Sonu Nigam was born on the 30th of July, 1973 in Faridabad, Haryana. Though Sonu came from a business family, his father; Agam Kumar Nigam had always been involved with music. Sonu revealed early musical talent at a tender age of three, when he sang along with his father on stage to an old M.Rafi song.
Sonu’s Wife and Parents
Sonu continued to make singing appearances with his father at various social and public functions. After finding success at various singing competitions, he decided to move to Mumbai along with his father to make a foray into the Bollywood music scene at the age of 19. He trained and perfected his singing skills under his guru, the renowned classical singer Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.
With Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan
During the late 1980s, Gulshan Kumar was busy making a name for himself with his T-Series albums; where many new singers were given a chance to record the remix versions or cover versions of famous old Bollywood songs. Sonu Nigam joined the T-Series bandwagon and specialized in Rafi songs by deliberately singing like the great singer for a number of “Rafi Ki Yaadein” albums.
In 1990 Sonu got his first opportunity to do playback singing for the film Janam which unfortunately, was never officially released and did not reach the screens. Sonu then turned his attention to singing Radio jingles and appeared in the successful TV singing talent show Sa Re Ga Ma as its popular host and anchor in 1995. The popularity of the show as well as his own popularity translated into singing the hit single “Accha Sila Diya” for the film Bewafa Sanam in 1995. But, Sonu first major success can be attributed to the super hit film Border in 1997 where he sang “Sandese Aate Hain.”
Sandese Aate Hain
His T-Series album “Deewana” was released in 1999 to the kind of success that remains unmatched till today. But, it was with the song “Yeh Dil Deewana” for the movie Pardes in 1999 that Sonu was able to move beyond from being the voice-alike of Rafi, to find his own particular style of singing, to great acclaim.
Yeh Dil Deewana
Since those beginning years, Sonu has gone from strength to strength, moving beyond genres and languages to bring pleasure and happiness to his many dedicated fans. He has done playback singing for not only Hindi, but also other languages like Kannada, Tamil, Assamese, Bengali, Telugu, Punjabi, Malayalam and Marathi among many others.
In Love In Nepal
In Kash…Aap Hamare Hote
Sonu Nigam has even ventured out as an actor for a couple of movies, which sadly enough didn’t do well at the box office.
Chanda Ki Doli
Sonu has come out with pop albums in Hindi, Odiya, Kannada and Punjabi. He has worked at writing lyrics for several songs and has directed the music for his “Chanda Ki Doli” album.
The Beat of Our Hearts
His international collaborations include a tribute song to Michael Jackson which appeared in the international album “The Beat of Our Hearts.”
I Wanna Go
He has also contributed with Pop singer Britney Spears on a remix version of her “I Wanna Go” number.
As a Judge on TV
Sonu Nigam has not forgotten the role of TV in his success and has appeared as a judge or mentor for many singing talent shows like “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs International” and “Indian Idol.”
At present, Sonu is involved in an English album called Spirit Unfolding and a Hindi album called Time Travel, wherein he will sing along with the earlier recordings of other singers.
Sonu Nigam has also sung for the famous music producer David Guetta, in collaboration with British singer-songwriter, rapper, beatboxer and record producer Jay Sean.
Kal Ho Naa Ho
Besides the many awards Sonu has received in recognition of his prodigious singing skills, he won the 2002 Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer in 2002 for the film Saathiya and in 2003 for the title song in the film Kal Ho Naa Ho. He also received the prestigious National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the film Kal Ho Naa Ho in 2004.
A very large part of Sonu’s musical journey includes his adorable son, Nevaan who seems to share his father’s prodigious singing skills and has already made his mark on the netizens of the world with his amazing rendition of “Kolaveri Di”.