Born Jagmohan Singh Dhiman (8 February 1941 – 10 October 2011), and popularly known as “The Ghazal King” or “King of Ghazals”, Jagjit Singh was an Indian ghazal singer, composer and musician. He and his timeless classics will forever stay with us.
He sang in numerous languages and 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.
Singh is considered to be the most successful ghazal singer and composer of all time in terms of critical acclaim and commercial success.
Singh’s 1987 album, Beyond Time, was the first digitally recorded release in India.
Singh was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2003 and in February 2014, the government released a set of two postal stamps in his honour.
He began his profession career in 1961 by undertaking singing and composing assignments at All India’s Radio in Jalandhar.
He married Chitra Dutta, also a known singer, in December 1969, and together they went on the release ‘The Unforgettable’ in 1976.
The couple’s joint projects ceased in 1990, when their 18-year-old son, Vivek was killed in a road accident. Chitra felt unable to sing following these events. Monica, Chitra’s daughter from her first marriage, committed suicide in 2009.
He also composed and recoded the songs written by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in two album named Nayi Disha in 1999 and Samvedna in 2002.
- In 2012, State Government of Rajasthan posthumously awarded Jagjit Singh its highest civilian award, the Rajasthan Ratna.
- In 2002 and 2005, Singh was awarded the Indian Telly Award for the best title singer for a TV show.
- 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 honoured Jagjit Singh with a doodle on his 72nd birthday on 8 February 2013.