Jagjit Singh facts for kids

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Jagjit Singh
Jagjit Singh (Ghazal Maestro).jpg
Jagjit Singh performing at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar, on 7 September 2011
Jagmohan Singh Dhiman

(1941-02-08)8 February 1941
Sri Ganganagar, Bikaner State
(now Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India)
Died 10 October 2011(2011-10-10) (aged 70)
Other names The Ghazal King
Occupation Composer, singer, music director
Chitra Singh (m. 1969)
Children Vivek
Musical career
Genres Ghazal, classical, devotional, folk
Instruments Vocals, harmonium, tanpura, piano
Years active 1961–2011
Labels EMI, HMV, Saregama, Universal, Sony BMG, CBS, Polydor, TIPS, Venus, T-Series, Magna Sound, Big, Times

Jagjit Singh (8 February 1941 — 10 October 2011) was an Indian singer. He was known as the "Ghazal King". Ghazal is a classical type of song, dating back to ancient Persia. It uses a special rhyming pattern and the words are written using a special pattern of stanzas. The songs are always about love. Singh, and his wife Chitra Singh who is also a ghazal singer, achieved a lot of commercial success in the 1970's and 1980s. He recorded more than 50 albums. Singh is credited for the 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.

The ghazal is very popular in Pakistan, and Singh was one of the few Indian singers to become a success in that country. His music was described as "...gentle and soothing, and went to your heart." Ghazal was once a classical, elite type of music and poetry. Singh was able to make ghazal popular by singing in many different languages, singing ghazal in movies and music videos.

Singh's 1987 album, Beyond Time, was the first digitally recorded release in India. He was regarded as one of India's most influential artists. With sitar legend Ravi Shankar and other leading figures of Indian classical music and literature, Singh voiced his concerns over politicisation of arts and culture in India and lack of support experienced by the practitioners of India's traditional art forms, particularly folk artists and musicians. He lent active support to several philanthropic endeavours such as the library at St. Mary's School, Mumbai, Bombay Hospital, CRY, Save the Children and ALMA.

Early life and career

Shahid Kabir with Jagjit Singh and his son, Sameer Kabeer
Jagjit Singh (middle) with poet Shahid Kabir and his son, Sameer Kabeer

Jagjit Singh was born in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India (then Bikaner State). His father Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman was a surveyor with government's public works department and hailed from village Dalla, District Ropar in Punjab and mother Sardarni Bachchan Kaur was a housewife who was raised in a deeply religious family in Ottallan village near Samralla.

Throughout his teenage years, he performed on stage and composed music. Although his father, who was a government employee, had hoped that he would become an engineer, Singh pursued his passion for music relentlessly. Like all parents in Indian middle-class families, his father aspired for him to become a bureaucrat. However, he also encouraged Singh and his siblings to learn music.

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


Singh toured the UK in 2011 and was due to perform in Mumbai but suffered a brain haemorrhage on 23 September 2011. He was in a coma for over two weeks and died on 10 October at Lilavati Hospital, in Mumbai. He was cremated the following day at Chandanwadi Crematorium near Marine Lines in Mumbai. A number of tributes have been paid to Singh after his death.


A biography of Singh, entitled Beyond Time based on about 40 hours of interviews with him, was released in 2012. It was transcribed and edited by Ashrani Mathur. A biopic documentary by the name of Kaagaz Ki Kashti has been made on the life journey of Jagjit Singh, who broke through the norms and revolutionised the Ghazal scenario. The film traces the struggle and stardom in his musical career, the love & loss in his personal life and the scope and limitations in the music scenario of the times. The film directed by Brahmanand S Singh is currently available on Amazon Primvevideo in India. It is expected to see worldwide release soon.


Padma Bhushan
Padma Bhushan award
  • In 2012, State Government of Rajasthan posthumously awarded Jagjit Singh its highest civilian award, the Rajasthan Ratna.
  • In 2003, Singh was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, by the government of India
  • In 1998, Jagjit Singh was awarded Sahitya Academy Award, a literary honour in India. He was awarded for popularising the work of Mirza Ghalib.
  • Sangeet Natak Academy Award
  • Sahitya Kala Academy Award by Rajasthan government in 1998
  • Ghalib Academy by Delhi Government in 2005
  • Dayawati Modi Award in 1999.
  • Lata Mangeshkar Samman in 1998 by Madhya Pradesh government.
  • D. Litt. by Kurukshetra University, Haryana in 2003
  • Teacher's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.8th Teacher's Achievement Awards.
  • Google India honoured Jagjit Singh with a doodle on his 72nd birthday on 8 February 2013.

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