Padamshri S.Asa Singh Mastana
Born(1927-08-22)22 August 1927
Lahore, British Raj, now in Pakistan
Died23 May 1999(1999-05-23) (aged 71)
New Delhi, India
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Asa Singh Mastana (22 August, 1926– 23 May, 1999) was a Punjabi musician and singer best known for lending his voice to the bollywood movie dooj ka chand and singing jugni and Heer-genre of folk songs, which recount the tales of Heer Ranjha by poet Waris Shah.[1] He became popular in the 1940s, by the mid-1960s, when state-run All India Radio started promoting folk musicians, this made him, along with Surinder Kaur, Pushpa Hans, Madan Bala Sidhu, Prakash Kaur, singers of cult status.[2][3]

His well-known songs, such as "Balle Ni Panjaab Diye Sher Bachiye", "Doli Charhdeyan Marian Heer Cheekaan" and "Kali Teri Gut", have served as templates for later Punjabi musicians[4] His work also expanded to singing sad songs like "Jadon Meri Arthi Utha Ke Chalan Ge".[1][5] He was mostly paired with Surinder Kaur sang along with Pushpa Hans, Madan Bala Sidhu and many more versatile female singers of the time singing many old folk songs of Punjab.

In 1985, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.[6]

Stage name

Asa was christened "Mastana" by his 8th-grade teacher at Khalsa School after hearing him humming.[citation needed]

Early life

At a young age, his voice and innate musical talent quickly gained attention in his local community.[citation needed] Interestingly, Mastana was a fan of Madam Noor Jahan and K.L. Saigal. If given a chance, he would often choose to sing the legendary K.L. Saigal's songs.

All India Radio

The turning point in Asa Singh Mastana's life occurred when he started singing on All India Radio, making his voice well-known. He sung on All India Radio for over 45 years.[citation needed]


One of the most significant milestones in Mastana's career was in 1961 when he was selected as part of India's first cultural delegation to Afghanistan, under the patronage of Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.[citation needed] This marked the beginning of his journey as a global ambassador of Punjabi culture.

Mastana's international tours took him to the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Kuwait, and numerous other countries, where he received invitations from Indian councils and dignitaries.[citation needed] His performances not only entertained but also educated the world about the rich cultural tapestry of Punjab.

Awards and Recognitions

Asa Singh Mastana's contributions to Punjabi music were recognized with numerous awards and accolades. He received many prestigious awards for his dedication to preserving the folk music of Punjab. He was honored with an appreciation award by the President of India for his outstanding contributions to Punjabi folk and light music.[citation needed]

In 1985, Mastana received the Padmashri, one of India's highest civilian awards, for his exceptional contributions to music. This honour marked him as one of the pioneering figures in Punjabi music to receive such recognition. The same year, he was bestowed with the Punjabi Academy Award and the Shobana Award.[citation needed]

Sangeet Natak Academy, the apex body for the performing arts in India, acknowledged Mastana's excellence by awarding him in 1986. In 1989, the Punjab government also honoured him with a state award in appreciation of his invaluable contributions to the field of art and culture. He also received the Smita Patil Memorial Award.[citation needed]

Death and legacy

Asa Singh Mastana died on May 23, 1999 at his residence in New Delhi after a prolonged illness resulting from an accident. He had a son and a daughter, as well as a granddaughter, Nam Kaur Mastana. Even today, many of his songs are played on platforms like Netflix and featured in Bollywood movies. Hits like "Kali Teri Gut" and "Mele Nu Chaal Mere Naal" continue to resonate with audiences.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b "Gayatri Club celebrates bonfire festival remembering Asa Singh Mastana". The Times of India. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  2. ^ Anjali Gera Roy (2010). Bhangra Moves: From Ludhiana to London and Beyond. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 132–. ISBN 978-0-7546-5823-8.
  3. ^ Tony Ballantyne (16 August 2006). Between Colonialism and Diaspora: Sikh Cultural Formations in an Imperial World. Duke University Press. pp. 127–. ISBN 0-8223-3824-6.
  4. ^ "BBC - Music - Asa Singh Mastana". Archived from the original on 7 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Asa Singh Mastana". 28 February 2021. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2013)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015.