Jagjit Singh, born Jagmohan Singh Dhiman (8 February 1941 – 10
October 2011), was an iconic Indian
Ghazal singer, composer and
musician. Known as the "
Ghazal King", he gained acclaim together with
his wife, another renowned Indian ghazal singer
Chitra Singh in the
1970s and 1980s. Their combination album comprising music from the
films, Arth and Saath Saath is the HMV's largest selling combination
album of all time.
Sajda (An Offering, 1991), Jagjit
Singh's magnum opus double album with
Lata Mangeshkar holds the same
record in non-film category. He sang in numerous
languages. He was awarded the
Padma Bhushan by the government of India
in 2003. In February 2014,
Government of India
Government of India released a set of two
postal stamps in his honour.
Singh is credited for the revival and popularity of ghazal, an 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 and Saath Saath
(1982), and TV serials Mirza
Ghalib (1988) and
Jagjit 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 a repertoire
comprising over 90 albums, the range and breadth of his work has
been regarded as genre-defining. He is the only composer and singer to
have composed and recorded songs written by former Prime Minister of
India Atal Bihari Vajpayee – also a poet – in two
albums, Nayi Disha (1999) and Samvedna (2002).
Singh's 1987 album, Beyond Time, was the first digitally recorded
release in India. He was regarded as one of
influential artists. With sitar legend
Ravi Shankar and other leading
Indian classical music
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
Bombay Hospital, CRY,
Save the Children
Save the Children and ALMA.
1 Early life and career
4 Personal life
8 Film scores
10 See also
12 External links
Early life and career
Jagjit Singh (middle) with poet
Shahid Kabir and his son, Sameer
Jagjit Singh was born in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India (then
Bikaner State). His father Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman was a surveyor
with government's public works department and hailed from village
Dalla, District Ropar in Punjab and mother Sardarni Bachchan Kaur was
a housewife who was raised in a deeply religious family in Ottallan
village near Samralla.
Educated initially at Khalsa High School and Government College in Sri
Ganganagar, Singh obtained an arts degree from
DAV College in
Jalandhar. There he began his professional career in 1961 by
undertaking singing and composing assignments at All India Radio's
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
Chaganlal Sharma and later from Ustad Jamaal Khan of Senia 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
Bollywood film industry. He obtained work initially as
a singer of advertising jingles and later progressed to playback
Lata Mangeshkar at the audio release of Saadgi
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
1976[clarification needed] 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, while Jagjit became known as
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
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 18-year-old son, Vivek, was killed
in a road accident. Chitra felt unable to sing following these events.
Monica, Chitra's daughter from her first marriage, committed suicide
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
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.[citation
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
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.
Woh Kaghaz Ki Kasthi
Shayad Main Zindagi Ki Sahar
Zindagi Tujh Ko Jiya Hai
Us Mod Se Shuroo Karen
Jis Mod Par Kiye The
Mere Dukh Ki Koi Dawa Na Karo
Badi Haseen Raat Thi
Teri Ankhon Mein Hamne Kya Dekha
La Pila De Sharab Ai Saqi
1 December 1986
Din Guzar Gaya
Meri Zindagi Kisi Aur Ki
Ab Ke Barsat Ki Rut
Fasila To Hai
Aadmi Aadmi Ko Kya Dega
Mere Dukh Ki Koi Dawa Na Karo
Koi Samjhega Kya Raz-E-Gulshan
Dekha To Mera Saya Bhi
Dil Hi To Hai
1 February 1996
Apni marzi se
Dushman ko bhi seene se lagana
Ek barahman ne kaha hai
Koi chaudavi raat ka chaand
Main rahe meena rahe
Mujhe jeene do
Rishta kya hai tera mera
Zindagi se badi sazaa hi nahin
Main Bhool Jaau
Mere Dil Ne Kaha
Jaate Jaate Woh Mujhe
Dard Apnata Hain
Mujhko Yaqeen Hain
Sach Yeh Hain Bekaar
Dard Ke Phool Bhi
Kabhi Yu Bhi To
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
Singh toured the UK in 2011 and was due to perform with Ghulam Ali in
Mumbai but suffered a brain haemorrhage on 23 September 2011. He
was in a 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 number of tributes have been paid to Singh after his
death, and some tried to cash in on his
popularity, which was criticised by his wife.
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
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 Primvevideo 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
In 2003, Singh was awarded the Padma Bhushan,
India's third highest
civilian award, by the government of India
Jagjit Singh was awarded Sahitya Academy Award, a literary
honour in India. He was awarded for popularising the work of Mirza
Sangeet Natak Academy Award
Sahitya Kala Academy Award by
Rajasthan government in 1998[citation
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
Google India honoured
Jagjit Singh with a doodle on his 72nd birthday
on 8 February 2013.
"Laagi Ram bhajan ni lagani"
"Babul Mora Naihar"
Ek Baar Kaho
"Raakh Ke Dher Ne",
"Phir Pukara Hai"
"Hontho se chhoo lo tum"
"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"
"Pyar Mujh Se Jo Kiya Tumne",
"Tum Ko Dekha To Yeh
"Yeh Bata De Mujhe Zindagi",
"Yeh Bata De Mujhe Zindagi",
"Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar",
"Yun Zindagi Ki Raah Mein"
Tum Laut Aao
Zulf Ke Saye Saye
"Nashili Raat Mein"
"Hum to Yun Apni Zindagi Se Mile",
"Main Gar Mein Chunariya"
"Mere Dil Mein Tu Hi Tu Hai"
Phir Aayee Barsat
"Na Mohabbat Na Dosti Ke Liye"
"Humsafar Ban Ke Hum"
Long Da Lishkara
"Ishq Hai Loko",
"Main Kandyali Thor Ve",
"Sare Pindch Puare Paye"
"Deewaron Pe Naqsh Banane Ka Hai Junoon",
"Meri Ajab Hai Zindagi"
TV serial directed by Gulzar
Kaanoon Ki Awaaz
"Dono Ke Dil Hai Majboor Pyar Se",
"Main Kasie Kahoon Janeman"
"O Maa Tujhe Salaam"
Neem Ka Ped
TV serial (Title song - Munh ki baat sune har koii)
"Din Aa Gaye Shabab Ke",
"Ulfat Ka Jab Kisis Ne Liya Naam",
"Ye Sheeshe Ye Rishte"
"Hazaar baar ruke ham, hazaar baar chale"
TV documentary (Title song - "Hai Lau Zindagi")
"Chhitti Na Koi Sandesh"
"Is duniya mein rakha kya hai"
"Hosh Walon Ko"
TV serial (Title song - Koi atka hua hai pal shayad)
"Kiska Chehra ab mai dekhun"
Shaheed Udham Singh
"Yun To Guzar Raha Hai"
"Dhuan Uttha Hai",
"Jaag Ke Kati",
"Jabse Kareeb Ho Ke Chale",
"Benaam Sa Ye Dard",
"Har Ek Ghar Mein Diya",
"Teri Aankhon Se Hi"
"Badi Nazuk Hai"
Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai
"Aisi Aankhen Nahin Dekhi"
"Tum paas aa rahe ho"
"Dil Tarasta Hai"
Aap Ko Dekh Kar Dekhta Reh Gaya
"Khumari Chaddh Ke Utar Gayi"
Pyar Kare Dis: Feel the Power of Love
Shahrukh Bola "Khoobsurat Hai Tu"
Gandhi to Hitler
"Har or tabahi ka manzar"
"Tumse Bichhad Kar"
Tum Bin 2
Aarogya Mantra (2008)
Ae Mere Dil (1983)
A Journey (2000)
Akhand Ram Naam (2009)
A Milestone (1980)
An Evening With Jagjit &
Chitra Singh (Live)
A Sound Affair (1985)
Baba Sheikh Farid (Shabads & Shlokas- 2006)
Beyond Time (1987)
Best of Jagjit &
Chitra Singh (2005)
Bhajans (Lata-Jagjit −2004)
Bhajan Uphar (2008)
Biraha Da Sultan (1978)
Chirag (Also known as Live in Trinidad – Islamic Devotional-
Classics Forever (2000)
Close to mMy Heart (2003)
Come Alive in a Concert (1979)
Cry For CRY (1995)
Different Strokes (2001)
Dil- Jagjit, Asha & Lata (2002)
Dil Kahin Hosh Kahin (1999)
Do Dil Do Rahein (A Tribute To Mehdi Hasan- 2007)
Essential Chants of Shiva (2006)
Face To Face (1994)
Forget Me Not (2002)
Gayatri Mantra (2008)
Ghalib Live in Concert (2014)
Jagjit Singh And Ghulam Ali'
Ghazals from Films (1989)
Golden Moments (1999)
Govardhan Girdhari (2011)
Guru Govind Singh (1998)
Hare Krishna (Live)
Hari Om Tatsat (2003)
Hey Govind Hey Gopal (1991)
Hey Ram (Ram Dhun)
Hare Ram Hare Krishna (1999)
Doordarshan TV Serial (1991–92)
In Search (1992)
In Sight (1994)
Jagjit Singh & Asha Bhonsle
Jai Raghunandan Jai Siyaram (2002)
Jai Siya Ram (2000)
Jeevan Kya Hai (2005)
Jeevan Maran Chhe Ek (Gujrati)
Keertan (Gurbani- 2000)
Krishna Bhajans (1998)
Koi Baat Chale (2006)
Krishna Bhajans And Music For Divine Meditation (2009)
Live in Concert (1988)
Live in Concert at the Wembley (1980)
Live in Pakistan (1979)
Live in Royal Albert Hall (1983)
Live in Sydney (2006)
Life Story (Live- 2001)
Live With Jagjit & Chitra Singh
Jagjit Singh (1993)
Love Is Blind (1998)
Madho Hum Aise Tu Aisa (2003)
Madhusudana- Shree Krishna Dhun (2011)
Main Aur Meri Tanhai (1981)
Man Jeetey Jagjit (1990)
Man Mein Ram Basa Le
Mara Ghatma Shrinathji (2007)
Memorable Concert (Live)
Memorable Ghazals of Jagjit and Chitra (1990)
Ghalib (T.V. Serial- 1988)
Mitr Pyaare Nu (2005)
Morning Prayers And Music For Divine Meditation (2009)
Nayi Disha (1999)
Om- The Divine Mantra (2007)
Parwaaz (live at the Esplanade, Singapore- 2004)
Phaldata Ganesh: God Who Fulfills Wishes (2006)
Pray For India
Punjabi Hits- Jagjit & Chitra Singh
Radhey Krishna Radhey Shyam (2000)
Radhey Krishna Dhun
Rare Gems (1992)
Rishton Mein Darar Aayi
Sai Dhun (2005)
Shabads Live in the UK (2014)
Shiva (Dhuns and Bhajans- 2005)
Shri Ganesha (2010)
Solid Gold (2001)
Someone Somewhere (1990)
The Inimitable Ghazals Composed by
Jagjit Singh (1996)
The Latest (1982)
The Life And Times of
Jagjit Singh (2011)
The Master and His Magic (2012)
The Unforgettables (1977)
The Voice From Beyond (2013)
Tum Toh Nahin Ho (2005)
Vakratunda Mahakaya (2006)
Your Choice (1993)
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Jagjit Singh Passes Away". Ikonz Mag. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
^ Mathur, Asharani; Mathur, edited by AshaRani (2002). Beyond
time : the ageless music of Jagjit Singh. New Delhi: Habitat
Arts. ISBN 978-8190156301.
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with Jagjit Singh". Times of India. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
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^ a b c d e Hunt, Ken (13 October 2011). "Jagjit Singh: Singer hailed
as the maestro of Indian ghazal". The Independent. London. Retrieved
11 January 2012.
^ a b c "Indian singer
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^ a b "Jagjit Singh". The Telegraph. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 1
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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 dies in
Mumbai hospital". NDTV. 10 October
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^ "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
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Jagjit Singh was one in a
million'". DNA. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
^ "Shaan's tribute to late
Jagjit Singh on his birth anniversary". Mid
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The Times of India. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
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^ "Govt names seven for
Rajasthan Ratna award". The Times of India. 31
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^ a b "'Music is therapeutic'". The Hindu. 20 May 2002. Retrieved 8
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^ Deoras, Neha Pandey (8 February 2013). "Google celebrates Jagjit
Singh's birthday with a doodle". Retrieved 15 March 2018 – via
^ "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.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jagjit Singh.
Jagjit Singh on BBC
Jagjit Singh on IMDb
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# Posthumous conferral
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