Udit Narayan Biography
Udit Narayan Jha (Hindi: उदित नारायण झा), popularly known as Udit Narayan is a playback singer in commercial Hindi, Urdu , Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya and Nepali language cinema. Narayan has sung more than 15,000 songs in more than 30 different languages. He is also a recipient of the Padma Shri award, one of India's highest civilian honours, which he received in 2009.
Udit Narayan was born in Bhardah, in Saptari district in the Terai plains of Nepal in 1955 . He received training from Pandit Dinkar Kaffini. He began his career by singing in Nepali, Maithili and Bhojpuri . He was initially denied a job at Radio Nepal . He sang folk songs for Radio Nepal throughout the early 1970s. In 1978, he moved to Mumbai on a music scholarship. In Mumbai, he was trained in Indian classical music for six years at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
He got his first break in 1980, when noted music director (composer) Rajesh Roshan asked him to do a song for the Hindi film Unees Bees, in which he got opportunity to sing with his inspiration, Mohammed Rafi. However, the actual success story of his career began in 1988 with the successful Bollywood movie Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, earning him a Filmfare Award. The film also brought actor Aamir Khan, actress Juhi Chawla and playback singer Alka Yagnik to stardom. After the success of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, he became one of the leading playback singers in the Indian film industry, lending his voice mostly in Aamir Khan movies like Dil, and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. At the same time, he became a well-known celebrity in Nepal and sang in many popular Nepalese movies. He even acted in some Nepalese movies like Kusume Rumal and Pirati, but did not achieve that much success.
He has worked with musicians like Rahul Dev Burman, Jagjit Singh, Anu Malik, Jatin Lalit, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji, Bappi Lahiri, Vishal Bhardwaj, A. R. Rahman, Nadeem-Shravan, Rajesh Roshan, Shankar Mahadevan, Himesh Reshammiya, Pritam Chakraborty, Vishal-Shekhar etc., and leading directors like Yash Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Karan Johar, etc. These include Darr, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Mohabbatein, Devdas, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Swades, Veer Zaara, etc. Throughout the 1990s, he was one of the most successful singers in India. In 1995, his song "Mehndi Lagake Rakhna" from the movie Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge won him his second Filmfare Award after 7 years. The following year, he was nominated for three songs out of five and won his third National award for the song "Pardesi Pardesi" from Raja Hindustani.
Udit Narayan is considered one of the most prominent singers of his generation along with Kumar Sanu and Sonu Nigam. He has worked with musicians like Rahul Dev Burman, Jagjit Singh, Anu Malik, Jatin Lalit, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji, Bappi Lahiri, Vishal Bhardwaj, and A. R. Rahman. Narayan has collaborated with a variety of singers, including Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Anup Jalota, and Pankaj Udhas.
His repertoire includes songs in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Oriya, Telugu, Tamil, English and Malayalam. At the same time, his discernible Nepalese accent and distinct pronunciation have been criticized by music critics who find it difficult to decipher words in his songs.
He has worked in Nepalese films as well, in particular for composer Shambhujeet Baskota. During his early singing career, he performed songs composed by Shiva Shankar, Natikaji and Gopal Yonzan. In 2004, he released his first private Nepalese album Upahaar, in which he also sang duets with his wife Deepa Jha. At the Hits FM Awards 2004 he won awards in two major categories for the album, Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Some of Narayan's other private albums are Bhajan Sangam, Bhajan Vatika, I love You, Dil Deewana, Yeh Dosti, Love is Life, Jhumka de Jhumka, Sona No Ghadulo, Dhuli Ganga, and Ma Tarini.
Currently, he is in the panel of judges on Sony TV for Waar Pariwaar, a reality show based on the bringing together of a singing gharana (family of singers). He shares judging duties with fellow playback singer Kumar Sanu and Jatin Pandit of the famous music duo Jatin-Lalit.
Narayan has performed in many stage shows in India and abroad and is the recipient of a large number of awards. These include Screen Videocon Award, MTV Best Video Award and Pride of India Gold Award.
Narayan is a Maithil Brahmin and a resident of Mumbai. He is married and has one son. His wife Deepa Narayan (from Darjeeling) whom he married in 1985, is an accomplished Nepalese singer, and the two recorded an album together titled Dil Deewana.
His son Aditya Narayan started his career singing for child artists in Hindi movies in the 1990's. More recently, he has been the host of Indian television singing competition Sa Re Ga Ma Pa for the last 2 seasons.
On 20 April 2006 Ranjana Jha, a resident of the Supaul district in Bihar, created a controversy by claiming to be Udit Narayan's first wife. While Narayan initially rejected her claims, after she presented photographs and documents to prove her claim he finally agreed to recognize her as his wife and reached a settlement with her.