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Bappi Lahiri
Bappi Lahiri graces musical concert ‘Rehmatein-3’.jpg
Lahiri in 2017
Alokesh Lahiri

(1952-11-27)27 November 1952
Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, India
Died 15 February 2022(2022-02-15) (aged 69)
Education Chetla Boys' School
Years active 1972–2022
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • tabla
  • piano
  • drums
  • guitar
  • saxophone
  • bongos
  • Dholak

Bappi Aparesh Lahiri (born Alokesh Aparesh Lahiri; 27 November 1952 – 15 February 2022) was an Indian singer, composer and record producer. He popularised the use of synthesised disco music in Indian music industry and sang some of his own compositions. He was popular in the 1980s and 1990s with filmi soundtracks. He also delivered major box office successes in Bengali, Telugu, and Kannada films. His music was well received into the 21st century.

In 1986, he was recognised by Guinness World Records for recording more than 180 songs in one year.

Early life

Alokesh Aparesh Lahiri was born into a Bengali Brahmin family in Calcutta. His parents, Aparesh Lahiri and Bansuri Lahiri, both were Bengali singers and musicians in classical music and Shyama Sangeet who belong to Lahiri Mohan Family of Sirajganj, East Bengal (Now Bangladesh). His parents, were both singers who met while performing for All India Radio. He was their only child. His relatives include singer Kishore Kumar, his maternal uncle.

Bappi Lahiri began to play tabla at the age of 3. Initially, he was trained by his parents. Bappi showed talent as a child playing the tabla and studied with Samta Prasad on the advice of Lata Mangeshkar.

Since childhood, he idolised American musician Elvis Presley, and was inspired by him to wear multiple gold chains and gold jewellery. He thought of creating his own signature appearance when he becomes successful, and later upon becoming successful, he created his signature "golden jewellery" look inspired by that of Presley. He considers gold to be "lucky" for him.


Lahiri (right), with Babbar Subhash and Parvati Khan during the record of "Jimmy Jimmy" for Disco Dancer (1981).

Lahiri came to Mumbai when he was 19. He received his first opportunity in a Bengali film, Daadu (1974), where Lata Mangeshkar sang his composition. The first Hindi film for which he composed music was Nanha Shikari (1973) and his first Hindi composition was Tu Hi Mera Chanda sung sung by Mukesh. The turning point of his career was Tahir Husain's Hindi film, Zakhmee (1975), for which he composed music and doubled as a playback singer. He composed a duet with Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi named "Nothing Is Impossible", for the same film. His compositions Jalta Hai Jiya Mera (Kishore Asha duet) and Lata Mangeshkar solos like Abhi Abhi Thi Dushmani and Aao Tumhe Chand from the same film became popular and gave him recognition. The duet Phir Janam Lenge Hum sung by Kishore Lata became famous from the film Phir Janam Lengey Hum. All songs from the film Chalte Chalte (1976), became hits, thus bringing him recognition as a music director at national level.He sang duet with Sulakshana Pandit named Jana Kahan Hai which gave him recognition as singer. Songs from the films like Aap Ki Khatir, Dil Se Mile Dil, Patita, Lahu Ke Do Rang, Hatya and Ravikant Nagaichs Surakksha 1979 had soft music.

He also composed music for some ghazals, namely "Kisi Nazar Ko Tera Intezaar Aaj Bhi Hai" and "Aawaz Di Hai" for the 1985 film Aitbaar. He also composed melodious songs sung by Kishore Kumar either as duets with Asha Bhosle or Lata Mangeshkar in the films starring Rajesh Khanna in the 80's in hit films like Naya Kadam, Masterji, Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar, Bewafai, Maqsad, Suraag, Insaaf Main Karoonga and Adhikar. After success of the film Himmatwala, Bappi regularly composed duets sung by Kishore Kumar for films starring Jeetendra like in Justice Chowdhry, Jaani Dost, Mawali, Haisiyat, Tohfa, Balidaan, Qaidi, Hoshiyaar,Sinhasan, Suhaagan, Majaal, Tamasha, Sone Pe Suhaga and Dharm Adhikari.Bappi Lahiri made a record by composing for 12 super-hit silver jubilee movies starring Jetendra as the lead hero in the period 1983–1985.

He entered the Guinness Book of World Records for recording over 180 songs for 33 films in 1986.

Bappi Lahiri at the recording
Lahiri at the recording of a song in 2005

Apart from his popular disco-electronic music, Bappi Lahiri was also known for his signature look of his sartorial style that consisted gold chains, golden embellishments, velvety cardigans and sunglasses.

Portions of Lahiri's song "Thoda Resham Lagta Hai" were included in the 2002 song "Addictive" by American R&B singer Truth Hurts. Copyright holders Saregama India, Ltd. sued Interscope Records and its parent company, Universal Music Group for more than $500 million. A Los Angeles federal judge subsequently barred further sales of the CD unless and until Lahiri was listed on the song's credits.

In 2012, his album World Peace, Love & Harmony was among the top five albums being considered for a Grammy nomination but got lost. But, he was selected to be a jury member in the Grammy Awards.

Bappi Lahiri 2016
Lahiri performing in 2016

In late 2016, Lahiri voiced the character of Tamatoa in the Hindi-dubbed version of Disney's 3D computer-animated fantasy adventure film Moana; he also composed and sang "Shona" (Gold), the Hindi version of "Shiny". This was his first time dubbing for an animated character, and he also appeared in Ramratan song "Yeh Hai Dance Bar". He won Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award at 63rd Filmfare Awards.

In 2021, he appeared as a guest judge in musical TV shows such as Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, and Indian Idol.

Political ambitions

Bappi Lahiri joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on 31 January 2014 in the presence of Rajnath Singh, the then-national President of Bharatiya Janata Party, to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha election. He was made a BJP candidate from Srerampur (Lok Sabha constituency) in 2014, but lost to Kalyan Banerjee.

Other work


Year Film Language Notes
1974 Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi Hindi
2009 Main Aurr Mrs Khanna Hindi
2012 It's Rocking: Dard-E-Disco Hindi


Film title Actor Character Dub language Original language Original year release Dub year release Notes
Moana Jemaine Clement Tamatoa Hindi English 2016 2016
Kingsman: The Golden Circle Elton John Himself Hindi English 2017 2017 live-action


Bappi Lahiri died of obstructive sleep apnea in Mumbai, on 15 February 2022 at the age of 69.

Politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cabinet minister Smriti Irani, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, expressed their condolences to Lahiri. Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan, Chiranjeevi , K.S.Chithra , Shreya Ghoshal, Vishal Dadlani, Himesh Reshammiya and others also expressed their condolences.


Bappi Lahiri
Lahiri in 1995

Bappi Lahiri became popular in the late 1970s-80s and early 1990s for the film soundtracks composed by him such as Naya Kadam, Aangan Ki Kali, Wardat, Disco Dancer, Haathkadi (1982 film), Namak Halaal, Masterji, Dance Dance, Himmatwala, Justice Chaudhury, Tohfa, Maqsad, Commando, Naukar Biwi Ka, Adhikar and Sharaabi.

He was known for disco-style songs where he brought orchestration and fusion of Indian music with international sounds and youthful upbeat rhythms. Although most of his songs were written for discotheques and dance numbers, there are several melodious songs as well from a list of movies like Chalte Chalte and Zakhmee.

Denotes films that have not yet been released

Hindi and Bengali

Year Film Songs Notes Language
1973 Nanha Shikari "All Songs" Hindi
1973 Charitra "All Songs" Hindi
1974 Bazar Band Karo "All Songs" Hindi
1974 Ek Ladki Badnaam Si "All Songs" Hindi
1975 Zakhmee "All Songs" Hindi
1976 Chalte Chalte "All Songs" Hindi
1977 Aap Ki Khatir "All Songs" Hindi
1978 Toote Khilone "All Songs" Hindi
1979 Surakksha "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1979 Aangan Ki Kali "All Songs" Hindi
1979 Lahu Ke Do Rang "All Songs" Hindi
1980 Manokamna "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1981 Wardat "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1981 Ogo Bodhu Shundori "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1981 Jyoti "All Songs" Hindi
1982 Disco Dancer "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1982 Namak Halaal "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1982 Suraag "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1982 Haathkadi "All Songs" Hindi
1983 Himmatwala "All Songs" Hindi
1983 Naukar Biwi Ka "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1984 Maqsad "All Songs" Hindi
1984 Sharaabi "All Songs" Hindi
1984 Naya Kadam "All Songs" Hindi
1984 Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki All Songs Also Singer Hindi
1984 Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar All Songs Also Singer Hindi
1985 Aitbaar "All Songs" Hindi
1985 Masterji "All Songs" Hindi
1985 Bewafai "All Songs" Hindi
1985 Saaheb "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1985 Geraftaar "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1985 Insaaf Main Karoongaa "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1985 Adventures of Tarzan "All Songs" Hindi
1985 Adhikar "All Songs" Hindi
1987 Dance Dance "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1987 Aag Hi Aag "All Songs" Hindi
1987 Satyamev Jayate "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1987 Guru Dakshina "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1987 Amar Sangi "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1988 Commando "All Songs" Hindi
1988 Mera Shikar "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1989 Guru "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1989 Aamar Tumi "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1989 Amar Prem "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1989 Asha O Bhalobasha "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1989 Prem Pratigyaa "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1989 Pronomi Tomay "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1990 Naakabandi "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1990 Ghayal "All Songs" Hindi
1990 Aaj Ka Arjun "All Songs" Hindi
1990 Bolidan "All Songs" Features popular song by Usha Uthup, "Uri Uri Baba" Bengali
1990 Mandira "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1990 Badnam "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1990 Aaj Ke Shahenshah "All Songs" Hindi
1990 Sailaab "All Songs" Along with Aadesh Shrivastava Hindi
1990 Thanedaar "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1991 Farishtay "All Songs" Hindi
1991 Dushman Devta "All Songs" Hindi
1991 Swarg Jaisaa Ghar "All Songs" Hindi
1991 Afsana Pyar Ka "All Songs" Hindi
1991 Pratikar "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1991 Numbri Aadmi "All Songs" Hindi
1991 Sau Crore "All Songs" Hindi
1991 First Love Letter "All Songs" Hindi
1992 Shola Aur Shabnam (1992 film) "All Songs" Hindi
1992 Zindagi Ek Juaa "All Songs" Hindi
1992 Police Aur Mujrim "All Songs" Hindi
1992 Priya "All Songs" Bengali
1992 Raktelekha "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1992 Tomar Naam Likhe Debo "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1992 Geet "All Songs" Hindi
1992 Tyagi "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1992 Touhean "All Songs" Hindi
1993 Dalaal "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1993 Aankhen "All Songs" Highest-grossing Bollywood film of 1993 Hindi
1993 Geetanjali "All Songs" Hindi
1994 Neelanjana "All Songs" Also Singer Bengali
1994 Amanaat "All Songs" Hindi
1995 Rock Dancer "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1995 Diya Aur Toofan "All Songs" Hindi
1996 Dil Ke Jharoke Main "All Songs" Hindi
1996 Rangbaaz "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1996 Bal Bramhachari "All Songs" Hindi
1996 Hum Sab Chor Hain "All Songs" Hindi
1997 Nirnayak "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1997 Dharma Karma "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1998 Military Raaj "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1999 Aaya Toofan "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
1999 Benaam "All Songs" Hindi
2000 Justice Chowdhary "All Songs" Hindi
2006 Taxi No. 9211 "Bumbai Nagariya" Singer Hindi
2008 Mudrank "All Songs" Also Singer Hindi
2008 C Kkompany "Khokha", "Jaane Kya Ho Gaya Mujhko" Hindi
2008 Chandni Chowk to China "India Se Aaya Tera Dost (Aap Ki Khatir)" Hindi
2009 Jai Veeru "All Songs" Hindi
2011 The Dirty Picture "Ooh La La" As Singer Hindi
2013 Gunday "Tune Maari Entriyaan","Asalaam-E-Ishqum" As Singer Hindi
2013 Jolly LLB "Mere Toh L Lag Gaye" and "L Lag Gaye 2" As Singer Hindi
2013 Himmatwala "Thank God It's Friday" Uncredited Hindi
2014 Main Aur Mr. Riight "All Songs" Hindi
2017 Badrinath Ki Dulhania "Tamma Tamma Song" Singer & Original Composer Hindi
2017 Ittefaq "Ittefaq Se (Raat Baaki)" Original Composer Hindi
2018 3rd Eye Hindi
2018 Mausam Ikrar Ke Do Pal Pyaar Ke All Songs Music Director Hindi
2019 Why Cheat India "Dil Mein Ho Tum" Original Music Director Hindi
2020 Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan "Areey Pyar Kar Le" Singer and original music director Hindi
2020 Baaghi 3 "Bhankas" Singer and original music director Hindi


Year Film Notes
1986 Simhasanam
1987 Thene Manasulu
1988 Collector Vijaya
Manmadha Saamrajyam
1989 State Rowdy
1990 Chinna
Chinna Kodalu
1991 Indra Bhavanam
Gang Leader
Rowdy Gaari Pellam
Rowdy Alludu
1992 Donga Police
Raktha Tharpanam
Rowdy Inspector
1993 Nippu Ravva
Rowdy Rajakeeyam
1995 Big Boss
Muddayi Muddugumma
Khaidi Inspector
Punya Bhoomi Naa Desam
2013 Action 3D Co-composed with his son Bappa Lahiri
2020 Disco Raja Singer


  • Apoorva Sahodarigal (1983)
  • Paadum Vaanampadi (1985)
  • Kizhakku Africavil Sheela (1987)


  • Gangvaa (1984)
  • Africadalli Sheela (1986)
  • Krishna Nee Begane Baro (1986)
  • Guru (1989)
  • Police Matthu Dada (1991)
  • Love in Mandya (2014) – singer, "Current Hodha Timealli"

Other languages

  • Janam Janam Na Saath (1977) – Gujarati
  • Dokyala Taap Nahi (1990) – Marathi
  • The Good Boys (1997) – Malayalam
  • Luckee (2019) – Marathi, singer


Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1982 Filmfare Awards Best Music Director Armaan Nominated
1983 Namak Halaal Nominated
1985 Sharaabi Won
Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki Nominated
Tohfa Nominated
1991 Aaj Ka Arjun Nominated
2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2012 Mirchi Music Awards Best Item Song of the Year "Ooh La La" (From The Dirty Picture) Won


  • 2017 – Banga Bhushan Civilian Honour by Government of West Bengal


Composer Bappi Lahiri's discarded disco track Zindagi Meri Dance Dance was left out of the Babbar Subhash film Dance Dance although it featured on the vinyl album release at the time. It was re-discovered and had a second lease of life in director Ashim Ahluwalia's 2017 gangster film Daddy starring Arjun Rampal. The re-release of the song was a huge success, becoming one of the top tracks of the year.

Ahluwalia wanted an authentic 80s Bappi Lahiri sound and not an overproduced remix. Norwegian producer Olefonken reworked the song to be more dynamic for contemporary sound systems but kept many of the original elements including the original vocals of Alisha Chinai and Vijay Benedict as well as the original synth and drum machines. The choreographer of Ahluwalia's first film Miss Lovely, was ironically Kamal Nath, who had also worked on B. Subhash's disco film Dance Dance and Commando starring Mithun Chakraborty, both of which feature Bappi Lahiri soundtracks.

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