Jagjit Singh

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Jagjit Singh, a famous Ghazal singer who popularized Ghazals with the masses.

Jagjit Singh (Punjabi: ਜਗਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ) (February 8, 1941 - October 10, 2011) was an outstanding Indian ghazal singer. He sang in the Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, and Gujarati languages. Jagjit Singh was born in Ganganagar, which was then in Rajputana in British India. His father Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman, employed by the Government of India, was a native of the village of Dalla in what is now Ropar district in Punjab and his mother Bachchan Kaur came from a deeply religious Sikh family from Ottallan village near Samrala.

His siblings include four sisters and two brothers. Jagjit Singh was known as Jeet by his family. Although his late father had wanted him to join the Indian Administrative Service, he was later reported to be happy with his son's achievements in the world of music. Singh went to Khalsa High School in Ganganagar. He then studied science after matriculation at Government College (Ganganagar) and went on to DAV College, Jalandhar where he graduated in arts. He also achieved a post-graduate degree in history from Kurukshetra University, Haryana.

To the Sikh community he is renowned for his beautiful and very touching recitation of Gurbani shabads and simran. See an example here of the shabad - Hae gobind hae gopal hae dhaeial lal.


Jagjit Singh's association with music goes back to his childhood. He learned music under Pandit Chaganlal Sharma for two years in Ganganagar, and later devoted six years to learning Khayal, Thumri and Dhrupad forms of Indian Classical Music from Ustad Jamaal Khan of the Sainia Gharana school. The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University and Kurukshetra University, the Late Professor Suraj Bhan encouraged his interest in music. He arrived in Mumbai formerly Bombay in 1965 in search of better opportunities as a career musician and singer. His early struggle in the music industry, though not too harsh by his own account, still had its share of trials and tribulations. He lived as a paying guest and his earlier assignments were singing advertisement jingles or performing at weddings and parties.

Rise to fame

During the 1970s, in India, the art of ghazal singing was dominated by well-established artists; Noor Jehan, Malika Pukhraj, Begum Akhtar,Talat Mahmood and Mehdi Hassan. However, Jagjit was still able to make his mark and carve out a niche for himself. In 1976, his album The Unforgettables (On HMV LP Records) hit the music stores. Essentially a ghazal album, its emphasis on melody plus Jagjit's fresh voice was a departure from the prevalent style of ghazal rendition, which was, never the less, based heavily on classical and semi-classical Indian music. While skeptics had their own reservations and purists scorned it, it was widely successful among other listeners and the album set new sales records.

In 1967 he met Chitra, also a singer, while doing jingles. After a two year long courtship they got married in 1969. They epitomize the first successful husband-wife singing team. Jagjit Singh and Chitra have contributed immensely towards changing the course of this genre of music known as 'Ghazal' making it more ear friendly, melodic and enojoyable by a wider audience.

More success in the world of ghazal

Later successful releases of the duo include Ecstasies, A Sound Affair and Passions. While these albums were breezy, Beyond Time released in the opening years of 1990s was an experimentation with sounds and conveyed a feeling that was beyond space and time. Around this time the duo was struck by grief as their only son, Vivek, who was twenty-one, met an untimely death in a road accident. Not only a shock to Jagjit and Chitra, their son's death was a big shock to their numerous fans, as well. The album is a tour to the soul, ethereal, conscientious and introspective. The ghazals have a moving quality to them since they express the personal loss of Jagjit and Chitra. 'Someone Somewhere' was the last album containing ghazals sung by both. After that, Chitra quit singing.

Jagjit Singh continued singing, his later albums, including Hope, In Search, Insight, Mirage, Visions, Kahkashan (meaning "Galaxy"), Love Is Blind, Chirag (meaning "Lamp"/"Flame") also achieved success. Sajda (an Urdu word meaning "offering"), with ghazals sung by Jagjit and Lata Mangeshkar was another brilliant release that has made its mark as a classic Ghazal album. The combined successes of his many albums made him arguably the number one ghazal singer in India. The audience wanted more and Jagjit Singh obliged with his Punjabi albums. Ebullient, effervescent and bubbly, his Punjabi songs are pleasant as well as joyous. Their enchanting ghazals use the choicest poetry by renowned poets including Mirza Ghalib, Ameer Meenai, Kafeel Aazer, Sudarshan Faakir and Nida Fazli; and such contemporary writers as Zaka Siddiqi, Nazir Bakri, Faiz Ratlami and Rajesh Reddy.

Playback singing and popular recognition

Jagjit also sang (as playback singer) various songs in Bollywood films including Arth, Saath Saath and Premgeet (all from the 1980s). Their scores remain popular even today. In fact, all the songs of the film Premgeet were composed by Jagjit. His compositions for the TV serial Mirza Ghalib (based on the life of the poet Mirza Ghalib), remain extremely popular among ghazal aficionados. The elusive element of Ghalib's poetry was sensitively and wonderfully brought out in the soulful compositions of Ghalib's ghazals by Jagjit Singh. The album could veritably be called a magnum opus.

Compared to his earlier ghazals (sung during 70s and 80s) his later ghazals have acquired a more soulful and poignant demeanour, as in albums such as Marasim, Face To Face, Aaeena, Cry For Cry. But all through this, romance never took a backseat! The journey to the soul is punctuated by romantic pauses like Dil Kahin Hosh Kahin. A testimony to his popularity is his ghazals in recent Bollywood flicks like Dushman, Sarfarosh, Tum Bin and Tarkeeb.

More depth added to his singing with bhajans & kirtan

Most of the earlier albums of Jagjit Singh had English titles. Later, these had Urdu names like Sahar (meaning "Dawn"/"Morning"), Muntazir (meaning "In waiting"), Marasim (meaning "Relation"/"Relationship"/"Affinity" ) "Soz" (Pathos) etc.. The switchover may not be deliberate but marks a milestone in his singing. These new albums show a far better selection of lyrics and yes, even his singing scaled new peaks.

Besides ghazals, Jagjit Singh has also sung Bhajans and Gurbani(Hindu and Sikh devotional hymns respectively). Albums such as Maa, Hare Krishna, Hey Ram...Hey Ram, Ichhabal and also Man Jeetai Jagjeet in Punjabi, put him in the league of Bhajan singers such as Mukesh, Hari Om Sharan, Yesudas, Anup Jalota and Purushottam Das Jalota. The soothing effect that Jagjit's voice has on frayed nerves has prompted psychiatrists in metros (as large cities in India are called) to prescribe them as stress relievers.


Jagjit Singh is accredited with bringing the ghazal genre, which was previously restricted to the elite classes, to the masses. His music direction can be seen to be pioneering in changing the sound layout by adding more Western instruments while still retaining much of the traditional orchestration which includes a tablaa, harmonium and a couple of string instruments. His fans have given him the nickname—Gazaljit Singh.

Jagjit Singh is accredited with 'discovering' one of the foremost playback singers in Bollywood in modern times, Kumar Sanu. As he played a big part in Sanu's initial career, in an interview Sanu said that Singh took him to meet the legendary music composers Kalyanji Anandji after hearing his voice, from there on Sanu has become a legend in Bollywood for his range and singing as he went on to win five male playback Filmfare Awards in a row. A record that is still unbroken.

Jagjit Singh voiced his opinion against artists from Pakistan being allowed to sing in India, when Pakistan refused to allow Indian singers to perform in Pakistan.

In addition to cultivating his own successful career, Jagjit Singh has been involved in guiding many new, talented singers such as Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Talat Aziz, Ghanshyam Vaswani, Ashok Khosla, Siza Roy and Vinod Sehgal. He also lends active support to several philanthropic endeavors such as the Library at St. Mary's at Mumbai, Bombay Hospital, CRY, and ALMA (an organization that adopts under-privileged students for further education and development).

Jagjit Singh lives in Cumballa Hills, Mumbai.

In October 2007, Jagjit Singh was hospitalized following a possible stroke or some condition which restricted blood circulation to his brain.

Music career


  • Apne hothon par sajaana chaahta hoon
  • Kaise kaise haadse sehte rahe
  • Wo jo hum mein tumme qaraar tha tumHe yaad ho ke na yaad ho
  • Patta-patta boota-boota haal hamaara jaane hai
  • Apne haathon kee lakiron meiN basa le mujhko
  • Sadma to hai mujhe bhi ke tujhse juda hoon main
  • Apani aankho ke samundar mein utar jaane de
  • Meri zindagi kisi aur ki, mere naam ka koi aur hai
  • Aadmi aadmi ko kya degaa
  • Apni marzi se kahan apni safar ke hum hain
  • Ik baramhahn ne kaha hai ke ye saal achhaa hai
  • Main na hindoo na musalmaan mujhe jeene do
  • Garaj baras pyaasi dharthi par phir paani de maula
  • Chak jigar ke see lete hain
  • Main bhool jaaoon tumhe, ab yahi munaasib hai
  • Jaate jaate wo mujhe achchhi nishaani de gaya
  • Shaam se aankh mein namin si hai
  • Tere baare mein jab socha nahin thaa
  • Tere aane ki jab khabar mehke
  • Tamanna fir machal jaaye agar tum milne aa jaao
  • Ab main ration ki kataron mein nazar aata hoon
  • Tujhse milne ki saza denge tere shehar ke log
  • Patthar ke khuda, patthar ke sanam
  • Huzoor aapka bhi ahtraam karta chaloon
  • Din aa gaye sabaab ke aanchal sambhaaliye
  • Gulshan ki faqat phoolon se nahin kaaton se bhi zeenat hoti hai
  • Baat saaqi ki na taali jaayegi
  • Chupke chupke raat din aansoon bahana yaad hai
  • Roshan jamal-e-yaar se hai anjuman tamaam
  • Tera chehra kita suhaana lagta hai
  • Tum naihin, gham nahin sharaab nahin
  • Sarakti jaaye hain rukh se naqaab aahistaa-aahista
  • Ae khuda ret ke sehra ko samandar kar de
  • Yeh daulat bhi le lo, yeh shohrat bhi le lo
  • Hoshwalo ko khabar
  • Honthon se chhoo lo tum
  • Koi yeh kaise bataye
  • Tere khat
  • Bahut khoobsurat hai
  • Kiska Chehera
  • Kal chodvi ki raat thi
  • Baat niklegi to
  • Der laagi ane mein tumko
  • Main nashe mein hoon
  • Pyar mujhse jo kiya tumne
  • Tera chehera hai aaeene jaisa
  • Chitthi na koi sandesh
  • Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho
  • Jab se kareeb ho kay chale zindagi se hum
  • Koi fariyaad
  • Kahin duur jab din
  • Kehta hai baabul
  • Jhuki jhuki si nazar
  • Tumko dekha to yeh khayal
  • Sehma sehma
  • Yaad kiya dil ne kaha ho tum
  • Aap ko dekh kar
  • Jab samne tum
  • Hazaron khwaishe hai aisi

tammana phir machal jaye



Song for films

Film Name Year Details
Pyar Kare Dis : Feel The Power of Love 2007 [3]
Umar 2006 playback Singer: "Khumari Chaddh Ke Utar Gayi"
Baabul 2006 playback Singer: "Kehta Hai Baabul"
Kasak 2005 lyrics
Veer-Zaara 2004 lyrics
Dhoop 2003 playback singer: "Benaam Sa Ye Dard", "Har Ek Ghar Mein Diya", "Teri Aankhon Se Hi" lyrics
Joggers' Park 2003 "Bari Najuk Hai" lyrics
Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai 2003 "Aisi Aankhen Nahin Dekhi"
Leela 2002 "Dhuan Uttha Hai", "Jaag Ke Kati", "Jabse Kareeb Ho Ke Chale", "Tere Khayal Ki"
Vadh 2002 "Bahut Khoobsurat"
Deham 2001 "Yun To Guzar Raha Hai"
Tum Bin 2001 Koi Fariyaad
Tarkieb 2000 Kiska Chehra ab mai dekhun... Tera chehra dekhkar
Shaheed Udham Singh 2000
Bhopal Express 1999 is duniya mein rakha kya hai
Sarfarosh 1999 "Hosh Walon Ko"
Dushman 1998 "Chhitti Na Koi Sandesh"
Khudai 1994 "Din Aa Gaye Shabab Ke", "Ulfat Ka Jab Kisis Ne Liya Naam", "Ye Sheeshe Ye Rishte"
Mammo 1994 hazaar baar ruke ham, hazaar baar chale by Gulzar
Khal Nayak 1993 "O Maa Tujhe Salaam"
Nargis 1992 "Dono Ke Dil Hai Majboor Pyar Se", Main Kasie Kahoon Janeman
Billoo Badshah 1989
Aakhri Kahani 1989
Doosra Kanoon 1989 TV
Kaanoon Ki Awaaz 1989
Mirza Ghalib 1988 TV Hit Serial Directed by Gulzar
Rahi 1987
Aashiana 1986 "Humsafar Ban Ke Hum"
Long Da Lishkara 1986 "Ishq Hai Loko"
"Main Kandyali Thor Ve"
"Sare Pindch Puare Paye"
Phir Aayee Barsat 1985 "Na Mohabbat Na Dosti Ke Liye"
Ravan 1984 "Hum to Yun Apni Zindagi Se Mile"
"Main Gar Mein Chunariya"
Bahuroopi 1984
Bhavna 1984 "Mere Dil Mein Tu Hi Tu Hai"
Kalka 1983
Tum Laut Aao 1983
Zulf Ke Saye Saye 1983 "Nashili Raat Mein"
Arth (film) 1982 "Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar"
"Koi Yeh Kaise Bataye"
"Tere Khushboo Mein Base Khat"
"Too Nahin To Zindagi Mein Aur Kya Reha Jayega"
"Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho"
Saath Saath 1982 "Pyar Mujh Se Jo Kiya Tumne"
"Tum Ko Dekha To Yeh Khayal Aaya"
"Yeh Bata De Mujhe Zindagi"
"Yeh Bata De Mujhe Zindagi"
"Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar"
"Yun Zindagi Ki Raah Mein" chitra singh
Sitam 1982
Prem Geet 1981 Hontho se chhoo lo tum mera geet amar kar do: FIRST HIT FILMY SONG
Ek Baar Kaho 1980
Griha Pravesh 1979
Avishkaar 1973
Aankhon Aankhon Mein 1972 associate camera operator
Heena 1999 TV Serial
Neem ka pead 1994 TV Serial ("Muunh ki baaten sune har koii")
Hello Jhindagi 19** TV Serial ("Hai Lau Zindagi, zindagi noor hia - magar iss mein jall ka dastur hai")

Music composed for films

  1. Leela (2002)
  2. Sarfarosh (1999)
  3. Khudai (1994)
  4. Billoo Badshah (1989)
  5. Kaanoon Ki Awaaz (1989)
  6. Mirza Ghalib (1988) (TV Serial directed by Gulzar)
  7. Rahi (1987)
  8. Long Da Lishkara (1986)
  9. Ravan (1984)
  10. Arth (1982)
  11. Sitam (1982) (as Jagjit-Chitra)
  12. Prem Geet (1981)

Ghazal albums

  • The Unforgettables (1976)
  • A Milestone (1980)
  • Main aur Meri Tanhaayee (1981)
  • The Latest (1982)
  • Ecstasies (1984)
  • A Sound Affair (1985)
  • Echoes (1985–86)
  • Beyond Time (1987)
  • Mirza Ghalib (Two Volumes) (1988), TV Serial Directed by Gulzar
  • Passion / Black Magic (1988)
  • Ghazals from Films (1989)
  • Emotions
  • Man Jite Jagjit (1990)
  • Memorable Ghazals of Jagjit and Chitra (1990)
  • Someone Somewhere (1990)
  • H O P E (1991)
  • Sajda (Two Volumes with Lata Ji) (1991)
  • Kahkashan (Two Volumes) (1991–92), TV Serial Directed by Jalal Agaa
  • Visions (Two Volumes) (1992)
  • In Search (1992)
  • Rare Gems (1992)
  • Face to face (1993)
  • Your Choice (1993)
  • Chiraag (1993)
  • Desires (1994)
  • Insight (1994)
  • Cry for Cry5677
  • Mirage (1995)
  • Unique (1996)
  • Come Alive in a Concert (1998 (CD))
  • Live at the Wembley
  • Love is Blind (1998)
  • Silsilay (1998) (Lyrics by Javed Akhtar)
  • Marasim (1999) (Lyrics by Gulzar)
  • Saher (2000)
  • Samvedna 2002 (Atal Behari Vajpayee's poetry))
  • Soz (2002) (Lyrics by Javed Akhtar)
  • Forget Me Not (2002)
  • Jaam Utha
  • Muntazir (2004)
  • Tum To Nahin Ho (Lyrics by Bashir Badr) (2005)
  • Best of Jagjit & Chitra Singh (includes Mere Darwaaze Se Ab Chand Ko Ruksat Kar do by Ali Sardar Jaffrey)
  • Koi Baat Chale (Lyrics by Gulzar)

The Ghazal Maestro of the Millenium : JAGJIT SINGH grew up in the cradle of Indian folklore, Rajisthan. The noted musician and teacher, Ustad Jamal Khan, groomed him in the fineries of music and Jagjit followed the pursuits of music and academic learning with admirable equability. In course of time he graduated from Punjab University and flowered into a fine vocalist with a rich, resonant voice. The inimitable style of his singing reveals the training he took in classical music for years.

A highly talented and prolific singer of India, Jagjit Singh has given performances all over India. He has won immense laurels from his concert tours in Japan, the Far East, the Middle East countries, Africa and Britain.

External links