Sonu Nigam is one of the legends of Indian music and inarguably one of most versatile and talented singers in Bollywood history. He started his career with T-Series by singing the old classics of Mohd Rafi and performing them on stage. Gulshan Kumar gave him his big break in ‘Bewafa Sanam’ and the song ‘Achcha Sila Diya’ became an instant hit.
Soon, Sonu ventured into television and had a successful stint as the host of ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’. Nigam then rocked the pop world as his pop album ‘Deewaana’ went on to be one of the highest selling musical albums of all time. But once he became a regular as a Hindi Playback singer, he reached the zenith of success.
It’s a huge ask to pick 10 songs out of such a rich haul. Here we go with the 10 best songs of Sonu Nigam as a Bollywood playback singer.
Kal Ho Na Ho (Title Song): ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ is Sonu at his soulful best. The talented singer has not done anything out of the world but it is the simplicity of his vocal abilities that has taken this song to another level. The theme of the song is living life to the fullest and it is composed by the trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy supported by meaningful lyrics by Javed Akhtar. Sonu won his only national award for this song picturised on Shahrukh Khan.
Saathiya (Title Song): A.R. Rahman explored the versatility of Sonu’s voice in this soft and soothing title track of ‘Saathiya’. Sonu’s sweet vocals have done full justice to the fresh lyrics of Gulzar and unique beats of Rahman. The beautiful picturisation of the song is an icing on the cake.
Sooraj Hua Madham (K3G): Sonu’s excellent vocals are the highlight of this emphatic romantic song set up on the legendary pair of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. His voice modulation and the excellent repetitions on low toned dholak tunes have made the song irresistible. Anil Pandey did the lyrics for this Sandesh Shandilya melody from ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’.
Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin (Agneepath): In 2012, Sonu Nigam proved yet again just why he is still the best in the business, with this mesmerizing and delightful ballad from Agneepath. Composers Ajay-Atul surprise you with their master usage of instruments and make the song worth its weight in gold.
Tanhayee (Dil Chata Hai): In this sad song from Dil Chahta Hai, Sonu Nigam is at ease with the high pitched vocals and has sung excellently without overdoing the feeling. Catchy effective tunes by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and non-redundant lyrics by Javed Akhtar have raised the bar of this song.
Do Pal Ruka (Veer Zaara): This song from the love legend ‘Veer Zaara’ has a special classic feel to it and Sonu Nigam’s voice aptly reflects the emotions that Javed intended to convey with his writing. The simple romantic tune of Madan Mohan is the soul of this duet backed by female vocals of Lata Mangeshkar.
Sau Dard Hain: Sonu Nigam’s voice in this song from Jaan-E-Mann has oceans of soul and rivers of class in it. Deep meaning in the lyrics of Gulzar beautify this Anu Malik’s melody. Nigam elevates the song to highest level with his matured and passionate vocals.
Sandese Aate Hain (Border): In his first biggest hit song of Bollywood, Sonu Nigam has crafted the pitches of his voice beautifully. Nigam’s fresh vocals are supported by Roop Kumar Rathod in this classic Anu Malik’s composition for the epic war movie ‘Border’.
Tu Fiza Hai (Fiza): Sonu Nigam’s voice in the title track of ‘Fiza’ has the novelty and sweetness to melt a million hearts. The highlight of the song is high-pitched rendering of the word ‘Fiza’ by Sonu. Gulzar penned the lyrics describing the lead character of the film to the tunes of Anu Malik.
Ye Dil Deewana (Pardes): This song from Pardes was a highlight in Sonu’s career as he was not considered for fast paced songs. This Nadeem-Shravan composition removed the tag of a Rafi clone from Sonu. Although Pardes had many evergreen melodies, ‘Ye Dil Deewana’ still managed to have its own identity.
Other best songs of Sonu Nigam are Piyu Bole (Parineeta), Main Hoon Na (Title Song), Main Agar Kahoon (Om Shanti Om), Satrangi Re (Dil Se), Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (Title Song), Aate Jaate Jo Milta (Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega), Shukran Alla (Qurbaan), Ishq Bina (Taal), Panchi Nadiya (Refugee), Meri Duniya Hai (Vaastav) , Mujhe Raat Din (Sangharsh) and many more. The list is endless.
Do let us know about your favorite Sonu Nigam’s songs in the comments section below.
Also stay tuned for the evergreen hit songs of Ajay Devgn coming up next Thursday, one day before the mega release of Himmatwala.
Abhishek Sharma tweets @abhu_sharma