Jagjit Singh, popularly known as the Ghazal Maestro, is one person who popularized the genre of Ghazals amongst masses and gave a new life to the poetry of many Urdu poets.
That he is a legend of his own league need be told, and that his voice is hauntingly mesmerizing is a fact already established. Still, there are many things about him which are unknown even to their die-hard fans.
Here are ten such facts.
1. Even after recognizing his talent as a singer, his father, who was a government employee, wanted him to become an engineer or a bureaucrat. He did not belong to a well-to-do family.
2. He was first offered a role as an actor in a Gujarati film, which he declined due to his love for singing. He later sang a Gujarati Bhajan in the same film.
3. His career started with the All India Radio’s Jalandhar station, on which he used to sing his idol Mohammad Rafi’s songs.
4. He was pursuing his M. A. in History from Kurukshetra University which he never completed, and then came to Mumbai in 1965 without informing his family.
5. He used to sing jingles for a living and he met Chitra Singh (whom he later married) in a studio while singing jingles.
6. In 1987, he became the first Indian musician to record a digital album, which was entitled “Beyond Time”.
7. The Government of India released a stamp in his memory when he died in 2014.
8. The Ghazal singer had cycling, and betting on horse races as hobbies. Betting in the stock market was also one of his interests.
9. He is the only Indian music composer and singer to have composed and sung the songs written by the former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in two albums, Nayi Disha and Samvedna.
10. Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh’s 18-year-old son died in a car accident in 1990, post which the couple’s collaborations ceased and the wife even stopped singing. In 2009, Chitra’s daughter from her first marriage committed suicide.