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About Sonu Nigam

Male singer Sonu Nigam from India, famous due to bollywood

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Sonu Nigam Singer Biography, Interview & Pictures

Sonu Nigam (Hindi: सोनू निगम; born 30 July 1973 in Faridabad, Haryana, India) is an Indian playback singer whose songs have been featured in numerous Hindi movies, as well as films in Assamese, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi and Kannada language. He has also released numerous Indi-pop albums and acted in a few Hindi feature films. He had changed the spelling of his last name from 'Nigam' to 'Niigaam' in accordance with numerology, but could not get desired results; he returned to the old spelling 'Nigam'.



Career

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 Mohammed Rafi's "Kya Hua Tera Vaada, Wo Kasam Wo Irada." From then on Sonu accompanied his father on his singing appearances at weddings and parties. In his teenage years he successfully participated in several music competitions. He moved to Mumbai with his father to begin his Bollywood singing career at the age of 19.

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 Nigam's talent by giving him a chance to reach a larger audience. These albums contributed to T-Series for some years although Nigam's singing style was regarded by some to be like that of a "Rafi clone". Nigam's first movie song as a playback singer was Janam (1990), which was never officially released. He also got a break in radio commercials until he appeared on the popular TV show Sa Re Ga Ma, after which there was no turning back. He was trained by classical singer Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.

Nigam started hosting Sa Re Ga Ma in 1995 with the first episode airing on 1 May 1995. The television singing talent competition soon became one of the most popular shows on Indian television. Soon after, he sang "Accha Sila Diya" on the album Bewafa Sanam (1995), which was very successful. Singing offers started pouring 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 and has become a role model for emerging vocal talent in India.

Over the years, Nigam 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 Naa Ho has been highly popular. He is recognized for his singing of romantic, rock, sad, and patriotic songs. Nigam has sung songs in many languages besides Hindi, including Kannada, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, English, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Nepali, Chhattisgarhi, Malayalam and Marathi.

His Kannada album Neene Bari Neene released in 2009.


Pop albums and concerts


Sonu has released a number of pop albums, in Hindi, Punjabi and Kannada. The most recent addition to his Hindi releases is Classically Mild, a semi-classical album. He has also released Hindu and Islamic devotional albums, as well as albums of Mohammed Rafi's songs. These are from the Rafi Ki Yaadein collection in his early years, which have been re-released in September 2007 as a six-disc collection of 100 songs, titled Kal Aaj Aur Kal, in Mohammed Rafi's memory. In 2008, soon after releasing Classically Mild, he released a single Punjabi track called "Punjabi Please" and Rafi Resurrected, a two-disc collection of Mohammed Rafi songs with music by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has contributed to the lyrics of several of his album songs and directed the music for his album Chanda Ki Doli. His last album was Neene Bari Neene in Kannada.

After the death of Michael Jackson, of whom Sonu Nigam is a huge fan and who has considerably influenced his singing (as is evident in his rendition of "Dil Deewana" in Pardes), Nigam released a tribute song to Jackson in collaboration with his fans on Facebook. The song made it to an 18-song global compilation of tribute songs CD The Beat of Our Hearts.

Over the years, Nigam 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, Thailand, 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 Asha Bhosle, Kunal Ganjawala and Kailash Kher participated. In September and October 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). In April 2008, he did a marathon of concerts in cities in India, promoting his Punjabi single "Punjabi Please".

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

In July 2008, he participated in a three-city tour of the United Kingdom, singing Mohammed Rafi songs with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. This followed the release of these songs by the CBSO and the Indian music company Sa Re Ga Ma in the album Rafi Resurrected.

Amongst several other concerts, he notably participated in a US tour with Sunidhi Chauhan in 2009 called "The Explosion 2009" tour and in a UK tour titled "All Izz Well" in November 2010.


Radio and acting

In 2006, Sonu Nigam hosted his own radio show called Life Ki Dhun with Sonu Niigaam on Radiocity 91.1 FM, where he had the opportunity to interview music industry greats, including Lata Mangeshkar on the last aired episode.

Nigam's acting career started as a child artist in a number of films including 1983's Betaab. As an adult, he 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. None of the films have done well at the box office, although his acting was much better appreciated in his last venture. He has not taken up acting since 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 about a blind singer.


Television

Sonu Nigam was the host of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa from 1 May 1995 to 1999. He was the first host.[16] He returned on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs International as a judge with Suresh Wadkar in October 2007. Nigam was a celebrity judge on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mega Challenge grand finale on 12 December 2009 which marked the 1000th episode.

He hosted the TV show Kisme Kitna Hai Dum on Star Plus in 2002.

Nigam appeared as the judge for Indian Idol in season 1 (October 2004–March 2005) and season 2 (November 2005–April 2006). He was a celebrity judge in season 3 (17 August 2007) and season 4 (16 January 2009 and 6 February 2009).

He also appeared as a celebrity judge on Amul STAR Voice of India in August 2007 (Season 1) and in December 2008 (Season 2) and on the grand finale of music reality show Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star on 12 July 12, 2008.

Nigam was a judge/mentor on Chhote Ustaad - Do Deshon Ki Ek Awaaz (July 2010–October 2010) with Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

He is a judge/mentor on the ongoing first season of X Factor (India).


Future projects

Nigam is working on an English album called Spirit Unfolding.

He is working on a project called Time Travel, wherein his voice will be aligned with recordings of other singers in Hindi songs.


Popularity in Karnataka

Sonu Nigam is popular in South India, particularly in Karnataka due to his Kannada songs.


Personal life and voluntary work

Sonu Nigam comes from a singing family. Born to Agam Kumar Nigam and Shobha Nigam on 30 July 1973 in Faridabad, Haryana, India, he attended the J.D. Tytler School. He has two sisters, Meenal and Neekita. In the last few years his father has released several hit albums including "Bewafaai" and "Phir Bewafaai" and, more recently, "Bewafaai ka Aalam". Neekita is also an upcoming singer and has several songs and awards to her name, both in Hindi and Kannada. Sonu married Madhurima on 15 February 2002. They have a son, Nevaan, born in 2007. Nevaan is also very interested in music and has recently recorded a song with Lata Mangeshkar.

Sonu Nigam practices fitness and yoga exercises, and has trained in Taekwondo. He claims to be spiritual rather than religious.

Nigam has done work for various charities in India as well as abroad for Dignity Foundation, various 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”. He has made various appearances in the cause of HIV / AIDS and also has a song titled "Papa I'm sorry" relating to this. He has also released several songs and made several contributions to the cause of peace between India and Pakistan.


Awards and nominations

Following are the awards and nominations for Sonu Nigam[23]

* National Film Awards
o 2004 - Won - National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer - "Kal Ho Naa Ho" - Kal Ho Naa Ho

* Filmfare Awards
o 1997 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Sandese Aate Hain" - Border (with Roop Kumar Rathod)
o 1999 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Ishq Bina" - Taal
o 2000 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Tu Fiza Hain" - Fiza
o 2000 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Panchhi Nadiyaan" - Refugee
o 2001 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Suraj Hua Maddham" - Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...
o 2002 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Saathiya" - Saathiya
o 2003 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Kal Ho Naa Ho" - Kal Ho Naa Ho
o 2004 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Do Pal" - Veer-Zaara
o 2004 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Main Hoon Na" - Main Hoon Na
o 2004 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Tumse Milke Dil Ka" - Main Hoon Na
o 2005 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Dheere Jalna" - Paheli
o 2005 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Piyu Bole" - Parineeta
o 2006 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" - Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
o 2007 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Main Agar Kahoon" - Om Shanti Om
o 2008 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Inn Lamhon Ke" - Jodhaa Akbar
o 2009 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Shukran Allah" - Kurbaan (with Salim Merchant)

* Filmfare Awards South
o 2007 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer (Kannada) - "Ninnindale Ninnindale" - Milana
o 2008 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer (Kannada) - "Eenagali Mundhe Saagu" - Mussanjemaatu
o 2008 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer (Kannada) - "Mayavagide Manasu" - Haage Summane
o 2010 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer (Kannada) - "Hrudayave" - Krishnan Love Story

* Star Screen Awards
o 1998 - Won - Best Male Pop Artist
o 2000 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Panchhi Nadiyaan" - Refugee
o 2001 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Tanhayee" - Dil Chahta Hai
o 2001 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Is Pyaar Ko Main Kya Naam Doon" - Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai
o 2003 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Kal Ho Naa Ho" - Kal Ho Naa Ho
o 2004 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Tumse Milke Dil Ka" - Main Hoon Na
o 2005 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Dheere Jalna" - Paheli
o 2006 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Baawri Piya Ki" - Babul

* International Indian Film Academy Awards
o 2000 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Panchhi Nadiyaan" - Refugee
o 2001 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Suraj Hua Maddham" - Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...
o 2001 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "You Are My Soniya" - Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...
o 2002 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Saathiya" - Saathiya
o 2003 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Kal Ho Naa Ho" - Kal Ho Naa Ho
o 2004 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Main Hoon Na" - Main Hoon Na
o 2005 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Piyu Bole" - Parineeta
o 2006 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" - Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
o 2009 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "All Izz Well" - 3 Idiots

* Zee Cine Awards
o 1997 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Sandese Aate Hain" - Border †
o 2001 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer – Male - "Suraj Hua Maddham" - Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...
o 2001 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Tanhayee" - Dil Chahta Hai
o 2002 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Saathiya" - Saathiya
o 2003 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Kal Ho Naa Ho" - Kal Ho Naa Ho
o 2004 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Main Hoon Na" - Main Hoon Na
o 2005 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Piyu Bole" - Parineeta
o 2005 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Dheere Jalna" - Paheli
o 2006 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna" - Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
o 2007 - Nominated - Best Male Playback Singer - "Main Agar Kahoon" - Om Shanti Om

* Bollywood Movie Awards
o 2003 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Kal Ho Naa Ho" - Kal Ho Naa Ho
o 2001 - Won - Best Pop Singer for the album Yaad
o 2002 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Saathiya" - Saathiya
o 2006 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna" - Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

* MTV Immies
o 2002 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Saathiya" - Saathiya
o 2003 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Main Hoon Na" - Main Hoon Na
o 2004 - Won - Best Pop Album - Chanda Ki Doli

* MTV Style Awards
o 2003 - Style Icon 2003
o 2005 - Style Icon 2005

* Anandalok Awards
o 2004 - Best Male Playback Singer - Bandhan[24]
o 2005 - Best Pop Album - Chanda Ki Doli

* Annual Central European Bollywood Awards
o 2007 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Main Agar Kahoon" - Om Shanti Om
o 2008 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Inn Lamhon Ke Daaman Me" - Jodhaa Akbar
o 2009 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Shukran Allah" - Kurbaan

* Lions Gold Award
o 2005 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Main Hoon Na" - Main Hoon Na
o 2008 - Won - Best Male Playback Singer - "Inn Lamhon Ke Daaman Me" - Jodhaa Akbar

* Indian Television Academy Award
o 2005 - Best Male Singer - Miliee
o 2008 - Best Male Singer - Amber Dhara
o 2009 - Best Male Singer - Dill Mill Gayye

* Other Awards
o 1997 - Ashirwad Award for Best Male Playback Singer - "Sandese Aate Hain" - Border
o 1997 - Sansui Viewers' Choice Award for Best Male Singer - "Sandese Aate Hain" - Border
o 2003 - Apsara Film Producers' Guild Award for Best Male Playback Singer - "Kal Ho Naa Ho" - Kal Ho Naa Ho
o 2005 - Swaralaya Yesudas Award, for his outstanding performance in Music
o 2005 - Teachers' Achievement Award
o 2006 - Nominated - Global Indian Film Awards - Best Male Playback Singer - "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna" - Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
o 2010 - GIMA (Global Indian Music Award) for Best Live Performer (Male)

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