Sonu Nigam
Nigam in 2013
Sonu Kumar Nigam

(1973-07-30) 30 July 1973 (age 50)[1]
Years active1993–present
Madhurima Nigam
(m. 2002)
RelativesTeesha Nigam (sister)
AwardsSee below
Musical career

Sonu Nigam (born 30 July 1973) is an Indian playback singer, music director, dubbing artist and actor.[3] He has been described in the media as one of the greatest and most successful playback singers in Hindi and Kannada cinema.[4][5] In 2022, he was honoured by the Government of India with the Padma Shri, the country's fourth-highest civilian honour for his contribution in the field of arts.

Nigam sings predominantly in Hindi and Kannada language films but has also sung in Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Odia, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Malayalam, Nepali, Tulu, Chhattisgarhi, Meitei and other Indian languages.[6] Nigam has 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]

Early and personal life

Nigam and his wife Madhurima at Rakesh Roshan's birthday in 2017

Sonu Kumar 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] He has two sisters - Meenal Nigam, a yoga therapist,[12] and Teesha Nigam, a professional singer.[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.[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 work

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]

1992–1999: Career beginnings

Nigam began his career with the song Hum To Chhaila Ban Gaye from DD1's TV serial "Talash" (1992).

Sonu Nigam first film song "O Aasman Wale" was from the movie Aaja Meri Jaan (1993). Nigam also sung the title song Of this movie but it was dubbed in the voice of SP Balasubramaniam. He released his first album "Rafi Ki Yaadein" in 1992.

After this, he sung in the movies Muqabla (1993), Veerta (1993), Meherbaan (1993), Shabnam (1993), Kasam Teri Kasam (1993), Aag (1994), Cheetah (1994), Khuddar (1994), Hulchul (1995), Stuntman (1994), Police Lockup (1995), Sauda (1995), Ramjaane (1995), Aazmayish (1995), Naajayaz (1995), Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996), Papa Kahte Hain (1996), Gaddaar (1995), Dand Nayak (1998), Jaanwar (1999), Barsaat (1995), Aur Pyar Ho Gaya (1997), Badal (1999), Dulhe Raja (1998), Jeet (1996), Hero No. 1 (1997), Soldier (1998), Devta (1998), Keemat (1998), Himmatvar (1996), Hindustan Ki Kasam (1999), Shera (1999), Sooryavansham (1999), Hogi Pyaar Ki Jeet (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 during this period 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.

2000s: Career peak

His popular songs during this period were "Suraj Hua Maddham" and"You are my Soniya" from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... and "Panchi Nadiya Pawan Ke" from the film Refugee, all three 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 film Saathiya in the year 2002, which was composed by A.R. Rahman, with lyrics by Gulzar. His biggest success during this period was the song "Kal Ho Naa Ho" from the picture of the same name (2003), composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, with lyrics by Javed Akhtar. The song earned him his only National Film Award, his second and last Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer as well as a third IIFA Award for Best Male Playback Singer.

From 2004 onwards, his popular songs include "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 film Krrish, which he sang with Shreya Ghoshal, "Sun Zara" and "Chori Chori Chupke Se" from Salman Khan starrer Lucky: No Time for Love, "Dekho Na" and "Mere Haath Mein" from Fanaa both with Sunidhi Chauhan, "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. His most successful and acclaimed songs during this period were "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna", "Tumhi Dekho Naa" and "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna - Sad Version" from Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and lyrics by Javed Akhtar, all of which he sang alongside Alka Yagnik.

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.

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: Post career peak, multiple concerts and several English Collaborations

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 with digital media company JetSynthesys.[51][52]

'I Believe Music' Label

Nigam has launched his own music label on 30 July 2020, his 47th birthday, named 'I Believe Music' and "Rudhrashtakam" is the first track to release under the label.[53]

Work in Kannada

Sonu Nigam singing in the concert
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 900 Kannada songs.[54][55][56][57]

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;[58] "Hamsave Hamsave" from the film Gatti Mela, composed by Hamsalekha, "Kannale Kannale" from the film Aham Premasmi, composed by V. Ravichandran[59] 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.[60][61]

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.[62] In an interview with Deccan Herald he said "Kannada songs make me feel positive".[63] 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".[54]

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.[64][65] 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.[66]

As a host and celebrity judge

Nigam was the host of the Sa Re Ga Ma music show from 1995 until 1999 and became household name.[67] 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.[68]

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.[67]

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,[69] 6th Mirchi Music Awards,[70] 8th Mirchi Music Awards,[71] 9th Mirchi Music Awards,[72] 10th Mirchi Music Awards,[73] 11th Mirchi Music Awards,[74] 13th Mirchi Music Awards[75] and 14th Mirchi Music awards[76] 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 influence

Nigam is considered as one of the most popular playback singers in Bollywood,[77][78] and is widely considered to have inspired new singers in the Bollywood industry. He is often compared to Mohammad Rafi for similar voice texture.[79][80][81][82] Lata Mangeshkar said of him, "Among contemporary signers, I like Sonu Nigam best. He is serious about his music, has learnt classical and sings with confidence.".[83] Singer Armaan Malik takes a lot of inspiration from him.[84] Singer and musician Ankit Tiwari cites Nigam as one of his musical inspirations.[85] Shreya Ghoshal considers Sonu her favourite contemporary singer.[86] Palash Sen of Euphoria called Sonu Nigam the most talented singer in Bollywood. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam also appreciated his singing.[87]

Awards and honours

This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libelous.Find sources: "Sonu Nigam" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (June 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Nigam receiving the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer from then President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (left), 2005.
The President, Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Padma Shri Award to Nigam on 28 March 2022

Nigam is the winner of several awards including India's fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri, 1 National Award, 2 Filmfare Awards & 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.[88] He was ranked the Number 1 artist on the US Billboard Uncharted charts twice in September and October 2013.


Main article: Sonu Nigam discography

As a music director

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


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Ustadi Ustad Se young Rajesh Child artist
1982 Kaamchor Sonu Child artist
1983 Betaab Sunny 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 Varun Short film[111]
2019 SP CHAUHAN Himself Guest appearance in song

Dubbing work

Film title Original Voice Character Dub Language Original Language Original Release Dub Release Notes
Aladdin[112] Scott Weinger
Brad Kane (Singing)
(Speaking and Singing)
Hindi English 1992 1994 Dubbed by Modi Entertainment



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1995–2000 Sa Re Ga Ma Host 1st Host of the reality show [114]
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 [115]
2005–06 Indian Idol (Season 2) Judge Judge alongside Anu Malik and Farah Khan
2006 Johny Aala Re Guest [116]
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 [117]
2012 Zee Rishtey Awards 2012 Host [118]
2013 MTV Unplugged season 3 Singer
2013 Comedy Nights with Kapil Guest Episode 32
2013 Kaun Banega Crorepati Special Appearance [119]
2014 6th Mirchi Music Awards Host
2014 Comedy Nights with Kapil Guest For promoting song Dildara (Episode 117)
2014 Mad in India Celebrity Guest [120]
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 [121]
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 [122]
2020 Super Singer (Season 2) Star Jalsha Guest Super Finale episode [123]
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 [124]
2021 The Kapil Sharma Show Guest Tribute to Jagjit Singh along with singers Shaan, Hariharan, Talat Aziz, Sameer Khan, Ash King [125]
2022 Naam Reh Jaayega Host pays homage to legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar along with other artists [126]


This article's "criticism" or "controversy" section may compromise the article's neutrality. Please help rewrite or integrate negative information to other sections through discussion on the talk page. (June 2022)

In 2015, Sonu Nigam alleged that he faced a ban from ZEE Music Company after expressing his support for Kumar Vishwas in a tweet.[127]

On 16 April 2017 in a series of tweets he branded 'Azaan' (Muslim call for prayer) as forced religiousness. He tweeted,

  1. " God bless everyone. I'm not a Muslim and I have to be woken up by the Azaan in the morning. When will this forced religiousness end in India."
  2. " And by the way Mohammed did not have electricity when he made Islam.. Why do I have to have this cacophony after Edison?"
  3. "I don't believe in any temple or gurudwara using electricity To wake up people who don't follow the religion. Why then..? Honest? True?"
  4. " Gundagardi hai bus..."


In his later tweet he stated that he stands by his statement.[129] 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.[130] 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.[131] 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.[132] 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.[133]

In June 2020, after the demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Sonu Nigam posted a video saying that the music industry is also monopolised 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.[134] 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.[135]

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.[136][137][138]

In December 2023, Omer Nadeem, a singer from Pakistan, accused Nigam of plagiarising his song "Aye Khuda" with the track "Sun Zara" released by T-Series (company).[139][140] Sonu further clarified and wrote that "Just so you all know, I have nothing to do with this. I was requested to do the song by KRK (Kamaal R. Khan), who is my neighbour in Dubai . . . If I had heard Omer's version, I would have never sung it".[141]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Biography". The Times of India. TNN. 18 January 2011. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Sonu Nigam Songs". Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Sonu Nigam Birthday: The 10 Absolute Best Songs from the Singer". News18. 30 July 2019. Archived from the original on 26 June 2020. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Sonu Nigam is one of the best Bollywood singers till date. Here's proof". IWMBuzz. 15 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Sonu Nigam recalls". Hindustan Times. 7 February 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Sonu Nigam and Neha Kakkar to sing a Jagrata track for Vaishno Devi – Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 19 November 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  7. ^ "It's Nigam, not Niigaam, Says Sonu". The Times of India. 8 September 2010. Archived from the original on 5 September 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Who's the Modern Rafi of India?". Hindustan Times. 30 July 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  9. ^ Sen, Sushmita (30 July 2015). "Happy Birthday Sonu Nigam: Lesser Known Facts and Popular Tracks of the Singing Sensation". International Business Times, India Edition. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Sonu Nigam: About Me". Sonu Nigam. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  11. ^ Sharma, Aasheesh (6 September 2014). "I've had marital problems in the past, but I am sorted now: Sonu Nigam". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 16 January 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
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