A Tribute to The King of Ghazal – Jagjit Singh

Nobody noticed the hidden talent except his father when he realized that there is definitely something special in his son. He then encouraged his son and urged him to explore his God-gifted skills and one day he became the King of Ghazals. He’s none other than Jagjit Singh.


Born of February 09, 1941, the legendary composer, writer and singer Jagjit Singh gained acclaim together with his wife Chitra Singh, who is another renowned Indian ghazal singer. The couple tied the knot in 1969.

One think about ghazals and the first name that would come into his mind is probably Jagjit Singh. The legend is known as the “Ghazal King”.

Jagjit, who was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the govt. in India in 2003, is credited for revival and popularity of Ghazal, an Indian classical art form, by choosing poetry that was relevant to the masses and composing them in a way that laid more emphasis on the meaning of words and melody evoked by them.

Jagjit Singh learned music in Gurudwaras and from musicians such as Pandit Chaganlal Sharma and Ustad Jamaal Khan. He performed on radio and on stage, as well as composing some material, although he subsequently claimed that his father, who was a government employee, had hoped that he would become an engineer. On another occasion his memory was that his father aspired for him to become a bureaucrat and that his siblings were encouraged musically.

In March 1965, and without the knowledge of his family, Singh moved to Mumbai, where there were many opportunities for music artists because of the biggest film industry, Bollywood. Jagjit obtained work initially as a singer of advertising jingles and later became playback singer.

In the same year Jagjit persuaded the record company HMV to produce an EP; he also altered his Sikh image by abandoning his turban, shaving and cutting his hair. His first film role was in Dharati Na Chhoru, a Gujarati production by Suresh Amin.

The king of Ghazals has sung many hit songs for Hindi films including Avishkaar (1974), Prem Geet (1981), Zulf Ke Saye Saye (1983), Bhavna (1984), Ravan (1984), Pinjar (2003), Gandhi to Hitler (2011) among many other films.

Jagjit Singh was died on October 10, 2011 in Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai, after he suffered a brain hemorrhage. The 70-year-old was admitted to hospital on September 23, 2011. He will always remain in our hearts.

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