Jagjit Singh needs no introduction when it comes to Indian Classical Music and especially Ghazals. He was an iconic figure in the world of Ghazals, folk and Indian Classical and devotional songs. Even after his demise, he is still stated as the legendary Ghazal King and this singer had a number of prestigious awards and recognitions to his credit. This legendary musician has not limited to singing but also in music composition, and also sang many songs with his better half Chitra Singh who is equally a famous female Ghazal singer. The couple touched the sky of success when they sang together during the 70’s and 80’s and at that point of time, Jagjit Singh sang many songs in Hindi films i.e. Arth, Prem Geet, Saath Saath and many others, which were loved by every single person in the country and abroad. He broke the conventional thought of the people who only though that Ghazals singers should be Muslims and hailed from Pakistan, but Jagjit Singh is one such name who was unique and won millions of hearts with his soft velvety voice and his singing style. There were times when he was also criticized for presenting Ghazals as pop songs as he allowed using the guitar in Ghazals in his albums, but still, people loved him in all the ways.He suffered from a brain Hemorrhage and died on 23 September’ 2011
Jagjit Singh was born on February 8, 1941, as Jagmohan Singh Dhiman in Ganganagar, Rajasthan. His father Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman was a surveyor public works department but they belonged from District Ropar in Punjab and mother Sardarni Bachchan Kaur was a housewife and raised him in a religious environment. Jagjit Singh studied at Khalsa High School and Government College in Sri Ganganagar and graduated from DAV College in Jalandhar. He never approached for singing but his talent was discovered by his father, and he learned music from a visually impaired master of Indian classical music, Pandit Chaganlal Sharma who trained him in all the styles of Hindustani Classical vocal music such as Thumri, Khayal, Dhrupad, and others. He started singing and composing assignments at All India Radio’s (AIR) Jalandhar station in the year 1961.While doing this job he also completed his post-graduate degree in history from Kurukshetra University in Haryana. In March 1965, without informing his family, he went to Mumbai, where he got many opportunities for music artists because of the Hindi film industry. He started his career as a jingle singer for commercial advertisements and later on moved to playback singing.
Jagjit Singh started his career as a jingle singer that he started just after his Radio job in Jalandhar when he came to Bombay(present-day Mumbai. He was successful in singing those songs but in the year 1967 she met Chitra Singh and they got married, and following the birth of their son, they went for a dual performance of Ghazal that faced tremendous success and the Ghazal couple became a household name overnight. People loved their performance and they love their Album “The Unforgettable” which gained them sky high success. And this album created a milestone in te world of Ghazals. The Ghazal duo worked both on their solo as well as dual performances and both styles became hits and people started admiring them anyway. During these practices, they attended worldwide concerts and gave innumerable performances in India and abroad and got huge acclamation. Since then Jagjit Singh also sang in many of the Hindi films such as in Prem Geet where “Hoton Se Choo Lo Tum” was a massive hot and in Arth, he sang many of the songs but “Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe HO” was the most melodious and the most popular one. Then in followed his singing to Saath Saath which was also a super hit album where “Tum Ko Dekha Toh Yeh Khayal Aya” was a super hit song and became an all-time romantic song till date. Apart from singing many other songs in the film industry such as” Chitthi Na KOi Sandesh” from the film Dushman in 1998, then “HoshwalonKO Khabar Kya” from the film Sarfarosh in 1999 became the chartbusters.
Apart from singing into Bollywood and its film Jagjit Sinh also released many Ghazal” Albums since 1980 which all of them were hugely popular and his first Ghaal Album named “ The Latest” in which “ Who Kagaz Ki Kashti” was a huge hit as well as the complete album. Then he released “Someone Somewhere” in 1986 which was also gained positive recognition. Then he took 10 long years if gap and in 1996 “Mirage” and this album have no songs left which have to become a hot and all of them are still hummable.
Jagjit Singh was awarded many prestigious awards and recognitions which are provided by Government of Indian and many State Governments.
Jagjit Singh was married to a popular Ghazal Singer Chitra Singh who was known as Chitra Dutta before her marriage to Jagjit Singh, and this was her second marriage. Jagjit Singh had a very successful and melodious marriage, and he also had a son from this marriage. But, unfortunately, his son Vivek died in a fatal accident at a very young age of 21. And both Jagjit and Chitra withdrew themselves from singing after that incident, but Jagjit Singh slowly made a comeback to his career, on the other hand, Chitra decided not to sing again. And another sorrowful incident that broke Chitra was the suicide of her daughter (Monica) from her first marriage. He was also an active philanthropist and social worker and helped some of the major NGOS and other organizations such as CRY, Save the Children the library of St. Mary’s School, Mumbai, Bombay Hospital, and ALMA etc.