Jagjit Singh is known as an Indian classical singer and composer. He is one of the most acclaimed Ghazal singers of his time and still known as “The Ghazal King.” After Ravi Shankar, he is viewed as one of the post-colonial singers.
He is India’s generally significant and acquainted, and surely is top rated because of his soundtracks and scores for film and TV, and his melodic interpretations he did from the works of poets. He recorded more than 60 albums during his lifetime. He is known not just for his ghazals and singing in many languages, but for Indian classical music, including thumri and bhajan as well.
He alongside his wife Chitra came to prominence for their immense contribution to the Indian music industry. His albums which incorporate music from movies, for example, Arth and Saath Saath have been HMV’s biggest selling albums of all time.
Jagjit and Chitra were the first-ever husband and wife duo who gained popularity throughout the entire existence of recorded The Indian music industry. Together, they are viewed as the pioneers of current ghazal music and viewed as the best recording singers outside the domain of Indian film music.
Singh has not just sung for films, albums and on shows, but in addition, composed, sung and recorded some songs composed by former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Other than music, Singh was additionally active in philanthropic undertakings and made contributions to ALMA, CRY, Save the Children, Bombay Hospital, and St. Mary’s School, Mumbai.
Despite everything, he keeps on being synonymous with Ghazals, even for the young generations. There is no heartbeat that hasn’t been touched with the deep voice of Jagjit Singh.
Jagjit Singh was born on 8 February 1941 in Ganganagar situated in Rajasthan. His father Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman was a Government official and his mother Sardarni Bachchan Kaur was a religious lady. He has four sisters and two brothers. His family used to call him ‘Jeet’ fondly.
He did his education from Khalsa High School and Government College in Sri Ganganagar and got his arts degree from DAV College in Jalandhar. He finished his post-graduation in history from Kurukshetra University in Haryana.
His father wanted him to join the Indian Administrative Services.
However, when he noticed his son accomplishing praises in the realm of music, he was more than happy and supported him peruse his ability of singing. He even helped him to learn classical music from Pundit Chaganlal Sharma.
Later he started learning from Ustaad Jamaa Khan and learned different styles of Hindustani Classical vocal customs and accomplished expertise in classical singing like Khayal, Thumri, and Dhrupad. He additionally performed in concerts and composed music during his teenage years.
In 1967 Jagjit met Chitra Dutta. Chitra was already married at that time, however, she separated from her husband and got married with Jagjit Singh after two years in 1969. Together, they exemplified the first successful husband-wife singing team.
The two of them delivered various profound and melodic Ghazals which were appreciated enormously by the audience. A portion of the well-known albums of the couple were Ecstasies, A Sound Affair and Passions.
1981’s Saath and 1982’s Arth – both made by Singh – gave them the reputation of living legends. They got their name listed among HMV’s best-selling soundtrack recording artists ever.
They released an album named ‘Beyond Time during’ mid 90’s, which was an experimentation with various sounds and music. It was meant to convey a feeling that was beyond time, space and logical explanation. Unfortunately, around this time, their only child Vivek met with aa accident and died at the youthful age of twenty-one.
It was a gigantic shock for the couple and furthermore the entirety of their fans and well-wishers everywhere throughout the world. After the album “Somebody Somewhere”, Chitra resigned from singing in the aftermath. The songs were emotionally powerful and moving since they associate with the personal loss of the couple.
He started his singing and composing profession for All India Radio in 1961. He moved to Mumbai in 1965 in order to establish himself as either a singer or a composer in the Bollywood music industry. It was not really a promising start: he went through years composing and singing advertising jingles and gained a slot doing playback singing in films at last.
Around the 1970s, the field of ghazals was dominated by prestigious names like Malika Pukhraj, Talat Mahmood, Noor Jehan, Begum Akhtar, and Mehdi Hassan. However, Jagjit Singh made the efforts to accompany his first album titled “The Unforgettables”, which was an assortment of semi-classical Indian music. His song “Baat Niklegi” from this song brought him a massive success. It was praised for its juxtaposition of modern and traditional ghazal form. The album sold numerous copies and was a hit with listeners.
The freshness and different voice quality in Jagjit’s voice spoke to all and eventually, he was recognized by the music industry. Despite the fact that he was despised by numerous critics, it didn’t stop him from carving a pleasant name for himself.
Jagjit Singh kept on singing and his melodies have just increased greater success as time passes. His later albums named Hope, In Search, Insight, Mirage, Chirag (Lamp), Visions, Love Is Blind, Kahkashan (Galaxy), and so on have made him the best Ghazal singers in the nation and the most loved among fans. He worked with Lata Mangeshkar for an album named “Sajda” (Offering) was a hit and sold countless copies. It was a classic Ghazal collection and became a hit instantly as it eventually went on to become one of, best-selling non-soundtrack recordings in HMV India’s catalog.
A portion of his later albums after 2000 incorporate ‘Aaeena’ (2000), ‘Soz’ (2001), ‘Perpetually’ (2002), ‘Chahat’ (2004), ‘Moksha’ (2005), ‘Awaaz’ (2007), ‘Jazbaat’ (2008) and ‘Inteha’ (2009).
Singh recorded regularly, collaborating with lyricist Gulzar. He likewise started to work broadly on TV during the ’90s. He created songs, music for serials like Heena, Neem Ka Pead, and Hello Zindagi. He started educating and mentored numerous Indian popular artists including Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Talat Aziz, Siza Roy, Ghanshyam Vaswani, Ashok Khosla, and Vinod Sehgal. During that time, Singh found and give training to the prolific singer Kumar Sanu, while kept on performing, recording, and composing songs for films melodies and film.
Jagjit Singh didn’t restrain himself from Hindi songs and has additionally sung numerous Punjabi songs. His bubbly and dynamic Punjabi songs are exceptionally well known and are lovely to hear.
For Hindi films, Jagjit Singh has sung numerous songs. Some of the most famous movies incorporate Arth, Saath Saath, Premgeet, Tum Bin, Sarfarosh, Dushman, and Tarkeeb.
The most well-known songs that he sang for these Bollywood films are ‘Hontho se choo lo tum’, ‘Jhuki Si Nazar’, ‘Kiska Chehra abdominal muscle mai dekhun’, ‘Clamor Aa Gaye Shabab Ke’, ‘Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho’, ‘Tum Ko Dekha To Yeh KhayalAaya’, ‘Hosh Walon Ko’, ‘Badi Nazuk Hai’, ‘Koi Fariyaad’, and a lot more.
Jagjit Singh has proved himself as a virtuoso as he draws out the true meaning of Mirza Ghalib’s poetry by singing them as Ghazals. The collection can be effectively called a perfect work of art. His transition from the ’90s till date has been completely superb as he has moved towards considerably more musical and meaningful Ghazals. The nature of his voice has just gotten even better.
Other than films, he has sung numerous devotional songs as well that are very pleasant and peaceful to hear. Jagjit Singh is any day the undisputed Ghazal singer of modern time.
Awards and Honours
In 1998, he was given the Sahitya Academy Award, an honor for promoting the works of Mirza Ghalib with his score and soundtrack for the TV series of a named after the poet.
In 2003, he was given the Padma Bhushan, a significant high-level civilian award given by the Indian government. He was honored by a Teacher’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Rajasthan government honored him with Sahitya Kala Academy Award in 1998.
The State Government of Rajasthan honored him again after his death with the highest civilian award, the Rajasthan Ratna in 2012. He got Sangeet Natak Academy Award and received Ghalib Academy from Delhi Government in 2005. In 1999 he was offered Dayawati Modi Award.
Madhya Pradesh government offered him Lata Mangeshkar Samman in 1998. He received D. Litt. from Kurukshetra University, Haryana in 2003.
On his 72nd birthday, Jagjit Singh was regarded by Google India with a doodle on 8 February 2013.
Death and legacy
In 2011, before a show with Ghulam Ali, Singh endured brain hemorrhage and passed away on September 23.
Jagjit Singh is accredited with bringing the ghazal genre, which was limited to the exclusive classes previously, to the majority. His music heading can be believed to pioneer in transmitting the sound format by including increasingly Western instruments while for the most part holding the traditional orchestra which incorporates a tabla, dholak, bongos, sitar, sarod, santoor, woodwind, and harmonium, etc.
The fame of Singh’s music has just spread since his passing. His songs and albums have been reissued various times all through Europe and Asia.
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