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Kedarnath Bhattacharya (born 23 September 1957), better known as Kumar Sanu, is an Indian playback singer who mainly sings for Hindi and Bengali films, and is popular for rendering his voice in Bollywood movies of the 1990s and early 2000s. He was awarded the Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award for five consecutive years. In 2009, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his achievements.[4][5] Sanu notably holds the Guinness World Record for most songs recorded by a singer in 24 hours with 28.[6]

Kumar Sanu
Kumar sanu 3 idiots.jpg
Kumar Sanu
Background information
Native name
Kumar Sanu
Birth nameKedarnath Bhattacharya
Also known asMelody King[1]
Born (1957-10-20) 20 October 1957 (age 61)[2][3]
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Occupation(s)Playback singer
InstrumentsVocals, tabla, piano
Years active1989-present
LabelsYash Raj Films, T-Series, Sony Music, Zee Music, Tips, Saregama, Venus Records & Tapes and Vishesh Films


Early lifeEdit

Sanu's father, Pashupati Bhattacharya, was a vocalist and composer. The two and Sanu's elder sister lived in the Sinthee area of Calcutta (now Kolkata) near Biswanath Park. Bhattacharya trained under renowned musicians of the region, Jiban Upadhyay and Bishodeb Chattopadhyay, the former of the Badal Khan and Jamruddin gharana. Classically trained, he sang for the Dhaka radio alongside Jagan Mitra and Sudhirlal Chakrabarty. Sanu said of him, "He was a master of thumri, khayal and bhajans. Only my elder sister Jayshree Mukherjee, was trained by him. The rest of us would listen to him entranced and we learnt a lot from that."[7]


Kumar Sanu started his playback career, as Sanu Bhattacharya. In 1986, he got Bangladeshi film Tin Kanya,[4] directed by Shibli Sadiq.[citation needed] Sanu had his first major Bollywood song in Hero Hiralal (1989).

In 1989, Jagjit Singh introduced Kumar Sanu to Kalyanji-Anandji at their residence Vimal Bunglows in Mumbai. On their suggestion, he changed his name from "Kedarnath Bhattacharya" to "Kumar Sanu" because his voice and singing style were much influenced by Kishore Kumar. Anandji shared this story on the show Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai, hosted by Farooq Sheikh. Sanu then relocated to Mumbai, where Kalyanji-Anandji gave him a chance to sing in the film Jaadugar.

For the 1990 film Aashiqui, music directors Nadeem-Shravan got Sanu to sing all but one of the songs. He won the first of his record five consecutive Filmfare Awards as Best Male Playback Singer. His next Filmfare Awards came for songs in the movies Saajan (1991), Deewana (1992), Baazigar (1993) and 1942: A Love Story (1994). He won 5 back to back Filmfare awards for singing, between 1990 and 1994.

Significant collaborationsEdit

Nadeem ShravanEdit

Sanu with Shravan and Thakur Doultani

Kumar Sanu got his major break when Gulshan Kumar with music directors Nadeem and Shravan gave him chance to sing most of the songs of movie Aashiqui (1990), songs were recorded earlier for an album and later movie was made around the songs. The movie as well as the songs were a grand success. Thereafter, they worked together in many films, including Saajan (1991), Phool Aur Kaante (1991), Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), Sadak (1991), Pyaar Ka Saaya (1991), Saathi (1991), Deewana (1992), Dil Ka Kya Kasoor (1992), Jaan Tere Naam (1992), Sapne Sajan Ke (1992),Anaam (1992), Paayal (1992), Panaah (1992), Bekhudi (1992), Kal Ki Awaaz (1992), Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993), Sainik (1993), Junoon (1993), Waqt Hamara Hai (1993), Rang (1993), Sangraam (1993), Shreeman Aashiq (1993), Dhartiputra (1993), Dilwale (1994), Aatish (1994), Ekka Raja Rani (1994), Saajan Ka Ghar (1994), Andolan (1995), Barsaat (1995), Anokha Andaaz (1995), Saajan Ki Baahon Mein (1995), Zamaana Deewana (1995), Raja Hindustani (1996), Agnisakshi (1996), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Pardes (1997), Naseeb (1997), Aa Ab Laut Chalen (1999), Sirf Tum (1999), Dhadkan (2000), Kasoor (2001), Hum Ho Gaye Aapke (2001), Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001), Yeh Dil Aashiqanaa (2002), Ansh (2002), Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya (2002), Dil Hai Tumhaara (2002), Tum Se Achcha Kaun Hai (2002), Dil Ka Rishta (2003), Qayamat (2003) Footpath (2003), Andaaz (2003), Barsaat (2005), And Mere Jeevan Saathi (2006), . He has sung his most songs for them (293 songs).

Anu MalikEdit

Sanu has sung songs of various genres with Anu Malik. It was Malik who made Sanu sing his first western-style song "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhe", from the film Baazigar (1993). Some other achievements of the combo are Chamatkar (1992), Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee (1993), Sir (1993), Imtihaan (1994), Vijaypath (1994), Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994), Naaraaz (1994), Yaar Gaddar (1994), Hum Hain Bemisaal (1994), Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1994), Naajayaz (1995), Gundaraj (1995), Hulchul (1995), Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995), Diljale (1996), Sapoot (1996), Daraar (1996), Chaahat (1996), Virasat (1997), Hamesha (1997), Dil Kitna Nadaan Hai (1997), Judwaa (1997), Tamanna (1997), Duplicate (1998), Kareeb (1998), Soldier (1998), Iski Topi Uske Sarr (1998), Hum To Mohabbat Karega (2000), Ajnabee (2001), Aan: Men at Work (2003), Ishq Vishq (2003), Fida (2004) and No Entry (2005). In 2015, they were again back with songs in Dum Laga Ke Haisha.

Jatin LalitEdit

Sanu started his work with Jatin Lalit on the 1992 film Khiladi. From then on he provided his voice for hit movies including Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992), Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1993), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Khamoshi (1996), Yes Boss (1997), Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai (1998), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha (1998), Ghulam (1998), Dil Kya Kare (1999), Khubsoorat (1999), Sangharsh (1999), Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan (1999), Vaastav (1999) and Sarfarosh (1999). He has sung a total of 136 songs for them.

Himesh ReshammiyaEdit

Sanu worked for Himesh Reshammiya, for all title tracks of TV serials which Reshammiya produced. All the title tracks were sung by Sanu, and then in his debut film as a music director, Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya and further for many other films such as Kurukshetra, Yeh Hai Jalwa, Humraaz, Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye, Hello Brother, Bandhan, Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge, Jodi No.1, Uljhan, Footpath and Taarzan: The Wonder Car.

Rajesh RoshanEdit

Beginning with "Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye" in the movie Jurm (1990), Sanu's collaboration with Rajesh Roshan produced one hit after another. Significant movies include Karan Arjun (1995), Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995), Papa Kehte Hai (1996), Dastak (1996), Koyla (1997), Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000), Kya Kehna (2000), Karobaar: The Business of Love (2000) and Aetbaar (2004).

Viju ShahEdit

Sanu has rendered his voice for some of Viju Shah's greatest compositions. Vishwatma (1992), Mohra (1994), Tere Mere Sapne (1996), Gupt (1997), Aar Ya Paar (1997), Beti No. 1 (1999), Bulandi (2000), Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat (2001) and Kasam (2001) are some of their notable albums.


Sanu has recorded over 150 songs with Anand-Milind. Breaking away from his romantic image, he has sung peppy numbers for the duo, his most famous ones being for actor Govinda. He worked with the duo and successfully delivered hits such as Jigar (1992), Raja Babu (1994), Suhaag (1994), Jai Kishan (1994), Elaan (1994), Coolie No 1 (1995), Hero No. 1 (1997), Gair (1998), Chal Mere Bhai (2000), Army (1996), Trinetra, Lootere (1993), Gopi Kishan (1994) and Rakshak (1996).

Other workEdit

Kumar Sanu has composed music for various Indian films. Utthaan and Yeh Sunday Kyun Aata Hai are most remarkable among them. Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Anuradha Paudwal, Sapna Mukherjee, Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam, Sadhana Sargam, Sudesh Bhonsle, Shaan, Shreya Ghosal, Hema Sardesai, Sunidhi Chauhan and many more lent their voices for his music. "Yeh Kaisa Utthhan Hai" (sung by Asha Bhosle and Sonu Nigam in two different versions) and "Jisne Sapna Dekha" (sung by Sanu himself) are critically acclaimed.

Sanu sang the title song for the TV show Yeh Duniyan Gazab Ki, with singer Udit Narayan.

In 2017, Kumaar Saanu along with Sadhna Sargam sung for the title track of 19s Story based TV Series "Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hain" and also appeared as a part for cameo in it. [8]

In 2019, Kumaar Saanu made a little singing for the Star Plus's "Kulfi Kumarr Bajewala".[9]

Other than singing and composing music for films, he has also shown interest in producing films. In 2006, he produced his first Hindi film Utthaan.

Currently, he is working with a fellow producer, Rakesh Bhhatia on a new project named Yeh Sunday Kyun Aata Hai. The film is based on the lives of four children who live in the streets of Mumbai and polish shoes at a train station in order to earn their livelihoods. The film will feature Mithun Chakraborty in a leading role. Recently, Sanu sang for a Bangladeshi Bengali film Hason Raja, which was directed by a UK-based filmmaker Ruhul Amin. This movie was never released. He also has composed for some Bengali movies; Amrita and Tobu Aporichito.

Sanu was on the panel of judges on Sony TV for Waar Parriwar, a reality show based on the bringing together of a singing gharana (family of singers) and on Zee Bangla TV in a music reality show called Sa Re Ga Ma Pa - Vishwa Sera.

In 2012, he judged the Zee Bangla musical reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – Gane Gane Tomar Mone. At present, he is one of the judges on the Bengali version of the popular musical reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs.

Recently he recorded an album named Hum aur Tum. He also recorded a Spanish song for an album. He has also the record for the most recordings of songs in a single day, 28 songs. popularly he is known for melody king.

He also made special appearances as an actor in the movies Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain (1999) and Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015).

Sanu is a trustee and Brand Ambassador of Bishwa Bandhan,[10] a foundation for cerebral palsy.

Sanu opened a primary school, Kumar Sanu Vidya Niketan,[11] for underprivileged children in Karol Bagh, Delhi. The students are given uniforms and books free of cost.[12]

Work with other singersEdit

Sanu had multiple hit duet numbers with singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Anuradha Paudwal, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sadhana Sargam, Alisha Chinai, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sapna Mukherjee, Poornima, Sapna Awasthi, Shreya Ghoshal, Akriti Kakkar, Monali Thakur, Neha Kakkar, and others. Sanu also multiple duets with his daughter Shannon K, pop singer and songwriter, who has launched her career in the United States in 2017.[13]

Sanu is also credited with the highest number of version songs and male duet hits with the finest singers of 1980s and 1990s. Some of the notable songs are as follows:

Song Film Other version sung by singer(s)
"O Priya Suno Priya" Arjun Pandit (1999) Hariharan
"Dil Ka Aalam" Aashiqui (1990) Nitin Mukesh
"Dil Ka Rishta" Dil Ka Rishta (2002) Udit Narayan and Babul Supriyo
"Kajal Kajal" Sapoot (1996) Amit Kumar
"Raja Ko Rani Se" Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995) Udit Narayan
"Pardesi Pardesi" Raja Hindustani (1996) Udit Narayan and Suresh Wadkar (sad version)
"Aakhon Main Base ho Tum" Takkar (1995) Abhijeet Bhattacharya
"Tum Dil Ki" Dhadkan (2000) Abhijeet Bhattacharya
"Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Hai Dilse" Dhadkan (2000) Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan
"Woh Aankh Hi Kya" Khuddar (1994) Sonu Nigam
"Jeeye Toh Jeeya Kyse" Saajan (1991) Pankaj Udhas and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
"Dil kya kare" Dil Kya Kare (1999) Udit Narayan
"Janam meri janam" Mr. Bechara (1996) Udit Narayan
"O Dil Tod Ke Hasti Ho Mera" Bewafa Sanam (1995) Udit Narayan
"Is Tarah aashiqui ka" Imtihaan (1994) Amit Kumar
"Dil Mera Churaya Kyu" Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995) Udit Narayan
"Cahaton Ka Silsila" Shabd (2005) Udit Narayan
"Jis Ghadi Tujhko" Prithvi (1997 film) Udit Narayan
"Salma Pe Dil Aa Gaya" Salma Pe Dil Aa Gaya (1997) Udit Narayan, Asha Bhosle and Amit Kumar


He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2004 in a ceremony headed by then Party President Venkaiah Naidu, but he later resigned to concentrate on singing.[14] He rejoined BJP on 2 December 2014, inducted by Amit Shah,Home Minister of India(From June 2019). [15]


Kumar Sanu returned to playback singing in 2012. He made a comeback at the urge of composer Sajid-Wajid. Sajid-Wajid gave him "Chammak Challo Chhail Chhabili" - Rowdy Rathore, a wedding song with Shreya Ghoshal. In 2015, Kumar Sanu replaced Lata Mangeshkar as the background voice of Yash Raj Films logo for the film Dum Laga Ke Haisha. This was the first time in YRF's 60-year history that Lata Mangeshkar's voice was replaced.[16]



  • Filmfare awards — 1991-1995
  • Padma Shri (2009)
  • Screen award for Best Male Playback

Outstanding Honours received by the LEGENDEdit

Year Award Honouring body
2001 31 March - Kumar Sanu Day: first Indian singer to achieve such honour in America Michael R. Turner, Mayor, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.[17]
2001 Doctorate (honorary) University of America
2009 Padma Shri: India's 4th highest civilian honour Government of India
2012 Dr. Ambedkar Awards[18] People Education Society
2014 Maharashtraratna Awards Government of Maharashtra
2014 Mahanayak Samman Lifetime Achievement: as Bengali Playback Singer Government of West Bengal
2015 Sangeet Samman Lifetime Achievement Award Government of West Bengal[19]
2017 Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Nobel Award[18] International Human Rights Council
2018 Felicitation at the UK Houses of Parliament : First Indian singer to receive such honour in UK along with Anuradha Paudwal for contribution in Indian Music and also social services. Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group[20]

Filmfare AwardsEdit

Year Song Film Music director(s) Lyricist
1990 "Ab Tere Bin" Aashiqui Nadeem-Shravan Sameer
1991 "Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai" Saajan Nadeem-Shravan
1992 "Sochenge Tumhe Pyaar" Deewana Nadeem-Shravan
1993 "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen" Baazigar Anu Malik Dev Kohli
1994 "Ek Ladki Ko Dekha" 1942: A Love Story R.D. Burman Javed Akhtar
Year Song Film
1993 "Baazigar O Baazigar" Baazigar
1995 "Tujhe Dekha To" Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
1997 "Do Dil Mil Rahe Hain" Pardes
1998 "Ladki Badi Anjaani Hai" Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
1999 "Aankhon Ki Gusthakiyaan" Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
2003 "Sanam Mere Humraaz" Humraaz
2003 "Kisise Tum Pyar Karo" Andaaz

Other awardsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sharma, Suruchi (3 July 2012). "All reality shows are money minting programmes: Kumar Sanu". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  2. ^ Parande, Shweta (23 September 2014). "Kumar Sanu birthday special: Listen to the Bollywood singer's mesmerising songs in the jukebox". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  3. ^ Srivastava, Pranati (23 September 2018). "Kumar Sanu birthday: Some intriguing facts about Bollywood's melody king". Times Now News. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b Khole, Purva (23 September 2013). "Kumar Sanu, happy birthday". Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  5. ^ Soman, Deepa (29 August 2013). "Kumar Sanu: Love to sing more". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Did you know Kumar Sanu holds the world record for singing 28 songs in a day?". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  7. ^ "A Singer Acts". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 19 April 1997. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "BishwaBandhan: PURPOSE". 20 March 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Kumar Sanu Vidya Niketan - An NGO for underpreviledged children". Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Singer Kumar Sanu opens school for the underprivileged.. - News". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Interview with talented Pop Singer Shannon K". CreativInn Art Mag.
  14. ^ "Kumar Sanu will "sing" for BJP". The Hindu. 17 March 2004. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  15. ^ "Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu joins BJP". Times Of India. 2 December 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Lata Mangeshkar Replaced By Kumar Sanu For Ayushmann Khurrana's Dum Laga Ke Haisha". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  17. ^ "Day tripper: Kumar Sanu goes global". Filmfare. July 2001. Archived from the original on 30 August 2004. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  18. ^ a b "International Human Rights Council Honours Dharmendra With Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Nobel Award". Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  19. ^ "Bappi Lahiri, Kumar Sanu given Lifetime Achievement awards". 14 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal honoured at UK Houses of Parliament". 8 July 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Salman Khan, Sunny Leone are Google's most searched Indian actors of last 10 years". 15 July 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Kumar Sanu at Wikimedia Commons