INDIA. Mumbai: Veteran Ghazal, playback singer, and composer Bhupinder Singh, who sang scores of Bollywood numbers in his heavy bass voice, passed away following a heart attack in a private hospital located at Juhu in North West Mumbai on Monday night.
Singh was suffering from a colon ailment. He was 82 and survived by his wife Mitali and son Nihal Singh. The funeral is likely to be held on Tuesday.
Dr. Deepak Namjoshi, Director, CritiCare Asia Multispeciality Hospital, told the Transcontinental Times that Bhupinder Singh was admitted ten days back to the hospital and he had an infection. “We had a strong suspicion that he had Colon ailment and we were doing investigations. At the same time, he also suffered from COVID-19 and his condition worsened on Monday morning. We put him on a ventilator. He got a cardiac arrest and passed away at 7:45 pm,” he added.
“He was suffering from several health complications, including urinary issues for some time,” his grieving wife Mitali said.
He was born on February 6, 1940, in Amritsar (Punjab) to Professor Natha Singh, a trained vocalist, and his early music teacher. His father was a teacher. In the initial stage, Bhupinder Singh started playing difficult film songs and classical music on the Hawaiian guitar.
Bhupinder Singh started his career with All India Radio and was also associated with the Delhi Doordarshan. In 1962, music composer Madan Mohan heard him play the guitar at a party and called him to Mumbai. Mohan offered him the song “Hoke Majboor” in the film Haqeeqat, which he crooned with Mohammed Rafi, Talat Mahmood, and Manna Dey.
The Music Director Khayyam then gave him the solo song “Rut Jawan Jawan” in the film “Aakhri Khat”. His heavy bass voice gave him an edge and he slowly started climbing the success ladder.
Although “Hoke Majboor” in the film Haqeeqat, was a hit, Bhupinder didn’t get much recognition. He sang a few more songs in some low-budget films. Later, he joined Rahul Dev Burman’s orchestra and played guitar for many of his popular scores including “Dum Maro Dum” (Hare Ram Hare Krishna).
R D Burman gave him a chance to sing in Gulzar’s Parichay (1972). Bhupinder sang two songs in the movie-“Beeti Na Beetai Raina” and “Mitwa Bole Meethe Bai”, which gave him recognition as a singer. Later he sang some more popular songs in Gulzar’s movies.
He is remembered for his memorable numbers like “Dil Dhoondta Hai” (Mausam, composer Madan Mohan), “Naam Gum Jaayega”(Kinara, composer R. D. Burman), “Kisi Nazar Ko Tera Intezar Aaj Bhi Hai” (Aitbaar, composer Bappi Lahiri), “Baadalon Se Kaat Kaat Ke”(Satya, composer Vishal Bhardwaj) among others.
Then there’s “Ek Akela Is Shaher Mein” (“Gharaonda”, music Jaidev), “Huzoor Is Kadar Bhi Na Itra Ke Chaliye” (Masoom, composer R. D. Burman), “Kabhi Kisiko Mukammal Jahan Nahi Milta” (Ahista Ahista, composer Khayyam) and “Zindagi Mere Ghar Aana” (Dooriyan, composer Jaidev).
Bhupinder Singh sang for most of the top music composers during the 1960s-2000s, giving many hit songs, and also played guitar and violin for many songs, besides singing in other Indian languages.
In the mid-1980s, Bhupinder Singh married the Bangladeshi singer Mitali Mukherjee and moved away from playback singing. Mitali is also a singer. Together, they performed at ghazal and live performances. They have a son named Nihal Singh who is also a musician.
His discography includes the albums- Dream Sellers, Aarzoo, Chandani Raat, Gulmohar,
Ghazal Ke Phool, Ek Arzoo (T series), Anand Lok Meh- (with Mitali Singh), Surmayi Raat-Gulzar), Yaad-E-Mehboob-Jagjit Singh, Chitra Singh, and others.
He also released the multi-singer album “Meri Aawaaz Hi Pehchan Hai” (Saregama)in which he sang two songs with Lata Mangeshkar. Other singers included: Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Babla Mehta, and Shailendra Singh.
He was presented the coveted Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship and awarded at the hands of then, President Pranab Mukherjee, in October 2016.