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HomeEntertainmentJagjit Singh's Greatest Hits: His Most Iconic Ghazals and Songs

Jagjit Singh’s Greatest Hits: His Most Iconic Ghazals and Songs

Hey music lover, ever feel like there’s no one who really gets you? Someone whose voice seems to speak right to your soul? Well, my friend, have I got the artist for you. Jagjit Singh was one of India’s most iconic ghazal singers whose incredible vocal range could transport listeners to another dimension. From his modest upbringing to the personal tragedies that fueled his artistry, Jagjit’s life was just as moving as his music. In this post, we’ll explore his unbelievable career – from his early classical training to becoming the undisputed “King of Ghazals” with hits like “Hothon Se Chhu Lo.” Whether you’re already a fan or have yet to discover this maestro’s magic, you’ll learn why his legacy lives on. So grab a hot chai, put on your comfiest kurta, and let’s dive into the life of the one and only Jagjit Singh!

Early Life and Musical Training: Jagjit Singh’s Humble Beginnings

Jagjit Singh was born in 1941 in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan. His father, Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman, was a government official and his mother, Sardarni Bachan Kaur, was a housewife. Jagjit showed an interest in music from an early age. He learned to play the harmonium from Pandit Chaganlal Sharma and took vocal lessons in classical Indian music from Ustad Jamaal Khan.

In 1961, Jagjit graduated from Khalsa College in Amritsar, Punjab with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After college, he moved to Mumbai to pursue a career as a singer. He struggled for a few years, performing on radio shows and doing private concerts to make ends meet.

His big break came in 1966 when he met another aspiring musician, Chitra Singh. They connected through their mutual love of music and poetry. Chitra helped Jagjit get a recording contract with HMV, and they released their first successful album, The Unforgettables, which featured famous ghazals and songs. Its popularity led to many more collaborations between the duo.

Jagjit and Chitra married in 1967. Together, they were instrumental in popularizing the ghazal genre and bringing it to mainstream audiences. They performed all over the world and released several popular albums featuring poetry by famous Urdu poets like Mirza Ghalib and Firaq Gorakhpuri as well as contemporary writers like Gulzar. Through their soul-stirring compositions and renditions, Jagjit and Chitra captivated listeners and gained widespread acclaim.

Career Beginnings: Jagjit Singh’s First Break as a Ghazal Singer

Jagjit Singh got his big break in 1976 when HMV agreed to produce an album of his ghazals. This was a groundbreaking moment, as ghazals were rarely recorded or released commercially at the time. Singh took a risk in sticking to the traditional form and style of the ghazal, rather than adapting it to more popular musical genres.

The album, titled The Unforgettables, featured ghazals written by renowned Urdu poets like Ghalib, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Sudarshan Faakir. It was an instant success and ended up redefining the ghazal genre. Thanks to Singh, ghazals gained mainstream popularity and acceptance.

This breakthrough album opened up opportunities for Singh to perform live concerts across India. He mesmerized audiences with his soulful voice and emotive style. Demand grew for more of his music. Over the next few years, Singh released multiple successful albums featuring traditional ghazals as well as his own compositions.

Some of Singh’s most well-known ghazals from this era are ‘Baat Niklegi’, ‘Aadmi Aadmi Ko Kya Deta Hai’ and ‘Apne Hote Sajde Kiye’. These timeless classics showcase his ability to evoke a range of emotions through heartfelt renditions of meaningful poetry.

Singh’s success in popularizing ghazals earned him the title of ‘The King of Ghazals’. He almost single-handedly revived interest in this traditional art form and brought it into the mainstream. Thanks to his pioneering work, ghazals found a place on radio stations and music charts, and many new singers were inspired to follow in Singh’s footsteps.

Rise to Fame: Jagjit Singh’s Iconic Albums and Songs

As his musical training progressed, Jagjit Singh began performing at local venues and gained notoriety for his vocal skills and moving ghazal renditions. His big break came in 1976 at the age of 35, when he released his album titled “The Unforgettables”. Featuring lyrics by renowned Urdu poets and Jagjit’s haunting vocals, it was a surprise success and ended up becoming the highest-selling ghazal album of all time.

Some of the most well-known and beloved ghazals from this album are “Baat Niklegi” and “Yeh Daag Daag Ujala”. “Baat Niklegi” in particular is considered Jagjit’s signature ghazal, with its poignant lyrics about lost love and heartbreak that resonated with listeners. The massive popularity of “The Unforgettables” cemented Jagjit Singh’s status as the “Ghazal King” and pioneered a renaissance of the ghazal genre.

Jagjit’s subsequent albums like “Aap Ki Adaalat”, “Aap Ki Amanat”, and “Saajan” were also very successful, featuring other hugely popular ghazals and songs such as:

  • “Hothon Se Chhoo Lo Tum”
  • “Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar”
  • “Tum Ko Dekha To”
  • “Kagaz Ki Kashti”

Jagjit’s velvet voice, expressive style, and ability to evoke emotion led to him becoming a fixture on radio programs and winning several accolades. He performed all over India and internationally, collaborating with renowned musicians like Gulzar, Lata Mangeshkar, and Asha Bhosle along the way. Through his music, Jagjit introduced the ghazal form to new audiences and left behind an enduring legacy as one of India’s most influential artists. His timeless ghazals and songs continue to resonate with and inspire listeners today.

Tragic Loss and Later Years: Coping With Personal Tragedy

Life dealt Jagjit Singh a terrible blow in 1990. His 18-year-old son, Vivek, died in a road accident. Jagjit Singh was shattered and devastated by the loss of his only child. He poured his grief into music and released an album called ‘Someone Somewhere’ in memory of Vivek. The album includes heart-wrenching ghazals like ‘Hosh Walon Ko Khabar Kya’ and ‘Yeh Dua Hai Meri Rab Se’ that reflect his anguish as a bereaved father.

Jagjit Singh’s life was never the same after Vivek’s death. He became reclusive and struggled with depression for years. But his passion for music helped sustain him. He continued to compose and record ghazals, releasing successful albums like ‘Marasim’ (1999) and ‘The Very Best of Jagjit Singh’ (2000). While the pain of losing Vivek never left him, over time Jagjit Singh found the strength to cope with his loss through his art.

In 2003, Jagjit Singh was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honor, in recognition of his magnificent contributions to the arts. Despite health issues in his later years, Jagjit Singh remained devoted to music until the very end. His final album ‘The Master and His Magic’ was released in 2010.

Jagjit Singh left behind an unmatched legacy as the ‘King of Ghazals’. His soul-stirring voice and poignant lyrics won him millions of devoted fans around the world. More than just a singer, Jagjit Singh was a musical storyteller who gave voice to human emotions in all their depth and nuance. Though he is no longer with us, his timeless ghazals and songs will continue to move listeners for generations to come. The impact and influence of his life’s work is unparalleled in the world of Indian music.

Greatest Hits: Jagjit Singh’s Most Popular Ghazals

Jagjit Singh was known as the ‘King of Ghazals’ for good reason. His soulful voice and emotive style of singing made his ghazals immortal. Some of his most well-known ghazals have become classics, gaining popularity even with non-ghazal listeners.

‘Hothon Se Chhu Lo Tum’

This melodious ghazal from the album ‘The Unforgettables’ is arguably Jagjit Singh’s most recognizable work. His silky voice glides over the poetic lyrics, capturing the angst of lost love and longing. Lines like “Hothon se chhu lo tum, mera geet amar kar do” (Touch my lips, make my song immortal) have resonated with listeners for decades.

‘Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho’

Featured in the film ‘Arth,’ this ghazal is a poignant depiction of the pain that lingers after a relationship ends. Jagjit Singh’s vocals evoke a sense of wistfulness and regret over memories of happier times now lost. The visuals of the music video, showing a couple drifting apart, complement the melancholy tone of the lyrics.

‘Yeh Daulat Bhi Le Lo’

This ghazal cleverly uses metaphors of wealth and poverty to represent lost love. Jagjit Singh’s vocals shine through, wringing emotion from every word. Lines like “Tum par kurbaan hai jaan, yeh daulat bhi le lo” (I sacrifice my life for you, take this wealth too) are achingly beautiful in their simplicity and sincerity.

‘Aadmi Aadmi Ko Kya Deta Hai’

A philosophical ghazal pondering the transient nature of human relationships. Jagjit Singh’s vocals are contemplative yet soothing, as he sings of how one never knows what life may bring. Poignant lyrics like “Kal kiske saath rahoge, kiske saath jaoge” (Who will you be with tomorrow, who will you go with) remind us to value each day and each person in our lives.

Through these iconic ghazals and more, Jagjit Singh’s golden voice lives on, continuing to mesmerize new generations of listeners. His emotive style and skill in interpreting poetic lyrics have firmly established him as an all-time great in the world of ghazals.

Memorable Melodies: Jagjit Singh’s Most Loved Romantic Songs

With a mellifluous voice and poetic lyrics, Jagjit Singh created some of the most memorable love songs in Indian music. His ghazals and romantic songs are timeless classics that resonate with listeners even today.

Some of his most iconic love songs are:

  • Chitthi Na Koi Sandes. This poignant ballad expresses the anguish of separated lovers longing to hear from each other. Singh’s evocative vocals and the poetic lyrics make it a poignant listen.
  • Hosh Walon Ko Khabar Kya. This philosophical ghazal questions whether those intoxicated by love can comprehend the turmoil in the lover’s heart. Singh’s soulful rendition beautifully captures the pangs of unrequited love.
  • Tum Ko Dekha To Yeh Khayal Aaya. This melodious ghazal speaks of the thoughts that arise upon seeing the beloved. Singh’s velvety voice and the poetic imagery create a magical effect.
  • Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar. This uplifting song celebrates love and togetherness. The heartwarming lyrics and Singh’s emotive singing make it perfect for both newlyweds and long-time partners.
  • Apni Awaaz Suno. This self-composed ghazal is one of Singh’s most loved songs. The poetic lyrics convey the message to heed one’s inner voice. When combined with Singh’s evocative vocals, it becomes a powerful and inspirational listen.
  • Tere Mere Beech Mein. This romantic duet with wife Chitra Singh is one of their most popular love songs. The chemistry between the singers and lyrics capturing the joy of togetherness resonate with listeners.

Through these timeless melodies, Jagjit Singh gave musical expression to the joys and pangs of love in a way that resonates with all. His memorable ghazals and love songs remain an indelible part of Indian music.

Legacy and Influence: Jagjit Singh’s Impact on Ghazal Music

Jagjit Singh is credited with reviving and reinventing the ghazal. His soulful, melodic renditions introduced this poetic form of music to a whole new generation of listeners.

Singh modernized the ghazal by incorporating elements of Western music like the guitar, violin, and electronic keyboards. His compositions were also more rhythmic and accessible, drifting away from the rigid rules of traditional ghazal poetry. This allowed Singh to reach a wider audience, popularizing a genre that was previously enjoyed mainly by literary and cultural elites.

Through his prolific recordings, captivating live performances, and work as a composer, music director, and playback singer, Singh cemented his status as the “King of Ghazals.” He received numerous accolades recognizing his immense contributions, including the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honor.

Singh’s timeless ghazals and nazms have become an inextricable part of India’s cultural fabric, with many of his most well-known songs attaining anthem-like status. Generations have grown up listening to classics like “Hothon Se Chhu Lo Tum,” “Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar,” and “Woh Kagaz Ki Kashti.” These melodies, and Singh’s soul-stirring voice, continue to endure in the hearts of music lovers everywhere.

Through his body of work, Jagjit Singh both shaped and was shaped by the era he lived in. His songs gave voice to the emotional landscape of a newly independent India grappling with changing social mores and values. In turn, Singh’s immense popularity and artistry established the ghazal as a contemporary musical tradition compatible with modern sensibilities. Such was his impact that Singh is considered as seminal to ghazal singing as Begum Akhtar was to thumri.

Jagjit Singh lives on through his timeless ghazals that whisper to us of love and loss, joy and sorrow, in a voice as mellifluous as it is unforgettable. His legacy is one of beauty, passion and musical mastery that has forever altered the course of ghazal gayaki.

Jagjit Singh’s Family: His Wife and Son Keep His Memory Alive

Jagjit Singh was married to Chitra Singh, a renowned ghazal singer herself. They were married for over 50 years until his death in 2011. Together they made many memorable albums, with Chitra providing vocals on some of Jagjit’s most well-known songs like “Hothon Se Chhoo Lo Tum” and “Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar.”

His Son

Their son Vivek Singh is also a talented musician. He collaborated with his father on the album “Someone Somewhere” and has continued Jagjit’s musical legacy. Vivek and Chitra have worked to preserve Jagjit’s timeless ghazals and make them available to new generations. They have re-released many of his albums, organized tribute concerts, and managed his official YouTube channel which has helped introduce his music to younger audiences.

After Jagjit passed away from brain hemorrhage in 2011, Chitra and Vivek established the Jagjit Singh Memorial Trust to provide support for underprivileged children and aspiring musicians. The trust also aims to promote Indian classical music.

Jagjit would surely be proud of his family’s efforts to spread his message of love, spirituality and communal harmony through music. His melodious voice lives on in his timeless ghazals and songs, as well as in the work of his wife and son who have dedicated themselves to preserving his artistic legacy for generations to come.

Though he is no longer with us, Jagjit Singh’s music and memory continue to inspire people around the world. Thanks to his loving family, the “Ghazal King” will always remain an icon who used his gift of song to bring people together.

Jagjit Singh Ghazal FAQs: Answering Common Questions About the Maestro

Jagjit Singh is known as the “king of ghazals” for helping to popularize the ghazal genre. His soulful voice and meaningful lyrics have resonated with millions of fans. If you’re new to Jagjit Singh’s music, you probably have some questions about this iconic artist. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the maestro.

What instruments did Jagjit Singh play?

Jagjit Singh was a talented multi-instrumentalist. His primary instruments were the harmonium and piano. He was also skilled at playing the guitar and violin. While he didn’t always play instruments on his recordings, he composed the music for many of his most famous ghazals and songs.

How many albums did Jagjit Singh release?

Over his 50-year career, Jagjit Singh released over 80 albums. Some of his most well-known albums include The Unforgettables (1976), A Sound Affair (1985) and Muntazir (1991). He continued recording up until his death in 2011 at the age of 70.

What are some of Jagjit Singh’s most famous ghazals?

Some of Jagjit Singh’s most iconic ghazals include:

  • “Hoshwalon Ko Khabar Kya”
  • “Sarakti Jaye Hai Rukh Se”
  • “Tum Ko Dekha Toh Yeh”
  • “Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar”
  • “Apni Aag Ko Zinda Rakhna”

What awards did Jagjit Singh win?

Jagjit Singh won numerous accolades over his career, including:

  • The Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, in 2003.
  • The Sahitya Akademi Award in 1998 for his poetry collection, Aathwan Sur.
  • The Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Creative and Experimental Music in 2000.
  • He holds the Limca Book of Records for the highest number of recordings by an Indian artist.

How did Jagjit Singh die?

Jagjit Singh passed away on October 10, 2011 at the age of 70. He had been suffering from a brain hemorrhage and was admitted to Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. His death was mourned by fans across India and the world.


So there you have it, a quick look at the legendary career of Jagjit Singh. From his early classical training to breakthrough success with his unique ghazal style, he left an indelible mark on Indian music. Even after personal tragedy struck, he continued creating soulful compositions up until the very end. Whenever you need a soothing soundtrack or just want to experience his magic, put on one of Jagjit’s classics. His velvet voice and heartfelt poetry will transport you and remind you why he’s considered one of the all-time greats. Hopefully this glimpse into his story left you newly inspired by his talents and touched by his life journey.

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