Bhupen Hazarika Biography

Bhupen Hazarika was a multifaceted Indian artist. This biography of Bhupen Hazarika provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works, and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: September 8, 1926

Nationality: Indian

Famous: Singers Musicians

Died At Age: 85

Sun Sign: Virgo

Also Known As: Da Bhupen, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Hazarika, Bhupen

Born in: Sadiya

Famous as: Musician, Singer, Poet, Filmmaker, Lyricist

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Spouse/Ex-: Priyam Hazarika

father: Nilakanta Hazarika

mother: Shantipriya Hazarika

siblings: Jayanta Hazarika

children: Tej Hazarika

Died on: November 5, 2011

place of death: Mumbai

More Facts

education: Banaras Hindu University, Columbia University, Cotton College, Guwahati

awards: Padma Vibhushan (2012) [Posthumously]
Padma Shri (1977)
Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1992)

Padma Bhushan (2001)
Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2008)
Asom Ratna (2009)
Muktijoddha Padak (2011) [posthumously]
Bharat Ratna (2019)

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Bhupen Hazarika was a multifaceted Indian artist, famously referred to as the uncrowned king of North-Eastern India's cultural world. He is best described as an extraordinarily talented person who was a poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and a renowned film-maker of the very highest repute. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award in 2019. He was a child prodigy who was discovered by his mentors at a young age which helped him to excel at his abilities. He has rendered music, written lyrics, and sung for numerous Assamese, Bengali and Hindi films which created an everlasting impression on both Assamese and Indian cinema, literature, and music. Most of his songs are marked by themes of humanity and universal brotherhood and have been translated to, and sung in many languages, most notably in Bengali and Hindi. Other than being a musician and playback singer, he was an immensely talented filmmaker who created some of the most memorable national award winning Assamese films. He is also acknowledged to have introduced the culture and folk music of Assam and Northeast India to Hindi cinema at the national level. Winner of several prestigious awards, he was truly one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • While at Columbia University, Bhupen Hazarika was influenced by Paul Robeson, a civil rights activist and composed his song ‘Bistirno parore’, based on the imagery and theme of Robeson's ‘Ol' Man River’. He also composed some other songs in Indian languages.
  • In 1955, he served as the Secretary of the Reception Committee of the Third All Assam Conference of IPTA. He also served as a teacher at the Gauhati University but left the job after few years and shifted to Kolkata.
  • Later, he became a director and made award winning Assamese films such as ‘Shakuntala Sur’ (1961) and ‘Pratidhwani’ (1964). Some of his other directorial ventures include ‘Lati-Ghati’ (1966), ‘Chik Mik Bijuli’ (1969), ‘For Whom the Sun Shines’ (1974) and ‘Mera Dharam Meri Maa’ (1976).
  • He also worked as a composer creating timeless music for many Assamese films and Bangla movies such as ‘Aarop’ (1973), ‘Chameli Memsaab’ (1975) and ‘Shimana Perye’ (1977).
  • He was also a prominent Assamese and Hindi playback singer and lent his mesmerizing voice to movies such as ‘Era Bator Sur’ (1956), ‘Shakuntala Sur’ (1961), ‘Titash Ekti Nadir Naam’ (1973) and ‘Rudaali’ (1993).
  • Some of his more recent works as a composer and singer in films include ‘Darmiyaan: In Between’ (1997), ‘Gaja Gamini’ (2000) and ‘Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence’ (2001). His last film as a playback singer was ‘Gandhi to Hitler’ (2011).
Major Works
  • Bhupen Hazarika composed some of the most famous Assamese songs including ‘Bistirno Parore’, ‘Moi Eti Jajabor’, ‘Ganga Mor Maa’, ‘Bimurto Mur Nixati Jen’, ‘Manuhe Manuhor Babey’ and ‘Buku Hom Hom Kore’.
  • One of his major contributions to Hindi cinema was being the music director of outstanding films such as 'Arop', 'Ek Pal', and 'Rudaali'. He also won the ‘Best Music Director National Award’ for ‘Rudaali’ in 1993.
Awards & Achievements
  • In 1977, Bhupen Hazarika was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India.
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  • In 1979, he won the Arunachal Pradesh Government's Gold Medal for his outstanding contribution towards Tribal Welfare and Upliftment of Tribal Culture through cinema.
  • In 1987, he was honored with the ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi Award’, the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists.
  • In 1992, he received the prestigious ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Award’, India's highest award in cinema, by the Government of India.
  • In 2001, he was conferred the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honor in the Republic of India.
  • In 2009, he received the Asom Ratna, the highest civilian award in the State of Assam.
  • In 2012, he was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in the Republic of India.
  • On January 25, 2019, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
Family, Personal Life & Legacy
  • While studying at Columbia University in New York, he met Priyamvada Patel and they later got married in 1950. They were blessed with a son, Tej Hazarika, in 1952.
  • Bhupen Hazarika died on November 5, 2011, of multi-organ failure, in Mumbai, India. His body was cremated near the Brahmaputra River in a plot of land donated by Gauhati University.

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How To Cite

Article Title
- Bhupen Hazarika Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- January 25, 2019
Bhupen Hazarika

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