Music

Jagjit Singh

Born 8 March 1941. Died 10 October 2011.
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Asian Network Gold: Jagjit & Chitra Singh

Watch Jagjit & Chitra Singh performing 'Punjabi Tappé' at BBC Pebble Mill

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Biography

Jagjit Singh, born Jagmohan Singh (8 February 1941 – 10 October 2011), was a prominent Indian Ghazal singer, songwriter and musician. Known as the "Ghazal King", he gained acclaim together with his wife, another renowned Indian ghazal singer Chitra Singh in the 1970s and 1980s. Their combination album comprising music from the films, Arth and Saath Saath is the HMV's largest selling combination album of all time.[citation needed] Sajda (An Offering, 1991), Jagjit Singh's magnum opus double album with Lata Mangeshkar holds the same record in non-film category.[citation needed] He sang in numerous languages. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the government of India in 2003. In February 2014, Government of India released a postal stamp in his honour.

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. In terms of Indian Classical music, his style of composing and Gayaki (singing) is considered as Bol-pradhan, one that lays emphasis on words. He highlighted this in his music for films such as Prem Geet (1981), Arth and Saath Saath (1982), and TV serials Mirza Ghalib (1988) and Kahkashan (1991). Jagjit Singh is considered to be the most successful ghazal singer and composer of all time in terms of critical acclaim and commercial success. With a career spanning five decades and a repertoire comprising over 80 albums, the range and breadth of his work has been regarded as genre-defining. He is the only composer and singer to have composed and recorded songs written by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee — also a critically acclaimed poet — in two albums, Nayi Disha (1999) and Samvedna (2002).

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