Sonu Nigam

Occupation:
Singer
Sonu Nigam
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Sonu Nigam (Hindi: सोनू निगम; born 30 July 1973 in Faridabad, Haryana, India)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 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 participated in several music competitions successfully. 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 Sonu's talent by 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 to be like that of 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. He was trained by Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, a very fine classical singer.

Sonu started hosting Sa Re Ga Ma in 1995 with the first episode airing on the 1st of May 1995. Sa Re Ga Ma, television singing talent competition, soon became one of the most popular shows on Indian television. The format of that show gave Sonu a chance to showcase his singing skills as well as his natural charm and audience appeal. 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 of his own, and has become a role model for emerging vocal talent in India.

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, with his voice adapted excellently to the actor he is singing for, as well as his excellent emotion range, with perfect singing of romantic, rock, sad, patriotic and other songs of various genres. Sonu has sung with clear pronunciations, in many languages besides Hindi, including Bengali, Oriya, Kannada, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, English, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Nepali and Marathi. 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.

is an Indian playback singer whose songs have been featured in numerous Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Kannada 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, but not getting desired results, he returned to the old spelling 'Nigam'.

Sonu has released a number of pop albums, in Hindi, Punjabi and Kannada. The most recent addition to the list of Hindi releases is "Classically Mild", a semi-classical album. 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, which 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. In 2008, soon after releasing "Classically Mild", he released a single Punjabi track called "Punjabi Please", and "Rafi Resurrected", a 2-disc collection of Mohammad 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 himself. His last album was Neene Bari Neene in Kannada.

He released a single titled "Punjabi Please" in 2008. After the untimely death of Micheal 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, Sonu released a tribute song to Micheal in collaboration with his fans on facebook. The song made it to an 18-song global compilation of tribute songs CD titled "The Beat of Our Hearts""Michael Jackson Trubute portrait". Sonu Nigam is currently working on a new CD with famed Producer Rene van Verseveld at Future Sound Studios in Hollywood.

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, 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 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). In April 2008, he did a marathon of concerts in various 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, Sonu sang with the Harvard College Sangeet the late Mahatma Gandhi's favorite bhajan, " Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye".

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. 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".
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.

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 up and coming 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 all over 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.