Having chaired over 17,000 songs in the last 27 years inclusive of diverse languages and creating over 8000 new musical pieces, every Indian household and fans around the globe are familiar with the Iconic Kumar Sanu.
He also bossed the music industry in India in the 1990s where he pocketed “The Best Playback Singer” title for a record period of 5 years in successionOriginally named Kedarnath Bhattacharya, by his vocalist and composer father, Pashupati Bhattacharya, he grew up in Kolkata, India and was encouraged to pursue singing and playing table by his father. He graduated in Commerce from Kolkata University and often used to perform small-time shows on stages and restaurants in Kolkata itself. He tried to shift his singing paradigm style by modeling it similar to his childhood icon, the legendary
Kishore Kumar, yet maintaining his voice individuality. Sanu’s initial days into playback singing was marked by “Tin Kanya”, a Bangladeshi movie directed by Shibli Sadiq in 1986.
Due to the competitive nature of the singing industry in India, Sanu struggled to be recognized for almost a year, followed by which the mesmerizing
Jagjit Singh presented him with an opportunity, in the 1987 movie “Aandhiyan.” Jagjit Singh also introduced him to Kalyanji Anandji at their residence in Mumbai, where they suggested him to take up the name of Kumar Sanu because of his singing style, much influenced by Kishore Kumar. On his appearance on the
Farooq Sheikh presented show “
Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai”, Anandji confessed the story of Bhattacharya’s transformation into Kumar Sanu’s. Consequently, Sanu earned the good fortune to sing in Anandji’s film “
Jaadugar” in 1989. The following year, he was asked to collaborate along with music director duo Nadeem-Shravan on “Aashiqui” a movie in which Sanu sang almost all songs for which he acquired the first of his five consecutive “Best Playback Singer” titles in the Filmfare awards.
His songs in Saajan, Dewaana,
Baazigar and 1942: A
Love Story would fetch him his following four awards. Sanu also worked with the duo Nadeem-Shravan in other movie projects such as “Dil Hai ke Manta Nahin”, “Kal Ki Awaz”, “Salaami”, “
Damini”, Amir Khan Starrer “
Raja Hindustani”, just to name a few of his legion. During “Baazigar”, Kumar Sanu worked alongside music director and composer
Anu Malik in his earworm of a song, titled “Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen” which was supposed to be his first song influenced by the music of the Western world. Malik and Sanu would also chalk out notable songs together in movies such as Sir in 1993, Vijaypath in 1994 right up to the most recent “
Dum Laga Ke Haisha” which also involves a special guest appearance by Sanu.
From the year 1992 to 1999, Sanu also provided his voices for Jatin-Lalit movies right from Khiladi and Dilwale Duniya Le Jayenge to Ghulam and Sarfarosh. He also worked with music director
Himesh Reshammiya on the latter’s debut film “Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya” and other movies such as Kurukshetra, Humraaz and Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaye. Starting from R.D.Burman up to the majestic A.R.Rahman, in no particular order, Kumar Sanu has no stone unturned in the music industry.
He also holds a “Guinness World Record” for the most number of songs recorded in one day; where he went on to sing 28 songs. The late 1990s also witnessed a decline in his career. He entered politics and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but quit shortly because of singing commitments. 2012 also marked his comeback into playback singing when Sajid-Wajid urged him to undertake a song from the film
Rowdy Rathore. He was also sworn in as a judge on the children’s reality singing show “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs,” in the Bengali rendition of it. In his arsenal of awards, trophies and achievements he has a doctorate from The University of America, The Padma Shri Award presented to him by the Government of India in 2009 to his name, among other major titles.