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Udit Narayan

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Udit Narayan
Udit Narayan in 2017
Udit Narayan Jha

(1955-12-01) 1 December 1955 (age 68)
Alma materRatna Rajya Laxmi Campus, Tribhuvan University
OccupationPlayback singer
Years active1980–present
  • Ranjana Jha (m. 1984; sep.)[1]
  • Deepa Gahatraj
    (m. 1985)
ChildrenAditya Narayan[2]
Musical career

Udit Narayan Jha (born 1 December 1955) is an Indian playback singer[3] whose songs have been featured mainly in Hindi films. He has also sung in various other languages including Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Bengali, Sindhi, Odia, Bhojpuri, Nepali, Malayalam, Assamese, Bagheli and Maithili.[4] He has won four National Film Awards[5] and five Filmfare Awards with twenty nominations among many others. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 2009[6] and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution towards arts and culture.[7] As many as 21 of his tracks feature in BBC's "Top 40 Bollywood Soundtracks of all time".[8]

He got to sing with Mohammed Rafi in his Hindi playback debut in Unees-Bees in 1980 and also with Kishore Kumar in the 1980s. He finally made his mark in the 1988 film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak starring Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla, his song "Papa Kehte Hain" was his notable performance which earned him his first Filmfare Award in the 1980s and he established himself in Bollywood Playback Singing. The soundtrack became one of the highest selling albums in the 1980s. The soundtrack was a breakthrough for the careers of Anand–Milind,[9] as well as T-Series, one of India's leading record labels.[10] after which he was one of the favourites of music directors. In the 1990s he sung for a thousands of songs including Hindi and Nepali languages.

Recognising his contribution, the King of Nepal Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev honoured him with the Order of Gorkha Dakshina Bahu in 2001 after his contribution to Indian cinema and music, and Chitragupta Cineyatra Samman 2015 for his contribution towards Bhojpuri cinema.[11] He is the only male singer in the history of the Filmfare Awards to have won in over three decades (the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s).[12]

Early life

Udit Narayan Jha was born on 1 December 1955 in an ethnic Maithil Brahmin family to Harekrishna Jha, a Nepalese national, and Bhuvaneshwari Jha, an Indian national.[13][14][15] In 2009, when Narayan was awarded India's fourth highest civilian honour Padma Shri, there were reports questioning his Indian citizenship, claiming that he was born in Nepal. However, Udit Narayan himself branded these reports as "completely false", and stated that he was born in the Baisi village of Supaul district in Bihar at his maternal grandparents' home near the India-Nepal border.[16] When his acceptance of the Padma Shri led to his criticism in Nepal, he told the Nepalese daily Kantipur that he was "from Nepal but his mother's home was in Bihar."[17] In a 2017 interview with the Indian magazine Outlook, he clarified that he was born in Baisi, and clarified that his father Harekrishna was a native of Bhardaha, Saptari District, Sagarmatha Zone (present-day Madhesh Province), Nepal on the border with India.[15] In September 2018, Udit Narayan revealed at a ceremony held by the Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America, that he identifies as a Bihari.[18]

Narayan studied at Jageshwar High School, Kunauli, Supaul, Bihar, India, where he finished his SSC and later obtained his intermediate degree from Ratna Rajya Lakshmi Campus of Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. His father Harekrishna Jha was a farmer and his mother Bhuvneshwari Devi was a folk singer who encouraged his career.[19][1][20]

Personal life

In 2006, Ranjana Narayan claimed to be Narayan's first wife, but Narayan consistently denied it. Later, he accepted her as his wife and promised to provide for her maintenance.[21][22] Narayan has been married twice, first to Ranjana Narayan Jha and then to Deepa Gahatraj. He began his relationship with Deepa Gahatraj while he was still married to Ranjana Narayan. Narayan and Deepa were married in 1985. With Deepa Gahatraj, he has one son, Aditya Narayan, who is also a playback singer.[2][21][23][24]


Narayan is one of the most prominent singers of Bollywood throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. He has been the on-screen singing voice for various Bollywood stars. He has sung for Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Dev Anand, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn. Most of his duets are with Alka Yagnik. He began his career in 1970 as a Maithili folk singer (staff artist) for Radio Nepal, singing mostly popular folk songs in Maithili and Nepali.[25][unreliable source?] Gradually, he started singing modern Nepali songs. After eight years, Narayan moved to Bombay on a musical scholarship for Nepalese from the Indian Embassy in Nepal to study classical music at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.

Udit Narayan with Bollywood playback singers

Narayan started his Bollywood career in 1980 when he was noted by music director Rajesh Roshan, who asked Narayan to playback sing for the Hindi film Unees-Bees. Narayan was given the opportunity to sing with the singer Mohammed Rafi. He sang for Devanand a couplet in Swami Dada.His first duet was in the film Sannata. Soon after, Narayan sang for a number of other films, including Bade Dil Wala in 1983, where he sang a duet with senior singer Lata Mangeshkar, composed by senior music director R. D. Burman. In the same year, Narayan sang with Kishore Kumar in the film Kehdo Pyar Hai. Another singer he sang with was Suresh Wadkar with music composed by Bappi Lahiri. A significant milestone in his career occurred in 1988 when Anand–Milind gave him the opportunity to sing all the songs for the Bollywood film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, with Alka Yagnik, which earned him a Filmfare Award.[26] In a 2014 interview with The Times of India, Narayan said: "The song I've sung, "Manzilein", is the best song of my career after "Pehla Nasha", which gave me superstardom!".[27] Narayan remained prolific through the 2000s, singing numbers in films such as Pukar, Dhadkan, Lagaan, Devdas and Veer-Zaara.

In 2002, Narayan sang "Bairi Piya" with newcomer Shreya Ghoshal, from the film Devdas, of which Rediff.com mentioned: "Narayan successfully captures the eternal romanticism of Devdas".[28] In 2014, Narayan sang a song titled "Naa Hum Jo Kah De" along with Shreya Ghoshal, for the album Women's Day Special: Spreading Melodies Everywhere. The song was composed by Ram Shankar and penned by A. K. Mishra.[29]

He competed with his closest professional rival Kumar Sanu who won five consecutive Filmfare awards in the 1990s.[30]

Narayan's work has been praised by his contemporaries Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy and music director Ankit Tiwari.[31][32][33] Mid-Day included him in the list of notable 90s playback singers.[34] Narayan is considered one of the most prominent singers of his generation.[35]

Other work

Narayan's friend Jiyand Nawab Deedag suggested he change his work from old to modern in order to be selected as a playback singer, but this did not work and, considering old films in 1973, Narayan sang a song for a Nepali film called Sindoor. This was a comedy song for the Nepali comedians GopalRaj Mainali (Chankhe) and Basundhara Bhushal (Nakkali). Narayan sang this song with Sushma Shrestha, now known as Poornima in Hindi films. Narayan has also acted in two Nepali films – Kusume Rumal[36] and Pirati in 1985. In 2004, he released his first non-movie Nepalese album, Upahaar, in which he sang duets with his wife Deepa Jha. Narayan has many solo albums as well, such as Bhajan Sangam, Bhajan Vatika, I Love You, Dil Deewana, Yeh Dosti, Love is Life, Jaanam,Jhumka de Jhumka, Sona No Ghadulo, Dhuli Ganga and Ma Tarini.[37]

Narayan has performed in many stage shows in India and abroad and is the recipient of many awards. These include Screen Videocon Award, MTV Best Video Award and Pride of India Gold Award. In 2010, Narayan with Madhushree sang for the English independent film When Harry Tries to Marry.

Narayan also sang the title song for the TV show Yeh Duniyan Gazab Ki, with Kumar Sanu.[38] In 2015 he was involved in a mega series campaign Melancholy, where 421 Nepali artists had sung a 33 minutes 49-second long environmental song, in which 365 artists set a Guinness World Record on 19 May 2016 at Radio Nepal Studio, Singhadurbar, Kathamandu. It is written, composed and directed by environmentalist Nipesh DHAKA.[39]


Narayan was on the panel of judges of Indian Idol 3 in 2007 with music composer Anu Malik and playback singer Alisha Chinai on Sony TV.

Narayan was on the panel of judges on Sony TV for Waar Parriwar, a reality show based on the bringing together of a singing gharana (family of singers). He shared judging duties with fellow playback singer Kumar Sanu and Jatin Pandit of the music duo Jatin–Lalit.[40]

Narayan has appeared on Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star[41] and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs as a guest.[42] In mid May 2024, he appeared as guest in Colors TV's Mangal Lakshmi for Kartik and Lakshmi's Sangeet caremony.[43]

As an actor

Udit Narayan Jha acted in and sang all the songs in a 1985 Nepali film called Kusume Rumal which is one of the All Time Classics in Nepali film industry starring himself with Bhuwan K.C. and Tripti Nadakar, which spent 25 weeks on the box office top ten list and became the highest-grossing Nepalese film of all time until overtaken in 2001 by another Tulsi Ghimire film, Darpan Chaya.[36][44]


Work with other singers

Udit Narayan career started in 1980 and flourished during 90's. During the huge span of playback singing, other than the duet songs with notable female playback singers, Udit Narayan was fortunate to collaborate with playback singers from all generations. Udit Narayan debuted with legendary singer Mohammad Rafi and then got opportunity to share songs with Kishore Kumar, Amit Kumar, Suresh Wadkar, Mohammad Aziz and others during 80's. Most of his male duets are with Kumar Sanu & Abhijeet.Though his best discography songs were duets with singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya.Khudko kya samjhti ha, mai khiladi tu anari, lagi lagi ye dilka. Some of the rest selected and notable songs are as follows

Song film(s) Co-Singers/ (Other Version)
"Mil Gaya" Unees-Bees (1980) Mohammed Rafi & Usha Mangeshkar
"Jeevan Ke Din" Bade Dil Wala (1983) Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar (Other Version)
"O Bindiya Tum Humse Keh Do Pyar Hai" Kehdo Pyar Hai (1983) Kishore Kumar and Suresh Wadkar
"Log Jahan Par Rehte Hain" Pyaar Ka Mandir (1988) Mohammad Aziz, Suresh Wadkar and Kavita Krishnamurthy
"Oye Oye" Tridev (1989) Amit Kumar & Mohammad Aziz
"Ek Doosre Se Karte Hain Pyar Hum" Hum (1991) Sudesh Bhosle and Mohammad Aziz
"Ilu Ilu" Saudagar (1991) Manhar Udhas, Sukhwinder Singh and Kavita Krishnamurthy
"Diwano Ki Mastano Ki" Dancer (1991) S. P. Balasubrahmanyam & Kavita Krishnamurthy
"Dil Le Gayi Teri Bindiya" Vishwatma (1992) Amit Kumar, Sapna Mukherjee and Mohammad Aziz
"Saat Samundar Paar (Part-II)" Vishwatma (1992) Sadhana Sargam and Jolly Mukherjee
"Deewana Dil Deewana" Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994) Amit Kumar
"Main Khiladi Tu Anari" Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994) Abhijeet Bhattacharya and Anu Malik
"Yeh Bandhan Toh" Karan Arjun (1995) Kumar Sanu & Alka Yagnik
"Ram Jaane" Ram Jaane (1995) Sonu Nigam & Alka Yagnik
"Very Good Very Bad" Trimurti (1995) Vinod Rathod
"Salma Pe Dil Aa Gaya" (Part 1) Salma Pe Dil Aa Gaya (1997) Asha Bhosle & Amit Kumar : Kumar Sanu(Part II)
"Koi Jaane Koi Na Jaane" Aur Pyar Ho Gaya (1997) Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Anuradha Paudwal
"Neend Churai Meri" Ishq (1997) Kumar Sanu, Kavita Krishnamurthy and Alka Yagnik
"Mr. Lova Lova" (Ankhiyaan Tu Mila Le) Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Sudesh Bhosle, Kavita Krishnamurthy & Poornima
"Hum Saath Saath Hain" Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwal, Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy & Alka Yagnik
"Mhare Hiwda" Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) Hariharan, Anuradha Paudwal, Kumar Sanu, Kavita Krishnamurthy & Alka Yagnik
"Sunoji Dulhan" Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) Roop Kumar Rathod, Sonu Nigam, Kavita Krishnamurthy & Pratima Rao
"Dillagi Dillagi" Dillagi (1999) Abhijeet, Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Alka Yagnik, Jaspinder Narula & Mahalaxmi Iyer
"Mela Dilon Ka (Part II)" Mela (2000) Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Sadhana Sargam, Hema Sardesai, Mansoor/(Part I) Roop Kumar Rathod, Shankar Mahadevan, Jaspinder Narula, Nitin Mukesh & Anmol
"Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Hai Dil Se" Dhadkan (2000) Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu
"Ghanan Ghanan" Lagaan (2001) Sukhwinder Singh, Alka Yagnik, Shankar Mahadevan & Shaan
"Mitwa" Lagaan (2001) Sukhwinder Singh, Alka Yagnik & Srinivas
"Main Kahin Bhi Rahoon" LOC Kargil (2003) Hariharan, Roop Kumar Rathod, Sonu Nigam & Sukhwinder Singh
"Aisa Des Hai Mera" Veer-Zaara (2004) Lata Mangeshkar & Gurdas Maan
"Yun Hi Chala Chal" Swades (2004) Kailash Kher and Hariharan
"Deewangi Deewangi" Om Shanti Om (2007) Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal, & Sunidhi Chauhan
"Radha" Student of the Year (2012) Shreya Ghoshal & Vishal Dadlani
"Apna Bombay Talkies" Bombay Talkies (2013) Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Abhijeet, Sadhana Sargam, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, KK, Shreya Ghoshal, Sukhwinder Singh, Shilpa Rao, Mohit Chauhan & Sonu Nigam

Awards and nominations

Narayan has won four National Film Awards and five Filmfare Awards.[11]

Jury member of awards

In 2012, Narayan was one of the jury members of the film music jury for the Global Indian Music Academy Awards[45] In 2015, he was one of the jury members in Mirchi Music Awards, and the same year he was the judge of the Jagran Film Festival.[46][47][48]

Civil honours

Narayan receiving award for the Best Male Playback Singer Award from former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Narayan receiving Padma Bhushan from former President of India Pranab Mukherjee
  • Prabal Gorkha Dakshina Bahu, Fourth Class of Prestigious Order of Gorkha Dakshina Bahu (Order of Gorkha Right Arm), one of the highest civil honours in Nepal, by the King of Nepal Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, 2001[49]
  • Padma Bhushan : third highest civil honour from Indian Government, 2016[50]
  • Madhya Pradesh government's National Lata Mangeshkar Award, 2015[citation needed]
  • National Bravery Award from Maharashtra at Raj Bhavan 2016[51]
  • Padma Shri : fourth highest civil honour from Indian Government, 2009[52]
  • Honoured at Swabhimani Mumbaikar Awards, 2016[53]
  • Special Jury Salute Award from Radio Mirchi Award, 2016[54]
  • Receiving the Kishore Kumar Memorial Award for Music from S. Krishna Kumar[55]
  • Dr. Ambedkar Awards in Mumbai, 2015[56]
  • Awarded for his exceptional performance Bhojpuri industry, 2015[57]
  • Received BIFA awards, 2015[58]
  • 1st, Chitragupta Cineyatra Film Award, 2015
  • Maharashtra Ratna Awards from Government of Maharashtra 2011[59]
  • First Mohammed Rafi award, 2010[60]
  • 2nd Medscape India National Awards[61]
  • Chitragupta Cineyatra Samman for Bhojpuri Cinema, 2015
  • Received Samrat Vikramaditya Sangeet Alankaran Samman, 2006[62]

Outstanding honours and awards

  • Big Entertainment Award 2017 Udit Narayan won the 92.7FM Suhana Safar Legend Award[63]
  • Mirchi Music Awards 2016 Jury Special Salute[64]

International honours and awards

  • International Brandlaureate Personality Award from Malaysia, 2011[65]

Lifetime achievement awards

  • Lifetime Achievement Award from Kalashri Award, 2010[66]
  • Sahara Awadh Samman Awardee, 2006
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from Suryadatta National Awards, 2016[67]

See also


  1. ^ a b c PTI (21 April 2006). "Singer Udit Narayan accosted by 'first' wife". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs' Aditya Narayan: Today people know me by my name". Hindustan Times. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  3. ^ "List of Odia songs by Udit Narayan". Gaana.
  4. ^ "Udit Narayan - Chunri Lyrics | Lyrics.com". www.lyrics.com. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
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  8. ^ "Top 40 Soundtracks of All Time". BBC Asian Network. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  9. ^ "India Today". India Today. 18. Living Media: 52. 1993. Anand–Milind did six films before hitting the jackpot with Qayamat se Qayamat Tak in 1988.
  10. ^ Booth, Gregory D. (2008). Behind the Curtain: Making Music in Mumbai's Film Studios. Oxford University Press. p. 80. ISBN 9780199716654.
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  16. ^ "Getting Padma Shri a dream come true". Hindustan Times. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2021. 'They say I was born in Nepal, but that's completely false. I was born in a village called Baisi on the Supaul district of Bihar in 1955 at my maternal grandparents' home,' Udit had said in a recent interview with IANS.
  17. ^ "Artistes have no borders, Udit Narayan tells Nepal". The Times of India. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
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  31. ^ "Shreya Ghoshal And Many More Are Ankit Tiwari's Favorite Singers". Bollywood Hungama. 25 October 2016. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
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  35. ^ "Udit Narayan one of the most prominent singers". Filmibeat.com. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
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  38. ^ Jain, Ananya (1 April 2020). "Quarantine Special: 10 Classic Shows of 80s and 90s , You Can Watch For Free During Lockdown". IndiaTimes. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  39. ^ "Nepali house-hold names go for the Guinness World Records". Kathmandupost.ekantipur.com. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
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  43. ^ IANS (19 May 2024). "Udit Narayan Will Sing Some Of His 'Favourite Songs' In 'Mangal Lakshmi' Sangeet Ceremony". Outlok India. Retrieved 22 May 2024.
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  50. ^ "i am speechless :Udit Narayan". The Indian Express. 25 January 2016.
  51. ^ "Governor of Maharashtra felicitate Padma Awardees from State". Mumbai Messenger. 14 May 2016.
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  53. ^ "Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Preity Zinta honoured at Swabhimani Mumbaikar Awards". Indian Express. 4 June 2016.
  54. ^ "8th Mirchi Music Awards: Complete list of winners". The Times of India. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  55. ^ "Udit Narayan receives Kishore Kumare Memorial Award". Priyadarshin Academy. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  56. ^ Maheshwri, Neha (15 April 2015). "Celebrities attend Dr Ambedkar awards in Mumbai". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  57. ^ "Udit Narayan- Deepa awarded". The Times of India. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  58. ^ Léon, Thierry. "BIFA 2015 : Une ode à l'industrie cinématographique indienne" [BIFA 2015: An ode to the Indian film industry] (in French). Le Défi Media Group. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
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  61. ^ [1] [dead link]
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  63. ^ "Big Zee Entertainment Awards 2017 winners list: Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sushant Singh Rajput are the big winners of the night". Bollywood Life. 19 August 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  64. ^ "8th Mirchi Music Awards 2016 - Complete Winner List - Zee TV". Allmoviesonglyrics.in. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  65. ^ "Adnan honoured with International Brandlaureate Personality Award". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  66. ^ Iyer, Aruna V. (13 July 2010). "Laila O Laila". The Hindu.
  67. ^ [2] [dead link]

External links