Sonu Nigam: Wikis


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Sonu Nigam

Background information
Born July 30, 1973 (1973-07-30) (age 36)
Faridabad, Haryana, India
Genres Pop, playback singing
Occupations Singer, Actor, Music Director, Television presenter, Radio Jockey
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1985 – present

Sonu Nigam or Sonu Niigaam (Punjabi: ਸੋਨੁ ਨਿਗਮ੍; born 30 July 1973 in Faridabad, Haryana, India)[1] is a highly acclaimed Indian playback singer whose songs have been featured in numerous Hindi and Kannada movies, as well as Marathi and Telugu movies. He has also released numerous Indi-pop albums and acted in a few Hindi feature films. He has changed the spelling of his last name from 'Nigam' to 'Niigaam' in accordance with numerology.[2]



Early years and playback singing

Sonu Nigam began his singing career at the age of three, when he joined his father on stage to sing Mohammad Rafi's "Kya Hua Tera Wada, Wo Kasam Wo Irada." From then on, Sonu accompanied his father on his singing appearances at weddings and parties. In his teenage years, Nigam participated in several music competitions successfully. He moved to Mumbai with his father to begin his Bollywood singing career at the age of 19.[3]

His initial years in Mumbai proved to be a struggle, beginning by singing covers of Mohammad Rafi songs, mainly for a number of "Rafi Ki Yaadein" albums released by T-Series. T-Series promoter Gulshan Kumar played a key role in identifying Sonu's talent and giving him a chance to reach a larger audience. These albums contributed to T-Series for some years although Sonu's singing style was regarded by some as like a "Rafi clone." Nigam's first movie song as a playback singer was in the film Janam (1990), which was never officially released. Sonu also got a break in several radio commercials until he appeared on the popular TV show Sa Re Ga Ma, after which there was no turning back. The format of that show gave him a chance to showcase his singing skills including his later well-known natural charm and audience appeal. Then he sang "Accha Sila Diya" on the album Bewafa Sanam (1995), which established his status as a recognized playback singer.[3]

Sonu then started hosting Sa Re Ga Ma, a television singing talent competition, which soon became one of the most popular shows on Indian television. The first episode of "Sa Re Ga Ma" was aired on 1 May 1995. Singing offers poured in thereafter, albeit slowly at first. He rose to fame with the Anu Malik composed song "Sandese Aate Hain," in Border in 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. Since then, he has created a unique style of his own, and has become a role model for emerging vocal talent in India.[3]

Over the years, Sonu has become a major force in the Indian music industry. He has provided playback singing for a large number of Hindi movies and won many awards. His rendition of the title song of the film Kal Ho Na Ho has been highly popular and is considered a modern legend of sorts. He is recognised for his versatile voice as well as excellent emotion range. Sonu has sung with clear pronunciations, in many languages besides Hindi, including Bengali, Oriya, Kannada, Punjabi,Tamil, Telugu, English, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Nepali and Marathi.[3] He remains particularly popular in Southern India for his Kannada songs and has won a few awards in this particular industry.His Kannada album called Neene Bari Neene released all over in 2009.

His 2008 playback songs include songs from Yuvvraaj and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. In the latter, he pays tribute to Bollywood actors of the past like Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand and Rishi Kapoor. The song is in a Shahrukh Khan film and the music direction is by Salim-Sulaiman.

Pop albums and concerts

Nigam in concert

Sonu has released a number of pop albums, both in Hindi and in Punjabi. The very recent addition to this list is "Classically Mild".[4] He has also released several devotional albums, both Hindu and Islamic ones, as well as albums of Mohammad Rafi's songs. These are from the "Rafi Ki Yaadein" collection in his early years, although they have been re-released in September 2007 as a 6-disc collection of 100 songs , titled "Kal Aaj Aur Kal", in Mohammad Rafi's memory.[5]. In 2008, soon after releasing "Classically Mild", he released a single Punjabi track called "Punjabi Please",[6] and "Rafi Resurrected", a 2-disc collection of Mohammad Rafi songs with music by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Over the years. Sonu has given concert performances in many countries, including United States, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Russia, Afghanistan, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bangkok, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, 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" in which famed Asha Bhonsle and recent singing sensations, Kunal Ganjawala and Kailash Kher, participated. In September and October, respectively, 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).[7] In April 2008, he did a marathon of concerts in various cities in India, promoting his Punjabi single "Punjabi Please".[8]

In November 2007, at the inauguration of Harvard University's 28th president, Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, Sonu sang with the Harvard College Sangeet the late Mahatma Gandhi's favorite bhajan, " Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye".[9]

In July 2008, he participated in a three-city tour of the United Kingdom, singing numerous famous Mohammad Rafi songs with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.[10] This followed the release of these songs by the CBSO and the Indian music company Sa Re Ga Ma in a historic album entitled "Rafi Resurrected".[11]

He is currently participating in a US tour with Sunidhi Chauhan called "The Explosion 2009" tour. On 29 August 2009, he released a Michael Jackson tribute song on YouTube composed by Saikat-Shankar with 6 other singers worldwide.

Television, radio and acting

Besides "Sa Re Ga Ma," Sonu Nigam also hosted the TV show "Kisme Kitna Hai Dum" and has appeared as a celebrity talent judge on the show Indian Idol (aired on Sony Entertainment Television) seasons 1 and 2. Sonu returned to Indian Idol in its third and fourth seasons as a judge. He was also a celebrity judge on Amul Star Voice of India in August 2007 in season 1 and in December 2008 in season 2. In October 2007, Sonu returned to the sets of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa (formerly called Sa Re Ga Ma and again hosted by himself) in a historical moment of sorts, this time as a judge along with Suresh Wadkar. This was for the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs International part of the show.[3]

In 2006, Sonu also hosted his own radio show called 'Life Ki Dhun With Sonu Niigaam' on Radiocity 91.1 FM, where he had the opportunity to interview several music industry greats, including the legendary Lata Mangeshkar.[12]

Sonu's acting career[13] started as a child artist in a number of films including 1983's Betaab. As an adult, Sonu has acted in a few more films, namely Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani alongside Sunny Deol, Manisha Koirala and Akshay Kumar as well as other actors; Kash Aap Hamare Hote, where he plays the male lead opposite Juhi Babbar, daughter of Raj Babbar; and most recently, Love in Nepal with Flora Saini and Sweta Keswani, where he again plays a leading role. However it is to be said that all three films have not done well at the box-office. although his acting was much better appreciated in his last venture. He has not taken up acting since his last venture Love in Nepal, but has recently been said to be involved in another film as a lead actor. The film, called Ankhon Ankhon Mein is supposedly about a blind singer.

Future projects

His future projects include an English album called Spirit Unfolding.[14] He may be acting in a new film called Ankhon Hi Ankhon Mein, about a blind singer, although he has not officially signed it yet.[15]

He is working on a unique project called Time Travel, wherein his voice will be aligned with erstwhile singers in yesteryear bollywood songs.[16]

In a recent interview, he confirmed that he is working on a new Kannada album to be released this year and is thinking about a project on Manna Dey. He also revealed that there are plans for the Rafi Resurrected concerts to happen in the rest of Europe, the United States and India soon.[17]

Popularity in Karnataka

Sonu Nigam is immensely popular in South India, particularly in Karnataka due to his Kannada songs.[18] He sang his first Kannada song in 1999 for the movie Snehaloka. But in 2006,his songs from the movie Mungaru Male became chart-busters and Sonu became an overnight star. In the subsequent years he has won Filmfare Awards South for his songs in Milana and Mussanjemaatu.

In August 2009, he released his first Kannada album Neene Bari Neene composed by ace music director Mano Murthy with lyrics by Jayant Kaikini.

Personal life And Voluntary Work

Sonu was born to Mr Agam Kumar Nigam and Mrs Shobha Nigam on 30 July 1973 in Faridabad, Haryana, India. He attended the J.D. Tytler School. He has two sisters, Meenal and Neekita. Sonu is very close to his parents. Both his father and mother are good singers, and in 2005 and 2007 his father released two highly popular albums, "Bewafaai" and "Phir Bewafaai", respectively. Neekita is also a singer. She has sung a few playback songs and appeared on a few stage shows with Sonu. Sonu married Madhurima on 15 February 2002.[19] They have a son, Nevaan, born on 25 July 2007.[20]

He is very much into fitness and yoga exercises, and has even trained in taekwondo.[1] He claims to be spiritual rather than religious.[21] He used to be keen at his studies in his younger age and enjoys reading. He also enjoys mimicry and commonly mimics other singers in Bollywood.

Sonu has done various charity work all over India as well as abroad for Dignity Foundation, Cancer organizations, Leprosy organizations, Blindness organizations, Women's welfare organizations, Kargil war affected families, Earthquake affected families. He also sponsors a child from the organization “Crayon”.[1]




Film Title Character Year
Pyaara Dushman Tika Singh (credited as Master Sonu) 1980
Kaamchor Sonu (Rakesh Roshan's nephew), (credited as Master Sonu) 1982
Ustaadi Ustaad Se Raju (Young Mithun Chakraborty), (credited as Master Sonu) 1982
Betaab Sunny (Young Sunny Deol), (credited as Master Sonu) 1983
Hum se hai zamana Shiva (Young Mithun Chakraborty), (credited as Master Sonu) 1983
Taqdeer Shiva (Young Shatrughan Sinha), (credited as Master Sonu) 1983
Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani Vivek Saxena 2002
Kaash..Aap Hamare Hote Jai Kumar 2003
Love in Nepal Abby 2004
Navra Maajha Navsacha (Marathi) Guest appearance as himself in a song sequence 2005


  1. ^ a b c "Sonu Nigam Biography". Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  2. ^ "Indian Television: Sonu Nigam..". Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Sonu Niigaam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  4. ^ "Sonu Niigaam goes Classically Mild". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  5. ^ "Sonu Niigaam pays homage to Mohd Rafi". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  6. ^ "Big FM launches Sonu Niigaam single Punjabi Please". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  7. ^ "Sonu Nigam's Tour to Germany". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  8. ^ "Close-Up and BIG 92.7 FM bring Sonu Nigam’s concert". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  9. ^ "Sonu Nigam invited to perform at Harvard University". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  10. ^ "Sonu Nigam's Rafi Resurrected tour in UK". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  11. ^ "Sonu Nigam's new album 'Rafi Resurrected' in July this year". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  12. ^ "Life Ki Dhun Sonu Niigaam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  13. ^ "Sonu Nigam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  14. ^ "Sonu Nigam to launch English album". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  15. ^ "Catching up with Sonu Nigam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  16. ^ "Time travel". Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  17. ^ "Sonu Niigaam: I am getting better". Retrieved 4 August 2008. 
  18. ^ "I love Kannada more than Hindi". Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "Sonu Nigam weds city belle". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  20. ^ "Indian Singer Sonu Nigam becomes a father". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  21. ^ "I AM: Sonu Nigam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  22. ^,flstry-1.cms
  23. ^ "6th Annual Central Bollywood Awards". Retrieved 8 May 2009. 
  24. ^ "ITA Awards 2008". Retrieved 25 December 2008. 
  25. ^ "Paruthiveeran and Happy Days lead Filmfare South Awards". Retrieved 24 July 2008. 
  26. ^ "German Public Bollywood Award — Winners 2008". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  27. ^ "5th Annual Central European Bollywood Awards". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  28. ^ a b c d e "Bollywood Awards". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  29. ^ "4th Annual Central Bollywood Awards". Retrieved 8 May 2009. 
  30. ^ "Jesudas Awards Announced". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  31. ^ "IMMIES 2005". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  32. ^ a b c d e f "Sonu Niigaam Awards". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  33. ^ "Teachers' Achievement Awards". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  34. ^ a b "Lycra MTV Style Awards". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  35. ^ "IMMIES 2004". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  36. ^ "MTV IMMIES". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 

External links

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