Ashburn, Virginia, USA
- Harish Jharia
Acclaimed Indian ghazal and bhajan composer and singer Jagjit Singh died on Monday, October 10, 2011 in Mumbai. The 70-year ghazal king was admitted to Mumbai's Lilavati hospital, last month, on suffering from brain hemorrhage. He underwent two surgeries and was on life support system ‘ventilator’ at the time of his last breath. Born on February 8, 1941, Jagjeet Singh was a singer, composer, activist and entrepreneur. He sung in many Indian languages including Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and Nepali.
Jagjit Singh is survived by his wife Chitra Singh, with whom he had produced several record breaking albums and performed for many years. Their only son Vivek Singh had died in a road accident in 1990.
Jagjit Sing with Chitra Singh
Recipient of Padma Bhushan award, Jagjeet Singh entered the music world at a time when Pakistani ghazal singers dominated Indian music markets. Thanks to the 1970s’ cut throat competition in the newly found roaring business of music cassettes, the Indian cassette entrepreneurs resorted to promote Pakistani ghazal singers. Singers like Mehdi Hasan and Ghulam Ali from Pakistan, earned name, fame and fortunes in India and practically overshadowed half a dozen contemporary Indian ghazal singers. The Indian cassette business houses were solely responsible for sidelining equally talented Indian gazal singers and strategically promoting Pakistani singers just for earning profits.
Jagjit Singh composed and sung songs like 'Kaagaz ki kashti', 'Chaak jigar ke', 'Kal chaudhanvin ki raat thi', and 'Shaam se aankh me nami si hai'. He turned the literary works of of legends like Ghalib, Qateel Shifai, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Nida Fazli and Sudarshan Faakir into melodious Indian tunes based on classical raagas and produced landmark compositions and presentations. He later came up with brilliant video albums such as 'Face to Face', 'Marasim', 'Aaeena', and 'Dil Kahin Hosh Kahin'.
Jagjit Singh landed his voice to ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Bajpayee’s poems in the albums 'Nayi Disha' and 'Samvedna'.