

Anime Films[edit]

Film title Original Japanese Voice Character Dub Language Original Release Dub Release Notes
The Mystical Laws[42] Hindi 2012 2013[43]

Personal Life and Volunteer Work[edit]

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

Sonu married Madhurima, who is from a Bengali family, on 15 February 2002.[44] They have a son, Nevaan, born in 2007.[45]

Sonu Nigam practices fitness and yoga exercises, and has trained in Taekwondo.[1] He claims to be spiritual rather than religious.[46]

Nigam has done work for various charities in India as well as abroad for the Dignity Foundation, for various organizations working in the fields of cancer, leprosy, blindness and women's welfare, and for families affected by the Kargil war and earthquakes. He also sponsors a child from the organization "Crayon".[1]

Awards and nominations[edit]

[47]

Discography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Nigam has acted in various films.

Film Title Character Year
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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sonu Nigam Biography". Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "It's Nigam, not Niigaam, Says Sonu". The Times of India. 8 September 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  3. ^ http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-03-03/news-and-interviews/37390250_1_sonu-nigam-mumbai-singer
  4. ^ India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic: An ..., Volume 1
  5. ^ a b c d "Sonu Nigam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  6. ^ "Sonu Niigaam goes Classically Mild". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  7. ^ "Sonu Niigaam pays homage to Mohd Rafi". www.indiaglitz.com. 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". http://www.mid-day.com. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Sonu Nigam's Tour to Germany". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  12. ^ "Close-Up and BIG 92.7 FM bring Sonu Nigam’s concert". Retrieved 25 July 2008. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Sonu Nigam invited to perform at Harvard University". Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Sonu Nigam's Rafi Resurrected tour in UK". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  15. ^ "Sonu Nigam's new album 'Rafi Resurrected' in July this year". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  16. ^ http://www.indianexpress.com/news/top-singers-100-musicians-at-laxmikantpyarelal-concert/789055/
  17. ^ "Sonu Nigam to launch English album". The Times Of India. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  18. ^ "Time travel". Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  19. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/2013-09-07/uncharted
  20. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/2013-10-05/uncharted
  21. ^ "Sonu Nigam - Live in Concert at Tripuravasini, Mekhri Circle, Bangalore". Buzzintown. 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  22. ^ a b Mar 11, 2012 : (2012-03-11). "Pitching it right". Deccanherald.com. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  23. ^ "SONU NIGAM rocks in Monalisa – Monalisa – Sadaa ,Dhyan | Kannada songs collection, kannada movie news". Kannadachitraranga.com. 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  24. ^ http://www.movieskope.com/songs/tag/aham-premasmi-kannada-movie-songs-mp3/
  25. ^ "'Mungaru Male' National record - Kannada Movie News". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  26. ^ "Mungaru Male – Sucessful 365 days!! at Bangalore 365". Bangalore365.com. 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  27. ^ "SIRIGANDHA Kannada songs blog : ಕನ್ನಡವೇ ಸತ್ಯ ಸಿರಿಗಂಧ ನಿತ್ಯ: Mungaru male - one more record to basket". Sirigandhakannadamp3.blogspot.in. 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  28. ^ "Mungaru Male – Sucessful 365 days - Mohan's Blog". Mohanbn.com. 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  29. ^ "Mungaru Male Completed 365 Days !!! | Perfume Factory". Harshah.com. 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  30. ^ ": Videos". Moneycontrol.com. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  31. ^ Sudha Hegde (2010-08-18). "‘Kannada songs make me feel positive’.". Deccanherald.com. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  32. ^ "Kannada Sonu Nigam Neene Bari Neene Manomurthy". YouTube. 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  33. ^ "Sonu Nigam - Baa Nodu Gelathi - Neene Bari Neene (HQ)". YouTube. 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  34. ^ "Karnataka Bulldozers OFFICIAL THEME SONG [HQ] Celebrity Cricket League". YouTube. 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  35. ^ a b Rajini Vaidyanathan (30 May 2011). "Does India have the X factor?". BBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  36. ^ "INDIAN TELEVISION PREMIER OF DISNEY'S ALADDIN". 
  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. ^ "Life Ki Dhun Sonu Niigaam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  40. ^ Template:Url=http://www.bolegaindia.com/gossips/Sonu Nigam lends voice to a Japanese movie-gid-25197-gc-6.html
  41. ^ "The Walt Disney Company". Disney.in. 2005-02-23. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  42. ^ "Sonu Nigam lends voice to a Japanese movie". Fastmaza.com. 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  43. ^ "Sonu Nigam croons for Japanese animation film THE MYSTICAL LAWS". Samachar.com. 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  44. ^ "Sonu Nigam weds city belle". The Times Of India. 15 February 2002. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  45. ^ "Indian Singer Sonu Nigam becomes a father". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  46. ^ "I AM: Sonu Nigam". The Times Of India. 11 November 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  47. ^ "Awards @ Sonuniigaam.com". 
  48. ^ "Sonu Nigam receiving Filmfare award for Ninnindale | Watch Latest Videos and Talk Shows, Listen Mp3 and Live Radio Channels". Pakfiles.com. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  49. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/regional/kannada/news-interviews/Bangalore-Times-Film-Awards-2012-goes-to--/articleshow/21893862.cms
  50. ^ "Anandalok Awards 2004". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 22 December 2005. 
  51. ^ "Global Indian Television Awards". The Times Of India. Retrieved 2010-11-16. [dead link]

External links[edit]