Happy Birthday Sonu Nigam: Versatility personified

Raj Baddhan

Senior Editor


How does one give introduction to a talented and hugely celebrated artist who has seen his singing career and fan base go from strength to strength? How does one describe the magic in his voice and the spark he brings to each composition he lends his vocals to; from a dance number to a melodiously romantic love song? How does one go about expressing his contribution to the Bollywood film industry without mentioning track upon track that audiences just seemed to fall for? The truth is that there is no fitting way to introduce today’s birthday boy, Sonu Nigam. BizAsia is strolling down memory lane and looking at some of the singer’s award-winning tracks in Indian cinema of recent years.

Happy Birthday Sonu Nigam
Happy Birthday Sonu Nigam

Sandeshe Aate Hain – ‘Border’ (1997)

This song is easily one of��Nigam’s career best. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are brought to life by Nigam’s very heartfelt and tear-jerking vocals in a song which is a message from serving soldiers to their loved ones. Composed by none other than the talented Anu Malik, Sandeshe Aate Hain remains close to many hearts and is a favourite in symbolising patriotism of the Indian kind.

Tanhayee – ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ (2001)

This track is quite possibly one of Nigam’s most heart-touching. This time, singing for Aamir Khan, Nigam’s vocals in Tanhayee are something else. The hurt and feelings emphasised in the song are of paramount importance to the overall treatment and Nigam achieves this and more. His versatility is very much on show.

Suraj Hua Madham – ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ (2001)

In a movie with��a multi starcast and Karan Johar’s strong inclination for good music, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ gave a very apt platform for yet another love story with the most loved couple in recent history; Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Their romantic track needed to be an extra-special one and you can’t get any more so than Suraj Hua Madham. Nigam’s presence in this song is absolutely love-inspiring and almost makes you fall in love every time you hear the song.

Title track – ‘Saathiya’ (2002)

In this Vivek Oberoi and Rani Mukerji starrer, Nigam’s rendition in the title track was just as popular as the film itself, if not more. AR Rahman’s composition coupled with Nigam’s voice and the way the song is picturised provides the perfect tareef song and, at the time, was one that everyone jumped on the bandwagon for. It’s safe to say it still remains a firm favourite for many.

Shah Rukh Khan in 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'
Shah Rukh Khan in 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'

Title Track – ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ (2003)

A melodious, heartwarming and special track came in 2003 as another one of Nigam’s best; the title song of ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’. Once again lending his voice to Shah Rukh Khan, Nigam has indeed mentioned in many an interview that this is one of the most timeless tracks of his career. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy give an exceptional composition and Javed Akhtar’s lyrics give the song a feel that isn’t achieved every day.

Title track – ‘Main Hoon Na’ (2004)

Once again, Nigam lent his vocals to an Anu Malik composition and lyrics of Javed Akhtar and, once again, to a song featuring Shah Rukh Khan. In Farah Khan’s debut as director, ‘Main Hoon Na’, Nigam’s very welcome performance in the title track almost gives the film a purpose. The song’s lyrics are fitting to Khan’s character and the circumstances surrounding the film. Nigam’s soft voice gives the song a very friendly and familiar feel.

Inn Lamhon Ke Daaman Me – ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ (2008)

In a first, with a very royal and lavish setting, Nigam’s voice takes precedence in Inn Lamhon Ke Daaman Me which is filmed on Hrithik Roshan. His amazing voice gives an almost silent calmness to a song which is filled with romance and intimacy. Nigam shows yet again that his forte is very much in the slowjams rather than the fast numbers.

Shukran Allah – ‘Kurbaan’ (2009)

Featured on Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, Shukran Allah, a composition by Salim-Sulaiman showcases the romance between the two protagonists in an otherwise dark and thrilling plot. This is achieved by Nigam’s melodious and unforgettable rendition in a soulful song.

Nigam has indeed proven time and time again that his voice is versatile and his talent eternal. BizAsia wish him a very happy birthday and hope he continues to give us more chances of being inspired by his vocals for many years to time.