Early Life of Udit Narayan
Udit Narayan was born on December 1, 1955 in a village called Bhardah in Saptari district, in the Terai plains of Nepal. Narayan completed his matriculation at P. B. School, Rajbiraj, Nepal and later obtained his intermediate from Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus in Kathmandu. He received his training under Pandit Dinkar Kaffini. He began his career in 1970 as a staff artiste for a radio show called Radio Nepal, singing mostly popular Nepali folk songs in Nepali, Maithili and Bhojpuri. After eight years, he moved to Bombay for the music scholarship offer by the Indian embassy to study Indian classical music at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.
Career of Udit Narayan
Udit Narayan trained at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan for six years and got his first break by the noted music director Rajesh Roshan in 1980, to lend his voice for the Hindi film ‘Unees Bees’, where he got the opportunity to accompany legendary singer Mohammed Rafi. Post that Narayan recorded playback for a number of other films such as ‘Bade Dil Wala’ in 1983 where he voiced a song composed by the legendary R. D. Burman and duet with Lata Mangeshkar. The same year he shared playback with Kishore Kumar in ‘Kehdo Pyar Hai’. But his significant rise to fame was noticed in the year 1988 when music director duo Anand-Milind offered him to sing all the song of the Bollywood super hit 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak', along with Alka Yagnik. This earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer. Since then, he has been a leading playback singer in Bollywood films, given his voice blends perfectly with the likes of all leading Bollywood stars Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan and Ajay Devgn. His collaboration with actor Shah Rukh Khan particularly has proven to be immensely successful. Films where Udit Narayan has lent voice for Shah Rukh Khan include 'Darr', ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge', 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', 'Dil To Pagal Hai', 'Mohabbatein', 'Swades' and 'Veer Zaara'. The song "Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna" from 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' was very successful.
Most of his duets are alongside Alka Yagnik. As many as 21 of his sung tracks feature in British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) "Top 40 Bollywood Soundtracks of all time”. All in all, he has sung more than 25,000 songs in over 34 languages.
At the time Udit Narayan was scaling the peaks in Bollywood, he was equally famous in Nepal and sang for many popular Nepali movies. He has also acted in Nepali films 'Kusume Rumal' and 'Pirati'.
In his 35-year-long career, Udit Narayan has worked and collaborated extensively with many prominent music directors of the industry. With Anand-Milind, who gave him his first major breakthrough in ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’, he went on to work with them in films ‘Beta’, ‘Raja Babu’, ‘Hero No. 1’, ‘Aunty No.1’, ‘Dulhe Raja Pyaar Ki Jeet’ and ‘Anjaam’, among others. He also worked with music director Anu Malik for movies like ‘Yaar Gaddar’, ‘Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi’, ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’, ‘Ishq’, ‘Refugee’, ‘Fiza’ and ‘Badal’. Udit also collaborated with Jatin-Lalit just as they were making their debut as music directors in 1991, in films like ‘Khiladi’, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, ‘Albela’, ‘Hum Tum’, amongst others. With music director Himesh Reshammiya, he sang for films such as ‘Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa’, ‘Humraaz’, ‘Tere Naam’, ‘Ishq Hai Tumse’, ‘Run’ and ‘Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa’. His songs in films ‘Rangeela’, ‘Lagaan’, ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’, ‘One 2 Ka 4’ and ‘Taal’, with music director A. R. Rahman brought him much glory. His song "Taal Se Taal Mila" from the film ‘Taal’ was voted as the ‘Best Song of the Century’ in a poll conducted by DesiMartini, Hindustan Times and Fever 104, on the occasion of 100 Years of Hindi Cinema.
Udit Narayan has also worked with contemporary music directors such as Salim-Sulaiman, Vishal-Shekhar, Meet Bros Anjjan, Ajay-Atul, Sachin-Jigar and Amit Trivedi. In duets, he has sung with singers Lata Mangeshkar, Alka Yagnik, Asha Bhosle, Anuradha Paudwal, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Alisha Chinai, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal and others, while his hit male duets are most with Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Sonu Nigam, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and many others. He has worked for the major production houses, like those of Yash Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Karan Johar.
In 2004, he released his first private Nepali album "Upahaar". His wife Deepa Jha has also sung in the album. It became a super hit and one of the bestselling albums of all time in Nepal. He won two major awards - 'Record of the Year' and 'Album of the Year' for "Upahaar" in Hits FM Awards 2004, the most popular music awards in Nepal.
Udit Narayan has performed in many stage shows in India as well as abroad, has been a jury member in multiple award functions such as in Mirchi Music Awards, Global Indian Music Academy (GIMA) Awards, has judged film festivals like Jagran Film Festival and reality shows such as ‘Indian Idol 3’ and ‘Waar Parivaar’ that aired on Sony TV.
Awards and Honours received by Udit Narayan
Acknowledging his talent, Udit Narayan has been conferred many honours throughout his professional career.
Silver Lotus Award for Best Male Playback Singer, National Film Awards
Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer
Personal Life of Udit Narayan
Udit Narayan has a son with his second wife Deepa Narayan Jha, named Aditya Narayan, who is an actor, singer and television presenter. His wife Deepa is a Nepali playback singer and the husband-wife duo has also recorded a Hindi album together titled ‘Dil Deewana’.
(Last Updated on : 22-03-2016)
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