Udit Narayan

Udit Narayan Jha, credited as Udit Narayan (born 1 December 1955),[1] is a Nepalese [4] -Indian playback singer of Nepalese heritage, whose songs have been featured mainly in Bollywood movies of Hindi language. He has also sung in various other languages including Maithili, Nepali and Bhojpuri.[5] He has won 4 National Film Awards (3 as a singer 1 as a producer) and 5 Filmfare Awards with 20 nominations and many other awards. He is the only male singer in the history of the Filmfare Awards to have won in over three decades (the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s). Udit Narayan was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009,[6] and in 2016 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India, an honour that has been awarded to only a handful of singers, in recognition of his achievements in various film industries across India.[7] He was awarded the Prabal Gorkha Dakshin Bahu by the King of Nepal Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev in 2001 and Chitragupta Cineyatra Samman 2015 for Bhojpuri Cinema.[8] As many as 21 of his tracks feature in BBC's "Top 40 Bollywood Soundtracks of all time".[9]

Udit Narayan Jha
Udit Narayan singing in a concert .
Native name
उदित नारायण झा
Udit Narayan Jha

1 December 1955 (age 63)[1]
OccupationPlayback singer
Years active1973–present (Nepal)
1980–present (India)
  • Ranjana Narayan Jha (m. 1984)
  • Deepa Narayan Jha (m. 1985)
ChildrenAditya Narayan (son)[3]
AwardsSee below
Musical career

Early life

Udit Narayan was born in 1955 to Nepali father Harekrishna Jha and Indian mother Bhuvaneshwari Jha.[10] In 2009, when Udit Narayan was awarded India's civilian honour Padma Shri, there were reports questioning his Indian citizenship, claiming that he was born in Nepal. However, Udit Narayan himself branded these reports as "completely false", and stated that he was born in the Baisi village of Supaul district of Bihar at his maternal grandparents' home.[11] When his acceptance of the Padma Shri led to his criticism in Nepal, he told the Nepalese daily Kantipur that he was "from Nepal but his mother's home was in Bihar."[12] In a 2017 interview with the Indian magazine Outlook, he clarified that he was born in Baisi, and clarified that his father Harekrishna was a native of Bhardaha, Saptari District, Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal.[10] In September 2018, Udit Narayan revealed at a ceremony held by the Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America, that he identifies as a Bihari.[13]

Narayan studied at Jageshwar High School, Kunauli, Supaul, Bihar, India, where he finished his SSC and later obtained his intermediate degree from Ratna Rajya Lakshmi Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal. His father Harekrishna Jha was a farmer and his mother Bhuvneshwari Devi was a folk singer. His mother encouraged him to pursue music as a career.[14][2][15]

Personal life and popularity

In 2006, Ranjana Narayan claimed to be the Narayan's first wife, but Narayan consistently denied it. Later, he accepted her as his wife and promised to provide for her maintenance.[16][17] Narayan has been married twice, first to Ranjana Narayan Jha and then to Deepa Narayan Jha. He began his relationship with Deepa Narayan while he was still married to Ranjana Narayan. Narayan and Deepa were married in 1985. With Deepa Narayan, he has one son, Aditya Narayan, who is also a playback singer.[3][16][18][19]

Narayan's work has been praised by his contemporaries Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy and music director Ankit Tiwari.[20][21][22] Mid Day included him in the list of notable 90s playback singers.[23] Narayan is considered one of the most prominent singers of his generation.[24]

Music career

Udit Narayan with APJ Abdul Kalam
Udit Narayan receiving the Best Male Playback Singer Award from the President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Bollywood Playback Singers
Udit Narayan with Bollywood playback singers

He was one of the most prominent ustads (teachers) of Bollywood singers throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. He has been the on-screen singing voice for various Bollywood stars. He has also sung with Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna and Dev Anand. Most of his duets are with Alka Yagnik. He began his career in 1970 as a Maithili folk singer (staff artist) for Radio Nepal, singing mostly popular folk songs in Maithili and Nepali.[25] Gradually, he started singing modern Nepali songs. After eight years, Narayan moved to Bombay on a musical scholarship for Nepalese from the Indian Embassy in Nepal to study classical music at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.

Narayan started his Bollywood career in 1980 when he was noted by music director Rajesh Roshan, who asked Narayan to playback sing for the Hindi film Unees-Bees. Narayan was given the opportunity to sing with the legendary singer Mohammed Rafi. He sang for Devanand a couplet in Swami Dada.His first duet was in the film Sannata. Soon after, Narayan sang for a number of other movies, including Bade Dil Wala in 1983, where he sang a duet with senior singer Lata Mangeshkar, composed by senior music director R. D. Burman. In the same year, Narayan sang with Kishore Kumar in the film Kehdo Pyar Hai. Another singer he sang with was Suresh Wadkar with music composed by Bappi Lahiri. A significant milestone in his career occurred in 1988 when Anand-Milind gave him the opportunity to sing all the songs for the successful Bollywood movie Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, with Alka Yagnik, which earned him a Filmfare Award.[26] In an interview with The Times of India, Narayan said: "The song I've sung, "Manzilein", is the best song of my career after "Pehla Nasha", which gave me superstardom!".[27] Narayan remained prolific through the 2000s, singing popular numbers in films such as Pukar, Dhadkan, Lagaan, Devdas and Veer Zaara.

In 2002, Narayan sang "Bairi Piya" with newcomer Shreya Ghoshal, from the film Devdas, of which Rediff mentioned: "Narayan successfully captures the eternal romanticism of Devdas".[28] In 2014, Narayan sang a song titled "Naa Hum Jo Kah De" along with Shreya Ghoshal, for the album Women's Day Special: Spreading Melodies Everywhere. The song was composed by Ram Shankar and penned by A. K. Mishra.[29]

Other work

Narayan's friend Jiyand Nawab Deedag suggested he change his work from old to modern in order to be selected as a playback singer, but this didn't work and, considering old films in 1973, Narayan sang a song for a Nepali film called Sindoor. This was a comedy song for the famous Nepali comedians GopalRaj Mainali (Chankhe) and Basundhara Bhushal (Nakkali). Narayan sang this song with Sushma Shrestha, now known as Poornima in Hindi films. Narayan has also acted in two Nepali films – Kusume Rumal and Pirati in 1985. In 2004, he released his first non-movie Nepalese album, Upahaar, in which he sang duets with his wife Deepa Jha. Narayan has many solo albums as well, such as Bhajan Sangam, Bhajan Vatika, I Love You, Dil Deewana, Yeh Dosti, Love is Life, Jaanam,Jhumka de Jhumka, Sona No Ghadulo, Dhuli Ganga and Ma Tarini.

Narayan has performed in many stage shows in India and abroad and is the recipient of many awards. These include Screen Videocon Award, MTV Best Video Award and Pride of India Gold Award.

In 2010, Narayan with Madhushree sang for the English independent film When Harry Tries to Marry.

Narayan also sang the title song for the TV show Yeh Duniyan Gazab Ki, with Kumar Sanu.

In 2015 he was involved in a mega series campaign Melancholy, where 421 Nepali artists had sung an 33 minutes 49 second long environmental song, in which 365 artists set an Guinness World Record on 19th may 2016 at Radio Nepal Studio, Singhadurbar, Kathamandu. It is written, composed and directed by environmentalist Nipesh DHAKA.[30]

Reality shows

Narayan was on the panel of judges of Indian Idol 3 with music composer Anu Malik and playback singer Alisha Chinai on Sony TV.

Narayan was on the panel of judges on Sony TV for Waar Parriwar, a reality show based on the bringing together of a singing gharana (family of singers). He shared judging duties with fellow playback singer Kumar Sanu and Jatin Pandit of the music duo Jatin-Lalit.

Narayan has appeared on Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs as a guest.[31]

As an actor

Narayan acted in and sang all the songs in a 1985 Nepali movie called Kusume Rumal, which spent 25 weeks on the box office top ten list and became the highest-grossing Nepalese movie of all time until overtaken in 2001 by another Tulsi Ghimire film, Darpan Chaya.

Jury member of awards

In 2012, Narayan was the one of the jury members of the film music jury for the Global Indian Music Academy Awards.[32] In 2015, he was one of the jury members in Mirchi Music Awards, and the same year he was the judge of the Jagran Film Festival.[33][34][35]

Civil honours

The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Padma Bhushan Award to Shri Udit Narayan Jha, at a Civil Investiture Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on April 12, 2016
  • Prabal Gorkha Dakshina Bahu, Fourth Class of Prestigious Order of Gorkha Dakshina Bahu (Order of Gorkha Right Arm), one of the highest civil honours in Nepal, by the King of Nepal Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, 2001 [36]
  • Padma Bhushan: third highest civil honour from Indian Government, 2016[37]
  • Madhya Pradesh government's National Lata Mangeshkar Award, 2015[38]
  • National Bravery Award from Maharashtra at Raj Bhavan 2016[39]
  • Padma Shri: fourth highest civil honour from Indian Government, 2009[40]
  • Honoured at Swabhimani Mumbaikar Awards, 2016[41]
  • Special Jury Salute Award from Radio Mirchi Award, 2016[42]
  • Receiving the Kishore Kumar Memorial Award for Music from S. Krishna Kumar[43]
  • Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards, 2015[44]
  • Dr Ambedkar awards in Mumbai, 2015[45]
  • Awarded for his exceptional performance Bhojpuri industry, 2015[46]
  • Received BIFA awards, 2015[47]
  • 1st, Chitragupta Cineyatra Film Award, 2015[48]
  • Bhojpuri award, 2014[49]
  • Maharashtra Ratna Awards from Government of Maharashtra 2011[50]
  • First Mohammed Rafi award, 2010[51]
  • 2nd Medscape India National Awards[52]
  • Chitragupta Cineyatra Samman for Bhojpuri Cinema, 2015
  • Received Samrat Vikramaditya Sangeet Alankaran Samman, 2006[53]

Outstanding honours and awards

  • Big Entertainment Award 2017 Udit Narayan won the 92.7FM Suhana Safar Legend Award[54]
  • Mirchi Music Awards 2016 Jury Special Salute[55]

International Honours & Award

  • International Brandlaureate Personality Award from Malaysia, 2011[56]

Lifetime achievement awards

  • Lifetime Achievement Award from Kalashri Award, 2010[57]
  • Sahara Awadh Samman Awardee, 2006[58]
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from Suryadatta National Awards, 2016[59]

Awards and nominations

Narayan has won three National Film Awards and five Filmfare Awards.[8]


Work with other singers

Udit Narayan carier started in 1980 and flourished during 90's. During the huge span of playback singing, other than the duet songs with notable female playback singers, Udit Narayan was fortunate to collaborate with playback singers from all generations. Udit Narayan debuted with legendry singer Mohammad Rafi and then got opportunity to share songs with Kishor Kumar, Amit Kumar, Suresh Wadkar, Mohammad Aziz and others during 80's. Most of his male duets are with Kumar Sanu & Abhijeet. Some of the selected and notable songs are as follows

Song Movie(s) Co-Singers/ (Other Version)
"Mil Gaya" Unees-Bees (1980) Mohd Rafi & Usha Mangeshkar
"Jeevan Ke Din" Bade Dil Wala (1983) Lata Mangeshkar and Kishor Kumar (Other Version)
"O Bindiya Tum Humse Keh Do Pyar Hai" Kehdo Pyar Hai (1983) Kishor Kumar and Suresh Wadkar
"Log Jahan Par Rehte Hain" Pyaar Ka Mandir (1988) Mohammad Aziz, Suresh Wadkar and Kavita Krishnamurthy
"Oye Oye" Tridev (1989) Amit Kumar & Mohammad Aziz
"Dil Le Gayi Teri Bindiya" Vishwatma (1992) Amit Kumar, Sapna Mukherjee and Mohammad Aziz
"Ilu Ilu" Saudagar (1991 film) Manhar Udhas, Sukhwinder Singh and Kavita Krishnamurthy
"Ek Doosre Se Karte Hain Pyar Hum" Hum (1991) Sudesh Bhosle and Mohammad Aziz
"Saat Samundar Paar (Part-II)" Vishwatma (1992) Sadhana Sargam and Jolly Mukherjee
"Deewana Dil Deewana" Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994) Amit Kumar
"Yeh Bandhan Toh" Karan Arjun (1995) Kumar Sanu & Alka Yagnik
"Main Khiladi Tu Anari" Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994) Abhijeet Bhattacharya and Anu Malik
"Ram Jaane" Ram Jaane (1995) Sonu Nigam & Alka Yagnik
"Neend Churai Meri" Ishq (1997 film) Kumar Sanu, Kavita Krishnamurthy and Alka Yagnik
"Mr. Lova Lova" (Ankhiyaan Tu Mila Le) Ishq (1997 film) Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Sudesh Bhosle, Kavita Krishnamurthy & Poornima
"Hum Saath Saath Hain" Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwal, Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy & Alka Yagnik
"Mhare Hiwda" Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) Hariharan, Anuradha Paudwal, Kumar Sanu, Kavita Krishnamurthy & Alka Yagnik
"Mela Dilon Ka(Part II)" Mela (2000 film) Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Sadhana Sargam, Hema Sardesai, Mansoor/(Part I) Roop Kumar Rathod, Shankar Mahadevan, Jaspinder Narula, Nitin Mukesh & Anmol
"Sunoji Dulhan" Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) Roop Kumar Rathod, Sonu Nigam, Kavita Krishnamurthy & Pratima Rao
"Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Hai Dil Se" Dhadkan (2000) Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu
Very Good Very Bad Trimurti (1995 film) Vinod Rathod
Diwano Ki Mastano Ki Dancer (1991 film) S. P. Balasubramaniam & Kavita Krishnamurthy
"Salma Pe Dil Aa Gaya" (Part 1) Salma Pe Dil Aa Gaya (1997) Asha Bhosle & Amit Kumar : Kumar Sanu(Part II)
"Dillagi Dillagi" Dillagi (1999) Abhijeet, Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Alka Yagnik, Jaspinder Narula & Mahalaxmi Iyer
"Ghanan Ghanan" Lagaan (2001) Sukhwinder Singh, Alka Yagnik, Shankar Mahadevan & Shaan
Mitwa Lagaan (2001) Sukhwinder Singh, Alka Yagnik & Srinivas
"Aisa Des Hai Mera" Veer-Zaara (2004) Lata Mangeshkar & Gurdas Maan
"Yun Hi Chala Chala" Swades (2004) Kailash Kher and Hariharan
"Koi Jaane Koi Na Jaane" Aur Pyar Ho Gaya (1997) Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Anuradha Paudwal
"Main Kahin Bhi Rahoon" LOC Kargil (2003) Hariharan, Roop Kumar Rathod, Sonu Nigam & Sukhwinder Singh
"Deewangi Deewangi" Om Shanti Om (2007) Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal, & Sunidhi Chauhan
"Radha" Student of the Year (2012) Shreya Ghoshal & Vishal Dadlani
"Apna Bombay Talkies" Bombay Talkies (film) (2013) Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Abhijeet, Sadhana Sargam, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, KK, Shreya Ghoshal, Sukhwinder Singh, Shilpa Rao, Mohit Chauhan & Sonu Nigam

See also


  1. ^ a b "Aditya bakes a cake for father Udit Narayan on birthday". Mid Day. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Singer Udit Narayan accosted by 'first' wife". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs' Aditya Narayan: Today people know me by my name". Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Udit Narayan Biography". last.fm. 11 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Udit Narayan: Latest News, Videos and Udit Narayan Photos - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Seven years after Padma Shree, Udit Narayan honoured with Padma Bhushan". Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Udit Narayan to receive India's Padma Bhushan".
  9. ^ BBC. "BBC - Asian Network - Top 40 Soundtracks of All Time". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  10. ^ a b Udit Narayan (8 May 2017). "Song Of Life Diary". Outlook.
  11. ^ "'Getting Padma Shri a dream come true'". Hindustan Times. 28 January 2009. 'They say I was born in Nepal, but that's completely false. I was born in a village called Baisi on the Supaul district of Bihar in 1955 at my maternal grandparents' home,' Udit had said in a recent interview with IANS.
  12. ^ "Artistes have no borders, Udit Narayan tells Nepal". The Times of India. 27 January 2009.
  13. ^ "Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America Honors Singer Udit Narayan - PatnaDaily". www.patnadaily.com. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Udit Narayan on iTunes". Daily News and Analysis.
  15. ^ "Udit Narayan looks back at his career with affection". Filmfare. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Udit Narayan meets 'first wife' Ranjana". Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Tale of two wives". Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Indian Celebrities Who Married Their Mistresses". Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Udit Narayan wants compromise with first wife". Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  20. ^ "Shreya Ghoshal And Many More Are Ankit Tiwari's Favorite Singers". BollywoodHungama.com. 25 October 2016. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  21. ^ "Aditya is too modest to be like Udit Narayan, says Alka Yagnik". BollywoodLife.com. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  22. ^ Dhwani Desai (16 June 2017). "Bollywood singing has to come to an end at some point: Kavita Krishnamurti". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  23. ^ "Bollywood playback singers who are tuned out!". Mid Day. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  24. ^ https://www.filmibeat.com/celebs/udit-narayan/biography.html. Retrieved 26 July 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ "15 facts about Bollywood music you never knew". Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  26. ^ "IMDB:Filmfare Awards:1989".
  27. ^ "'Life Is Beautiful' has soulful rendition of music". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  28. ^ "The unchained melody of Devdas". Rediff. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  29. ^ "Women's Day Special- Spreading Melodies Everywhere". Saavn. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  30. ^ "Nepali house-hold names go for the Guinness World Records". Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  31. ^ "Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik's throwback to the 90's on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  32. ^ "GIMA Awards 2012 :: Press Conference". highonscore.com.
  33. ^ "Pooja Bhatt, Udit Narayan to judge Jagran Film Festival".
  34. ^ "Mirchi music awards jury meets to select winners". asiaradiotoday.com.
  35. ^ "Mirchi music awards jury meets to select winners". asiaradiotoday.com.
  36. ^ "Udit Narayan Jha Prabal Gorkha Dashina Bahu". The New York City Post. June 2017.
  37. ^ "i am speechless :Udit Narayan". Indian Express.
  38. ^ "Music composers and playback singers to get Lata Mangeshkar Award". 21 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  39. ^ "Governor of Maharashtra felicitate Padma Awardees from State - Mumbai Messenger - The Local Weekly Newspaper, Mumbai Local Newspaper, Local Newspaper of Mumbai". 14 May 2016.
  40. ^ "Receiving Padma Shri is a dream come true: Udit Narayan". Zee News.
  41. ^ "Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Preity Zinta honoured at Swabhimani Mumbaikar Awards". 4 June 2016.
  42. ^ "8th Mirchi Music Awards: Complete list of winners". The Times of India. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  43. ^ http://www.priyadarshniacademy.com/4-ann-global-awards/photo-gallery/4-global-awards1.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  44. ^ "Bollywood actors, musicians attend Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards". The Times of India. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  45. ^ Maheshwri, Neha (15 April 2015). "Celebrities attend Dr Ambedkar awards in Mumbai". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  46. ^ "Udit Narayan- Deepa awarded". The Times of India. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  47. ^ Léon, Thierry. "BIFA 2015 : Une ode à l'industrie cinématographique indienne" [BIFA 2015: An ode to the Indian film industry] (in French). Le Défi Media Group. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  48. ^ "Cineyatra Samman Film Award 2015 - Biharplus". biharplus.in.
  49. ^ "HugeDomains.com - BhojpuriMedia.com is for sale (Bhojpuri Media)". www.bhojpurimedia.com. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  50. ^ "Udit Narayan Honoured With MAHARASHTRA RATAN AWARD Udit Narayan". in.com/.
  51. ^ Bollywood Hungama. "Udit Narayan wins first Mohammed Rafi award". Bollywood Hungama.
  52. ^ http://photogallery.indiatimcom/awards/awards-and-honours/2nd-medscape-india-national-awards/articleshow/19674792.cms
  53. ^ "Udit Narayan to be feted on March 28". Hindustan Times.
  54. ^ "Big Zee Entertainment Awards 2017 winners list: Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sushant Singh Rajput are the big winners of the night - Bollywoodlife.com". Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  55. ^ allmoviesonglyrics. "8th Mirchi Music Awards 2016 - Complete Winner List - Zee TV". Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  56. ^ "Timesofindia.indiatimes.com is temporarily unavailable". indiatimes.com.
  57. ^ "Laila O Laila". 13 July 2010 – via The Hindu.
  58. ^ Awadh Samman
  59. ^ "Suryadatta National and Lifetime Achievement Awards".

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