Sonu Nigam (born 30 July 1973) is an Indian singer, music director and actor.[3] He has been described in the media as one of the most popular and successful playback singers of Hindi Cinema and Kannada Cinema.[4][5] He has been honoured by the Government of India with Padma Shri, the country's fourth-highest civilian honour for his contribution in the field of arts.

Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam121.jpg
Nigam in 2013
Born
Sonu Kumar Nigam

(1973-07-30) 30 July 1973 (age 49)[1]
Occupation
Years active1987–present
Spouse
Madhurima Nigam
(m. 2002)
Children1
RelativesTeesha Nigam (sister)
AwardsSee below
Honours
Musical career
Genres
Instrument(s)Vocals
Labels

Nigam sings predominantly in Hindi and Kannada language films but has also sung in Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Odia, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Malayalam, Nepali, Tulu and other Indian languages.[6] Nigam has also released a number of non-film albums and acted in some Hindi films.[7] He is known as the "Modern Rafi", a title given to him after his musical idol Mohammad Rafi.[8]

Life and backgroundEdit

 
Sonu Nigam with wife Madhurima Nigam at Rakesh Roshan's birthday, 2017

Sonu Nigam was born on 30 July 1973 to Agam Kumar Nigam and Shobha Nigam in the city of Faridabad, Haryana.[9][10] His father was from Agra and his mother was from Garhwal.[11] His sister Teesha Nigam is also a professional singer.[12] He also has another sister Meenal Nigam who is a Bengaluru-based yoga practitioner.[13]

Nigam began singing at the age of four, when he joined his father Agam Kumar Nigam on stage to sing Mohammed Rafi's song "Kya Hua Tera Wada".[14][15] Nigam began accompanying his father on his singing appearances at weddings and parties. He moved to Mumbai with his father to begin his Bollywood singing career at the age of 19.[16] He was trained by Hindustani classical singer Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.[17]

Nigam identifies as Hindu.[18] He married Madhurima Mishra on 15 February 2002.[19] They have a son named Nevaan.[20]

Nigam had changed his name to Sonu Niigaam citing numerology beliefs, but later decided to go back to his birth name.[21]

Singing and composing workEdit

He has recorded Romantic, Rock, Devotional, Ghazal and Patriotic songs. He has sung in Hindi, Odia, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Kannada, Maithili, bhojpuri, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Tamil and Telugu till date.[6][16] Nigam has released pop albums in Hindi, Kannada, Odia, Chhattisgarhi and Punjabi, as well as Hindu and Islamic devotional albums. He has released several Buddhist albums. Nigam has performed in countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. In May–June 2007, he participated in The Incredibles tour with Asha Bhosle, Kunal Ganjawala, and Kailash Kher. From September–October of the same year, he gave solo concerts titled Simply Sonu in Canada and Germany, becoming the first Indian singer to do so.[22] In April 2008, he toured India promoting his Punjabi single "Punjabi Please".[23]

1993–1999: Starting of his careerEdit

Sonu Nigam released his first song "O Aasman Wale" from the movie "Aaja Meri Jaan" (1993). He released his first album "Rafi Ki Yaadein" in 1993. After this, he sung in the movies "Muqabla" (1993), "Veerta" (1993),"Meherban" (1993), "Shabnam" (1993), "Aag" (1994), "Khuddar" (1994), "Hulchul" (1994), "Stuntman" (1994), "Ramjaane" (1995), "Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi" (1996), "Gaddaar" (1995), "Dand Nayak" (1998), "Jaanwar" (1999), "Barsaat", "Aur Pyar Ho Gaya" (1997), "Badal" (1999), "Dulhe Raja" (1998), "Jeet" (1996), "Hero No. 1" (1997), "Soldier" (1998), "Devta" (1998), "Himmatvar" (1996), "Shera" (1999), "Sooryavansham" (1999), and many more. He began hosting the hugely popular TV show, Sa Re Ga Ma in 1995. His song "Accha Sila Diya" for the film "Bewafa Sanam", gave him greater success.[16] In 1997, he sang the patriotic song "Sandese Aate Hai" from the movie "Border" and performed the Nadeem-Shravan-composed song "Yeh Dil Deewana" in "Pardes" in the same year, both of which were highly successful. Some of his notable songs were "Zindagi Maut na Ban Jaye" from Sarfarosh (1999), "Satrangi Re" from Dil Se, "Ishq Bina" from Taal, "Mujhe Raat Din" from Sangharsh, "Ruki Ruki" from Mast, and his debut in Tamil "Vaarayo Thozhi" from Jeans .Sonu's album Deewana, with music directed by Sajid–Wajid, was released by T-Series in 1999.

2000-2010s: Career peak and multiple awards and nominationsEdit

His popular songs during this period were "Suraj Hua Maddham" from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, "Panchi Nadiya Pawan Ke" from the film Refugee, both of which he sang along with Alka Yagnik, Tanhayee from Dil Chahta Hai, "Tu Fiza Hai" from Fiza among others. He received his first Filmfare Award for the title song of the movie Saathiya, which was composed by A.R. Rahman, with lyrics by Gulzar. His biggest success during this period was the song "Kal Ho Naa Ho" in 2003, composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, with lyrics by Javed Akhtar. "Kal Ho Naa Ho" earned him the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer as well as the Filmfare Award.

Some of his successful songs after Kal Ho Naa Ho and "Saathiya" were "Main Hoon Na" and "Tumse Milke Dil ka" from the film Main Hoon Na, "Do Pal" from Veer-Zaara, which he sang along with Lata Mangeshkar, "Chup Chup ke" from Bunty Aur Babli, "Pyar ki Ek Kahani" and "Koi Tumsa Nahin" from the movie Krrish, which he sang with Shreya Ghoshal, "Sun Zara" and "Chori Chori Chupke Se" from Salman Khan starrer Lucky: No Time for Love, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna title track as well as "Tumhi Dekho Na" from the same film, alongside Alka Yagnik "Inn Lamhon ke Daaman Mein" from Jodhaa Akbar, and "Main Agar Kahoon" from Om Shanti Om. In the film Parineeta, he sang four songs with Shreya Ghoshal. He was also the leading playback singer in 3 Idiots, rendering the songs "Jaane Nahin Denge Tujhe", "Zoobi Doobi" and "Aal Izz Well". In the film Kurbaan, he sang the song "Shukran Allah" along with Salim Merchant of the composer duo Salim-Sulaiman and Shreya Ghoshal, which was appreciated. In the movie Fanaa he sang "Dekho Na" and "Mere Haath Mein" with Sunidhi Chauhan.

Nigam has released albums of Mohammed Rafi's songs including Rafi Ki Yaadein, a collection early in his career, which was re-released in Rafi's memory in September 2007 as a six-disc collection of 100 songs, titled Kal Aaj Aur Kal.[24] In 2008, soon after releasing Classically Mild, he released a single Punjabi track entitled "Punjabi Please"[25] and Rafi Resurrected, a two-disc collection of Rafi songs with music by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He contributed to the lyrics of several songs and directed the music for his album Chanda Ki Doli.

After the death of Michael Jackson, Nigam released a song as a tribute to Jackson which was included on the tribute album The Beat of Our Hearts.[26][27]

In November 2007, at the inauguration of Harvard University's 28th president, Drew Gilpin Faust, Nigam sang Mahatma Gandhi's favourite bhajan, "Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye", with the Harvard College Sangeet.[28]

In July 2008, he participated in a three-city tour of the United Kingdom, singing Rafi songs with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO). This followed the release of these songs by the CBSO and the Indian music company Sa Re Ga Ma on Rafi Resurrected.[29]

He participated in a US tour with Sunidhi Chauhan in 2009 called The Explosion 2009 tour and in a UK tour titled All Izz Well in November 2010. In 2011, Nigam collaborated with Kakas Entertainment and Laxmikant–Pyarelal for a Maestros Concert performing Mohammed Rafi songs.[30]

2010–present: Continuing work in Bollywood and multiple concerts and several English CollaborationsEdit

In 2010, Sonu sang the popular song "Chori Kiya Re Jiya" from Dabangg as well as Tees Maar Khan title track which he sang in 54 voices.[31] Sonu also sang "Aye Janani" song for Kandahar in which he hit the highest note in human vocal registry with an open-throat effort without singing falsetto.[32] Sonu was awarded Global Indian Music Academy Awards 2010 for his song 'All izz Well', BIG Star Entertainment Awards for Best Playback Singer of the Decade (2000–2010) (MALE) and Global Indian Music Award for Best Live Performer (Male) in 2010.

In 2011, Nigam collaborated with Britney Spears on a remix of her "I Wanna Go" track,[33][34] and with DJ Avicii on his song "Indian Levels", produced by Avicii in 2012.[35] In 2011, Sonu also collaborated with Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine Jackson on song "This Is It" which was written & composed by Sonu as tribute to Michael after his death. [36] Sonu also performed song "Let's Go for Glory" at 2011 Cricket World Cup opening ceremony composed by Sonu himself.[37]

Between 2012 and 2015 many of Sonu's songs were redubbed in other singer's voices by music companies because of his fight for singers' royalties and opposition to sign illegal contracts with companies. Sonu said "I am not scared of being out of work because eventually good sense will prevail,".[38]

In 2012, Sonu's song Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin from Agneepath became a huge success. For this song Sonu won many awards including 5th Mirchi Music Awards for Male Vocalist of The Year", BIG Star Entertainment Awards 2012, 18th Lions Gold Awards, 2013 Zee Cine Awards, 19th Lions Gold Award, 2013 Times of India Film Awards and many more. He was also nominated for Best Male Playback Singer at Filmfare Awards. He considers Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin as one of his best songs.

He composed the title track of the film Singh Saab The Great in 2013 and has also composed music for other films including: Sooper Se Ooper and Jal, in collaboration with percussionist Bickram Ghosh in the same year.

He was ranked the Number 1 artist on the US Billboard Uncharted charts twice in September and October 2013.[39][40]

He sang two songs for the movie PK, "Bhagwan Hai Kahan Re Tu" and "Love is a Waste of Time", which was a duet with Shreya Ghoshal. In 2014, Sonu also released a single called "Trini Ladki" in fusion with Chutney Music.

In 2015, "Sapna Jahan" from Brothers became popular. This was Sonu's 3rd collaboration with Ajay–Atul. "Tere Bin" from Wazir, which he sung with Shreya Ghoshal was also appreciated.

In September 2015, Nigam recorded a song with the music director Khayyam for the project titled Gulam Bandhu.[41] Sonu also collaborated with musicians across the globe for Imagine (UNICEF: World Version) composed by John Lennon.

In 2016, Sonu released his single "Crazy Dil" featuring Rajkumar Hirani, Farah Khan, Sunil Grover, Kailash Kher, Natalie Di Luccio, Sonu himself with his son Nevaan. He then released another single "First Date" sung by Sonu & Jonita Gandhi. He also collaborated with Transgender band "6 Pack Band" for song 'Sab Rab De Bande'. In Bollywood music, he sng 'Tu Hi Na Jaane' from Azhar and "Dard" from Sarabjit. Tu Hi Na Jaane' was Sonu's first collaboration with music composer Amaal Mallik.

In 2017 Sonu made an international collaboration, this time with Indian-American DJ kshmr on song 'Underwater'.[42] His independent song with Shreya Ghoshal called 'Aye Jahaan Aasmaan' bagged him 9th Mirchi Music Awards for Indie Pop Song of the Year. The song was composed by Abhishek Ray. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar collaborated with Sonu for his debut single "Sachin's Cricket Wali Beat"[43] 'Hans Mat Pagli' & "Gori Tu Latth Maar" from Toilet: Ek Prem Katha were well-received as was "Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin" from Meri Pyaari Bindu. Sonu also sang one song in Shah Rukh Khan starrer Raees named "Halka Halka" but the song was not included in film because of creative reasons. Later the song was released on YouTube.[44] Sonu composed one song in movie Half Widow called "Kuch Baaqi Hai" which was also sung by him. He also sang one song "Aazaadiyan" with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan from Begum Jaan composed by Anu Malik.

In 2018, Sonu collaborated with American Rapper MC Yogi for song "Hall Of Fame". Sonu sang song "Aye Zindagi" composed by Vishal Mishra having five other versions of Asha Bhosle, Alka Yagnik, Suresh Wadkar, Abhijeet Bhattacharya and Shaan (singer). Sonu also teamed up with Meet Bros for dance number "Totta" feat. Sonu Nigam with Kainaat Arora.[45] In Bollywood, he sang a peppy number in Sanju called "Main Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya" which became very popular. He then sang a melodious song "Kulfi" from 102 Not Out in collaboration with Salim–Sulaiman. Sonu once again collaborated with Anu Malik for "Raat Kitni" and "Main Zinda Hoon" for movie Paltan. He then sang the remake of "Badan Pe Sitare" originally sung by his idol Mohammad Rafi for Anil Kapoor starrer Fanney Khan. Sonu revealed that he was first hesitant to render the song because he didn't want to tamper with the original song but Kapoor requested Sonu to sing the classic as he was playing an ardent follower of Mohammad Rafi in the film, which was why he wanted Sonu to give his voice.[46] Sonu also sang songs for social causes. Song "Tik Tik Plastic" was sung with social message of 'Say No To Plastic'.[47] He also collaborated with Amruta Fadnavis for song "Mumbai River Anthem" to save Mumbai Rivers.[48]

On 14 November 2021, Sonu travelled to United Kingdom for his tour "Rafi Kishore aur Main" presented by Grace Entertainment. He rendered his own songs,as well as evergreen tracks that were originally sung by legendary singers Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi. A source who was present at the show shared, "The audience were glued to their seats for the four-hour long performances. Sonu curated the show with some of the most talented and sought after musicians from across India and also included some musicians who have been a part of the original compositions."[49][50]

Sonu also launched his NFT Series which features his English-language single ‘Hall of fame’ and pages from his personal diary where he has penned down key moments of his life and details of his practice and recording session along with lyrics of his popular songs. He became the first Indian singer to launch an NFT.[51]

'I Believe Music' LabelEdit

Nigam has launched his own music label on 30 July 2020 named 'I Believe Music' and "Rudhrashtakam" is the first track to release under the label.[52]

Work in KannadaEdit

 
Nigam performing at the live concert in 2014

Nigam's first song in Kannada was in 1996 for the film Jeevanadhi. The song "Yello Yaro Hego" was composed by Koti with lyrics by R. N. Jayagopal. Nigam has since sung over 600 Kannada songs.[53][54][55][56]

His songs include "Cheluve Yeke Bande", from the film Majnu, composed by Gurukiran; "Titanic Heroine Nee Nanna Cheluve", from the film Snehaloka; the title track from the film Monalisa composed by Valisha Sandeep;[57] "Hamsave Hamsave" from the film Gatti Mela, composed by Hamsalekha, "Kannale Kannale" from the film Aham Premasmi, composed by V. Ravichandran[58] and "Baaninda Baa Chandira, from the movie Kanti, composed by Gurukiran. The 2006 film Mungaru Male created a sensation and spawned several records, mainly in Karnataka.[59][60]

The songs "Mungaru Maleye" and "Anisuthide" were composed by Mano Murthy and written by Yogaraj Bhat and Jayant Kaikini respectively. Nigam has said that he finds Kannada songs more fulfilling than the Hindi numbers.[61] In an interview with Deccan Herald he said "Kannada songs make me feel positive".[62] He went on to say: "I highly respect the musicians of Karnataka and many of my favourite songs are in Kannada. I consider Bangalore as my second birthplace. Even if someone requests me to sing a Kannada song while I'm performing in the West Indies, I will sing it for them".[53]

 
Sonu Nigam during a Peace Rally in Mumbai on 20 November 2011

From the same Mungaru Male combination, composer Murthy, lyricist Kaikini and Nigam got together to record the Kannada album Neene Bari Neene, produced by Ashok Kheny. Videos for the songs "Neene Bari Neene" and "Baa Nodu Gelathi" were shot on the outskirts of Bangalore featuring Nigam and model Madhuri Bhattacharya in the lead.[63][64] Nigam also composed a theme song for the Karnataka Bulldozers team in the Celebrity Cricket League and sang it with Kunal Ganjawala and Sowmya Raoh, who also penned the lyrics.[65]

As a host and celebrity judgeEdit

Nigam was the host of the Sa Re Ga Ma music show from 1995 until 1999 and became household name.[66] He returned on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs International as a judge with Suresh Wadkar in October 2007. Nigam was a celebrity judge on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mega Challenge grand finale on 12 December 2009.

Nigam hosted the TV show Kisme Kitna Hai Dum on Star Plus in 2002. He appeared as the judge on Indian Idol in seasons 1 (October 2004 – March 2005) and 2 (November 2005 – April 2006), and was a celebrity judge in seasons 3 (17 August 2007) and 4 (16 January 2009 and 6 February 2009).[citation needed]

In 2006, Nigam hosted Life Ki Dhun with Sonu Nigaam on Radiocity 91.1 FM, interviewing musicians.[67]

He appeared as a celebrity judge on STAR Voice of India in August 2007 (Season 1) and in December 2008 (Season 2), and on the grand finale of music reality show Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star on 12 July 2008.

Nigam was a judge/mentor on Chhote Ustaad – Do Deshon Ki Ek Awaaz (July – October 2010) with Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and was a judge/mentor on the first season of X Factor (India) (29 May – 2 September 2011) along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Shreya Ghoshal.[66]

On 23 August 2015, he appeared on "The Anupam Kher Show" sharing his life experiences. He has been also one of the three judges of Indian Idol 2016–17.

Sonu has also hosted 3rd Mirchi Music Awards,[68] 6th Mirchi Music Awards,[69] 8th Mirchi Music Awards,[70] 9th Mirchi Music Awards,[71] 10th Mirchi Music Awards,[72] 11th Mirchi Music Awards,[73] 13th Mirchi Music Awards[74] and 14th Mirchi Music awards[75] In 2021, Sonu Nigam appeared as one of the judges in the Bengali music reality show Super Singer Season 3 on Star Jalsha, along with Kumar Sanu and Kaushiki Chakraborty.

Singing style and influenceEdit

Sonu is one of the most popular playback singers in Bollywood,[76][77] and is widely considered to have inspired new singers in the Bollywood industry. He is often compared to Mohammad Rafi for similar voice texture.[78][79][80][81] Lata Mangeshkar said, "Among contemporary signers, I like Sonu Nigam best. He is serious about his music, has learnt classical and sings with confidence.".[82] Singer Armaan Malik takes a lot of inspiration from him.[83] Singer and musician Ankit Tiwari cites Sonu Nigam as one of his musical inspirations.[84] Shreya Ghoshal considers Sonu her favourite contemporary singer.[85] Palash Sen of Euphoria (Indian band) called Sonu Nigam the most talented singer in Bollywood. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam also appreciated his singing.[86]

Awards and honoursEdit

 
Nigam (right) receiving the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer from President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (left), 2005.
 
The President, Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Padma Shri Award to Sonu Nigam

Sonu Nigam is the winner of several awards including India's fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri, 1 National Award, 2 Filmfare Awards in Hindi & 2 Filmfare Awards South. He has received 17 nominations for Filmfare best playback singer, 10 nominations for Filmfare awards South and is a winner of record 4 times (9 nominations) for IIFA Award for Best Male playback singer and received Oscar Academy Awards nomination in 2014 for soundtrack of Jal composed by Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh together.[87] He was ranked the Number 1 artist on the US Billboard Uncharted charts twice in September and October 2013.

DiscographyEdit

As a music directorEdit

Year Film
2013 Sooper Se Ooper
2014 Jal
2013 Singh Saab The Great
2017 Half Widow

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Ustadi Ustad Se young Rajesh Child artist
2002 Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani Vivek Saxena
2003 Kash Aap Hamare Hote Jai Kumar
2004 Love in Nepal Abby
2005 Navra Maza Navsacha Guest appearance in a song
2013 Warning Guest appearance in the song "Takeedein"
2016 Raakh Guest appearance in song 'Bas Itna Hai Kahena'
2019 Spotless Lead Role Short film[108]

Dubbing workEdit

Film title Original Voice Character Dub Language Original Language Original Release Dub Release Notes
Aladdin[109] Scott Weinger
(Speaking)
Brad Kane (Singing)
Aladdin
(Speaking and Singing)
Hindi English 1992 1994 Dubbed by Modi Entertainment

.[110]

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1995–2000 Sa Re Ga Ma Host 1st Host of the reality show [111]
1999 Movers And Shakers Guest With Divya Dutta (Episode-23)
2002 Kisme Kitna Hai Dum Host
2003 Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai Guest
2004–05 Indian Idol (Season 1) Judge Judge alongside Anu Malik and Farah Khan
2005 Sensational Sonu Nigam – Making of a Star Sony TV show gives insight of Sonu's life [112]
2005–06 Indian Idol (Season 2) Judge Judge alongside Anu Malik and Farah Khan
2006 Johny Aala Re Guest [113]
2007 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs International Judge Judge alongside Suresh Wadkar
2008 Kaho Na Yaar Hai Celebrity Cast
2010 Chhote Ustaad 2 Judge Judge alongside Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
2011 X Factor India Judge Judge alongside Shreya Ghoshal and Sanjay Leela Bhansali
2011 3rd Mirchi Music Awards Host Host alongside Shaan
2011 Comedy Circus Ka Jadoo (TV Series 2010–2011) Celebrity Guest Grand Finale Episode [114]
2012 Zee Rishtey Awards 2012 Host [115]
2013 MTV Unplugged season 3 Singer
2013 Comedy Nights with Kapil Guest Episode 32
2013 Kaun Banega Crorepati Special Appearance [116]
2014 6th Mirchi Music Awards Host
2014 Comedy Nights with Kapil Guest For promoting song Dildara (Episode 117)
2014 Mad in India Celebrity Guest [117]
2015 The Anupam Kher Show – Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai Guest Episode 16
2015 Suron Ke Rang Colors Ke Sang Host
2015 Koshish Se Kaamyaabi Tak Guest Episode 22
2016 8th Mirchi Music Awards Host
2016 The Kapil Sharma Show Celebrity Guest Celebrating Sony TV 21st Anniversary
2016 The Kapil Sharma Show Guest Promoting Indian Idol season 9 alongside Anu Malik and Farah Khan
2016–17 Indian Idol (Season 9) Judge Judge alongside Anu Malik and Farah Khan
2017 9th Mirchi Music Awards Host
2017 Aap Ki Adalat Guest [118]
2018 10th Mirchi Music Awards Host
2018 Comedy Circus 2018 Celebrity Guest
2019 11th Mirchi Music Awards Host
2019 The Kapil Sharma Show Guest Alongside wife Madhurima Nigam (Episode 25)
2020 Sangeet Setu – Artists' Care for India Singer [119]
2020 Super Singer (Season 2) Star Jalsha Guest Super Finale episode [120]
2021 13th Mirchi Music Awards Host
2021 Unacademy Unwind With MTV Singer
2021 Super Singer season 3 (Bengali) Judge Judge alongside Kumar Sanu & Kaushiki Chakraborty
2021 Kaun Banega Crorepati (Season 13) Celebrity Guest Episode no 45 [121]
2021 The Kapil Sharma Show Guest Tribute to Jagjit Singh along with singers Shaan, Hariharan, Talat Aziz, Sameer Khan, Ash King [122]
2022 Naam Reh Jaayega Host pays homage to legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar along with other artists [123]

ControversiesEdit

His series of tweets branding 'Azaan' (Muslim call for prayer), temple, gurudwara, and other religious places using loudspeakers to disturb the people who don't follow the religion as "forced religiousness" landed him in a controversy as a member of a religious group (in particular against Azaan) took offence at the matter and the manner in which he voiced his concern.[124] In his later tweet he stated that he stands by his statement.[125] He later clarified that he is not against any specific religious ritual, but against the use of loudspeakers on religious buildings. He said that the use of loudspeaker to create noise pollution should be stopped beyond certain time as per the law of the land, irrespective of whether it is from a temple, mosque, gurudwara, or any other place.[126] Later, Sonu again sparked controversy, when he posted a video of Azaan from his home which proved that he was indeed disturbed very early in the morning.[127] Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi, vice-president of West Bengal United Minority Council announced a reward of ₹10 Lakh to anyone who shaved Nigam's head, to which Sonu Nigam responded by shaving his own head to claim the reward.[128] He deactivated his Twitter account in 2017 citing lack of freedom of speech, and said that sensible discussions were not possible due to the polarised atmosphere.[129]

In June 2020, after the demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Sonu Nigam posted a video saying that the music industry is also monopolized by two major companies and that he had also faced similar discrimination. He urged these music companies to be fair and kind to the newcomers in the music industry. Although he stopped short of naming anyone he made it clear that the malpractices in Bollywood are terrible and are almost killing the music talent of the country.[130] Sonu Nigam maintained that he didn't name anyone and was only putting up his point of view regarding the malpractices in the music industry of Bollywood. In his second video Nigam names Bhushan Kumar, CEO of T-Series and tells him to stay away from him.[131]

In February 2022, he was accused of working with Rocky and Mr Rehan Siddiqui, who are blacklisted based on recommendations of the Consulate General of India for malpractices and supporting Pakistan-based terror groups. When Rajender Singh Pahl a show promoter from USA had contacted him for performing at a concert, he recommended him to contact Rehan Siddiqui.[132][133][134]

See alsoEdit

[135]==References==

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  8. ^ "Who's the Modern Rafi of India?". Hindustan Times. 30 July 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
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  12. ^ "Say's Younger Sister Teesha Sings Like A Monster". Mid-Day. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Looking for healthy eating options in Bengaluru? This might just be the café you're looking for". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Sonu Nigam: My mother was my best ally". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  15. ^ Kaminsky, Arnold P.; Long, Roger D. (23 September 2011). India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic [2 volumes]: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic. ABC-CLIO. pp. 404–. ISBN 978-0-313-37463-0. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  16. ^ a b c "Sonu Nigam". Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  17. ^ "A look at the rise and careers of Sonu Nigam and Atif Aslam ahead of their concert tomorrow". Abu Dahbi Media. 9 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
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External linksEdit