Indian playback singer Udit Narayan has sung songs mainly in Hindi films. He also sings in many languages like Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Bengali, Odia, Bhojpuri, Nepali, Malayalam, Assamese, Bagheli, and Maithili. He has received 20 nominations, 4 National Film Awards, 5 Filmfare Awards, and many more. He also performed with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar in the 1980s. In the 1980s movie Unees-Bees, Mohammed Rafi made his Hindi playback acting debut. In the 1988's film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, starring Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla, he rose to fame. He made a name for himself in Bollywood Playback Singing thanks to the song "Papa Kehte Hain", for which he produced a magnificent performance, and it earned him his first Filmfare Award in the 1980s. For more than three decades, he was the only male vocalist to get a Filmfare Award (the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s).
With more than 8 million sales, the music of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak has become one of the best-selling albums. One of India's top record labels, The Soundtrack, aided Anand and Milind's T-Series careers, which both saw breakthroughs. As a result, he earned the favour of music directors. He provided the voice for innumerable songs, including those in Hindi and Nepali, throughout the 1990s. He received the Order of Gorkha Dakshina Bahu from Nepal's King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev in 2001 as a sign of appreciation. He received the Padma Shri in 2009 for his contributions to Indian music and film and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 from the Indian government. For his contribution to Bhojpuri movies, he was given the 2015's Chitragupta Cineyatra Samman. The BBC's "Top 40 Bollywood Soundtracks of All Time" list includes up to 21 of his songs.
Bhuvaneshwari Jha, an Indian mother, and Harekrishna Jha, a Nepalese father, were the parents of Udit Narayan Jha, who was born in a Maithil Brahmin family in 1955. When Udit Narayan received India's highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri, in 2009, there were rumours challenging his Indian citizenship and asserting that he was actually born in Nepal. Udit Narayan, however, called these rumours "absolutely incorrect" and claimed that he was actually born at his maternal grandparent's house in the Baisi hamlet of Bihar's Supaul region. After receiving criticism in Nepal for accepting the Padma Shri, he stated in an interview with the Nepalese newspaper Kantipur that he was "from Nepal, but his mother's home was in Bihar". He made it clear that he was born in Baisi and that his father, Harekrishna, was a native of Bhardaha, Saptari District, Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal, during an interview with the Indian magazine Outlook in 2017. At a gathering hosted by the Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America in September 2018, Udit Narayan acknowledged his Bihari lineage. Narayan went on to complete his intermediate degree at Ratna Rajya Lakshmi Campus in Kathmandu, Nepal, after finishing his SSC at Jageshwar High School in Kunauli, Supaul, Bihar, India. While his father, Harekrishna Jha, was a farmer, his mother, Bhuvneshwari Devi, encouraged him to establish a career as a folk singer.
Although the Narayan family has consistently denied it, Ranjana Narayan claimed in 2006 that she was his first wife. Later, he called her his wife and promised to look after her. First to Ranjana Narayan Jha and later to Deepa Narayan Jha, Narayan was married twice. When he was still married to Ranjana Narayan, he started dating Deepa Narayan. In 1985, Narayan and Deepa got hitched. Aditya Narayan, his child with Deepa Narayan, is also a playback singer.
Narayan was one of Bollywood's most well-known vocalists in the 1990s and the early 2000s. For several Bollywood stars, he has given the on-screen vocals. He also worked with many Bollywood celebrities, including Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Dev Anand, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Ajay Devgan. He frequently performs duets with Alka Yagnik.
In 1970, Narayan began performing for Radio Nepal as a Maithili folk singer (staff artist), singing mainly well-known folk songs in both Maithili and Nepali. He started singing modern Nepali songs gradually. Narayan studied classical music at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan in Bombay thanks to a musical scholarship provided to Nepalese citizens by the Indian Embassy there. Rajesh Roshan, the music director for the Hindi film Unees-Bees, first noticed Narayan in 1980 and invited him for playback singing for the movie. This was how Narayan's career in Bollywood began. Mohammed Rafi permitted Narayan to perform with him. He read a couplet in Swami Dada for Devanand. His debut duet was in the movie Sannata. Soon after, Narayan began singing for several more films, including 1983's Bade Dil Wala, in which he performed a duet with veteran performer Lata Mangeshkar. Later, music director R. D. Burman, Narayan and Kishore Kumar performed a duet in the movie Kehdo Pyar Hai in the same year. He also performed songs with Suresh Wadkar, with music by Bappi Lahiri. In 1988, he and Alka Yagnik were granted the chance to perform all the songs for the well-known Bollywood film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, which led to him winning a Filmfare Award. In his career, this was a significant turning point. Narayan declared in an interview with The Times of India that the song "Manzilein" he had just performed was the best of his career after "Pehla Nasha", which had made him famous. Throughout the 2000s, Narayan continued to perform, singing well-known songs in movies like Pukar, Dhadkan, Lagaan, Devdas, and Veer-Zaara.
Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal performed the song "Bairi Piya" from the movie Devdas in 2002, and Rediff noted that Narayan "perfectly conveys the eternal romanticism of Devdas. The song "Naa Hum Jo Kah De" was written by Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal in 2014 for the album Women's Day Special: Spreading Melodies Everywhere. The song's lyrics were written by A.K. Mishra and were composed by Ram Shankar. Even though Kumar Sanu, who won back-to-back five Filmfares in the 1990s, was the leading playback singer at that time, he still had to compete with Narayan.
Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, and music director Ankit Tiwari are three contemporary performers who have admired Narayan's work. By Mid-Day, he was ranked as one of the notable playback singers of the decade.
In order to get chosen as a playback singer, Narayan's friend Jiyand Nawab Deedag advised him to switch his style from classic to contemporary. However, this did not succeed; thus, in 1973, Narayan recorded a song for the Nepali movie Sindoor, still contemplating classic films. The Nepali comedians GopalRaj Mainali (Chankhe) and Basundhara Bhushal (Nakkali) performed many songs with him also. Narayan and Sushma Shrestha, who is today well-known in Hindi films as Poornima, sang this song. Additionally, Kusume Rumal and Pirati in 1985 were two Nepali movies in which Narayan appeared. Upahaar, his first album in Nepal, was published in 2004, and it featured duets between him and his wife, Deepa Jha. 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 are only a few among Narayan's solo records.
Narayan has appeared in numerous theatre productions both domestically and internationally and has won numerous accolades. Some of them are the MTV Best Video Award, the Screen Videocon Award, and the Pride of India Gold Award. In 2010, Madhushree and Narayan sang songs for the independent English film When Harry Tries to Marry.
Together with Kumar Sanu, Narayan performed the title song for the television programme Yeh Duniyan Gazab Ki. He took part in the 2015's mega-campaign Melancholy, in which 421 Nepali singers performed a song about the environment that lasted 33 minutes and 49 seconds. The previous record was surpassed on May 19, 2016, in the Radio Nepal Studio in Singhadurbar, Kathmandu, by 365 vocalists. Environmentalist Nipesh DHAKA wrote, composed, and directed it.
Along with playback vocalist Alisha Chinai and composer Anu Malik, Narayan served as one of the judges for Indian Idol 3 on Sony TV in 2007.
Narayan sat on the judging panel for the reality competition Waar Parriwar on Sony TV, which focused on putting together a singing gharana (a family of singers). He served as a judge with playback singer Kumar Sanu and Jatin Pandit of the band Jatin-Lalit.
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs and Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star both featured cameos by Narayan.
The 1985's Nepali film Kusume Rumal, starring Udit Narayan Jha, Bhuwan K.C., and Tripti Nadakar, is considered one of the All-Time Classics in the Nepali film industry. It spent 25 weeks in the top ten at the box office and held the record for the most successful Nepalese movie ever until Darpan Chaya, another Tulsi Ghimire production, overtook it in 2001.
Award and Honours
Narayan received four National Film Awards and five Filmfare Awards in his career. Apart from this, he has won many other prestigious awards and honours.
Member of the Awards Jury
Narayan served as one of the judges for the Global Indian Music Academy Awards' film music jury in 2012. He served as a judge for the Jagran Film Festival and on the jury for the Mirchi Music Awards in 2015.
Remarkable Accolades and Honours
International Recognition and Prizes
Malaysia awarded the 2011's International Brandlaureate Personality Award to Udit Narayan.
Awards for Lifetime Achievement
Work with other Vocalists
Udit Narayan's career began in 1980 and took off in the 1990s. Udit Narayan had the good fortune to work with playback singers of various eras during his lengthy career of playback singing, aside from the duet numbers with prominent female playback singers. Udit Narayan also worked on many songs with Kishore Kumar, Amit Kumar, Suresh Wadkar, Mohammad Aziz, and other vocalists when he started in the 1980s with Mohammad Rafi. His most popular male duet partners are Kumar Sanu and Abhijeet.
The following are some of the chosen and notable songs: