Birthday: February 8, 1941
Died At Age: 70
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Also Known As: Jagmohan Singh Dhiman
Born in: Sri Ganganagar
Famous as: Ghazal Singer
Spouse/Ex-: Chitra Singh
father: Amar Singh
mother: Bachan Kaur
children: Monica, Vivek Singh
Died on: October 10, 2011
place of death: Mumbai
education: Kurukshetra University
awards: 2012 - Rajasthan Ratna
2003 - the Padma Bhushan
1998 - Sahitya Academy Award for popularizing the work of Mirza Ghalib
Sangeet Natak Academy Award
1998 - Sahitya Kala Academy Award by Rajasthan government
1999 - Dayawati Modi Award
1998 - Lata Mangeshkar Samman
2003 - D. Litt. by Kurukshetra University
2006 - Teacher's Lifetime Achievement Awards
Jagjit Singh was a renowned Indian singer, writer and musician, famously dubbed as the ‘Ghazal King’. Born into a middle class Sikh family, he was a child prodigy in music; his father identified his talent and encouraged him to learn classical music. After his graduation, he moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in music industry and experienced his fair share of struggle in the industry to find work. In the meantime, he married Chitra, another singer, and together they started singing compositions. But it was not until after seven years of marriage, when the couple’s first fruitful album was released. The magic of the duo's voice, their blissful romance and the utter intensity of their ghazals enthralled everyone. Thereafter the couple worked both on solo and joint musical projects and performed concerts worldwide. He achieved incredible success through his soulful and mesmerizing voice in several genres of singing ranging from romantic melodies to sad compositions and devotional hymns. However his personal life was deeply affected when his only son died at a young age, after which his wife gave up singing. But he continued to sing and his songs only gained more popularity with each passing day. A spellbinding singer and a great person, he established himself as one of India's most influential artists and his melodies continue to communicate with the deepest human emotions.
Childhood & Early Life
He was born on February 8, 1941 in Sri Ganganagar, Bikaner princely state, India, to Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman, a government official, and his wife, Sardarni Bachchan. He was one of seven children of his parents.
He received his early education from the Khalsa High School and Sri Ganganagar Government College. Later he attended the DAV College at Jalandhar and graduated with arts degree. Then he obtained a post-graduate degree in history from Kurukshetra University in Haryana.
With a natural flair for music which his father spotted in him, he was encouraged to learn music from renowned classical musicians such as ‘Pandit Chaganlal Sharma’ and ‘Ustad Jamaal Khan’ in the early years of his life.
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In 1965, he traveled to Mumbai to pursue a career as a musical artist in the entertainment industry. Initially, he worked as a jingle writer for advertisements and performed at wedding functions.
Later, he started his career as a playback singer and persuaded the record company HMV to produce an ‘Extended Play (EP)’. He also acted in his first film in ‘Dharati Na Chhoru’, a Gujarati production by Suresh Amin.
In 1976, he released his first successful LP titled ‘The Unforgettable’, along with his wife, Chitra. The album was an instant hit.
Subsequently, the singing duo recorded albums such as ‘Biraha Da Sultan’ (1978) and ‘Come Alive in a Concert’ (1979). In later years, the couple released many more successful albums including ‘Ecstasies’ (1984), ‘A Sound Affair’ (1985) and ‘Passions’ (1987).
His later solo albums include ‘Hope’ (1991), ‘In Search’ (1992), ‘Visions’ (1992), ‘Mirage’ (1995) and ‘Love Is Blind’ (1998) which received considerable success. Besides ghazals, he also sang devotional songs in albums such as ‘Man Jeetey Jagjit’ (1990), ‘Maa’ (1993), ‘Hare Ram Hare Krishna’ (1999).
He also sang many melodious Bollywood film songs such as ‘Hontho se chhoo lo tum’, ‘Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar’, ‘Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho’, ‘Tum Ko Dekha To Yeh KhayalAaya’, ‘Din Aa Gaye Shabab Ke’, ‘Hosh Walon Ko’, ‘Kiska Chehra ab mai dekhun’, ‘Badi Nazuk Hai’ and many more.
Some of his more recent albums include ‘Aaeena’ (2000), ‘Soz’ (2001), ‘Forever’ (2002), ‘Chahat’ (2004), ‘Moksha’ (2005), ‘Awaaz’ (2007), ‘Jazbaat’ (2008) and ‘Inteha’ (2009).
One of his most celebrated works is the album ‘The Unforgettable’ (1976) which features compositions such as ‘Baat Niklaygi Toh’ and ‘Sarakti Jaye Hai’. The album was an immediate success and established him and his wife, as remarkable Ghazal singers.
In 1988, he composed all of the songs for ‘Mirza Ghalib’, a TV series based on the life of the eponymous poet, Mirza Ghalib, featuring some of his evergreen tracks such as ‘Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi’ and ‘Dil-e-Nadaan Tujhe’.
Awards & Achievements
In 1998, he was awarded the Sahitya Kala Academy Award by Rajasthan government.
In 1998, he also received the Sahitya Academy Award, a literary honor in India for popularizing the work of Mirza Ghalib.
In 2003, he was conferred the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honor by the government of India.
In 2006, he was awarded the Teacher's Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2012, he was posthumously awarded the Rajasthan Ratna, the highest civilian award by the State Government of Rajasthan.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1967 he met Chitra Dutta, a married Bengali singer. Soon she divorced her first husband and married him in December 1969. They performed together in many critically as well as commercially successful albums.
They were blessed with a son, Vivek, who unfortunately died in an accident in 1990. The couple was shattered by this loss and Chitra quit singing after the incident. Even though he continued singing, he was deeply afflicted by the incident for the rest of his life.
He died on October 10, 2011 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India due to cerebral hemorrhage after being in coma for two weeks. He was cremated at Chandanwadi Crematorium in Mumbai.