Amar Singh Chamkila Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Death Cause: Murder (Shot Dead)
Death Date: 08/03/1988
Age: 27 Years

Amar Singh Chamkila

Birth NameAmarjot Singh
Real NameDhani Ram
Other NamesAmar Singh Chamkila, Amar Chamkila, Elvis of Punjab
Title NameElvis of Punjab
Profession(s)Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Music Composer, Stage Performer
Famous ForSinging the song 'Pehle Lalkare Naal'
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet inches- 5’ 9”
Weight (approx.)in kilograms- 65 kg
in pounds- 143 lbs
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack
DebutSinging: Takue Te TakuaAmar Singh Chamkila- Takue Te Takua
Personal Life
Date of Birth21 July 1960
BirthplaceVillage Dugri, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
Date of Death8 March 1988
Place of DeathVillage Mehsampur, Jalandhar, Punjab, India
Age (at the time of death) 27 Years
Death CauseMurder (Shot Dead)
Zodiac sign/Sun signCancer
HometownVillage Dugri, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
SchoolGujar Khan Primary School, Dugri, Ludhiana, Punjab
Educational Qualification8th Standard
ReligionNot Known
CasteScheduled Caste [1] [2]Round Table India
ControversiesDuring the 1980s, Chamkila had become a very popular singer. However, most of his songs are still considered controversial; because of their vulgar lyrics, which he used to sing along with his female co-singer Amarjot. He had even received various threat calls from militants who wanted him to stop singing; however, he did not stop singing even after these threats.
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Affairs/GirlfriendsAmarjot (Singer, died along with Amar Singh Chamkila in 1988)
Marriage Date23 May 1983 (with Amarjot)
Wife/Spouse• Gurmail Kaur (Ex-Wife)
• Amarjot (Second Wife)Amar Singh Chamkila with Amarjot
ChildrenSons- 2
• Name Not Known (With Gurmail Kaur- Died)
• Jaiman Chamkila (With Amarjot Kaur- Singer)Amar Singh Chamkila Son Jaiman Chamkila
Daughters - 2 (Both with Gurmail Kaur)
• Amandeep Kaur (Elder)
• Kamandeep aka Kamal Chamkila (Younger- Singer)Amar Singh Chamkila Daughter Kamal Chamkila
ParentsFather- Hari Ram Singh (Died)
Mother- Kartar Kaur (Died)
SiblingsBrothers- 2 (Elder)
Sisters- 3 (Elder)
• Swaran KaurAmar Singh Chamkila Sister Swaran Kaur
• Charandeep Kaur
• Name Not Known (Died)

Amar Singh Chamkila

Some Lesser Known Facts About Amar Singh Chamkila

  • Amar Singh Chamkila was a renowned Punjabi Singer who is considered one of the best Punjabi stage performers, and he still has a huge fan following in Punjab.
  • He was born and raised into a conservative joint family.
  • Chamkila was interested in singing and playing musical instruments like Dhol, Tumbi, etc., since his childhood.
  • He was brilliant in studies but left his schooling midway for earning money to look after his family.
  • After quitting his school studies, Chamkila started working at a cloth mill in Ludhiana.
  • Initially, he wanted to become an electrician but destiny took him into the Punjabi Music Industry.
  • He was first noticed by the renowned Punjabi singer Surinder Shinda in 1979, when Chamkila was riding on a bicycle with one of his friends Kuldeep Paras, thereafter, he started accompanying Shinda as a member of his troupe.

    Surinder Shinda introduced Amar Singh Chamkila in the Punjabi Music Industry

    Surinder Shinda introduced Amar Singh Chamkila in the Punjabi Music Industry

  • Chamkila had penned down many songs for the popular Punjabi singers like Surinder Shinda (Main Digie Tilak Ke), Jagmohan Kaur (Gabroo Nu Marda), KS Kooner (Deor Naal Nach Bhabiye), etc.
  • Reportedly, as a lyricist, he was unable to fulfil the needs of his family, so, he had decided to pursue his career as a solo singer so that he would earn sufficient money.
  • Chamkila had recorded many solo and duet songs, which became popular among the Punjabi Community worldwide.
  • Subsequently, he also used to share stages and perform live concerts along with some renowned Punjabi singers like K. Deep, Muhammad Sadiq, Surinder Shinda, etc.
  • Before starting his singing career with his co-partner-cum-wife Amarjot, Chamkila had also performed with the other female singers like Surinder Sonia, Usha Kiran, and others.

  • Chamkila and Amarjot were in demand not only in Punjab but also at the international level such as Canada, US, Dubai, and Bahrain for their live performances and open-air concerts (Akhade).
  • The level of his popularity had reached up to such a level that at one point of time during his singing career, he had become even more popular than the Punjabi Folk legends such as Kuldeep Manak, Gurdas Maan, and Surinder Shinda.

    Amar Singh Chamkila's competitors Surinder Shinda and Kuldip Manak

    Amar Singh Chamkila’s competitors Surinder Shinda and Kuldip Manak

  • Chamkila was an iconic performer whose songs reflected Punjab’s village life and covered social issues like drug abuse, dowry, infidelity, sexual affairs, etc.
  • According to Gulzar Singh Shaunki’s biography- ‘Awaz Mardi Nahin’; Gulzar found in his research that at the height of his popularity, Chamkila performed 366 shows in 365 days.
  • According to sources, he used to charge 4000+ per performance at wedding parties and functions.
  • Chamkila is best remembered for his super hit track ‘Pehle Lalkare Naal’. After his death, the original song was also featured in the Punjabi film ‘Patola’ (1988). The song is so popular that many of his reprised versions have been used in various other Punjabi films.

  • He also sang devotional songs like ‘Baba Tera Nankana’, ‘Talwar Main Kalgidhar Di Haan’, and ‘Naam Jap Le’ along with Amarjot.

    Amar Singh Chamkila with Amarjot during the recording of a devotional song

    Amar Singh Chamkila with Amarjot during the recording of a devotional song

  • During Chamkila’s live concerts, he always used to sing with the help of Tumbi (a traditional musical instrument).

    Amar Singh Chamkila playing Tumbi during a live concert with Amarjot

    Amar Singh Chamkila playing Tumbi during a live concert with Amarjot

  • He was married twice. His first marriage was arranged while his second marriage with Amarjot was a love marriage. He did his second marriage without giving divorce to his first wife Gurmail Kaur.
  • On 8 March 1988 at approximately 1:40 pm, Chamkila and his pregnant wife Amarjot both were allegedly shot by biker’s gang with AK-47, along with four members of their band just before their performance at the village Mehsampur in Jalandhar.

    A man showing the place where Amar Singh Chamkila and Amarjot were killed

    A man showing the place where Amar Singh Chamkila and Amarjot were killed

  • At the time of his death, he reportedly had 200+ songs that had not been sung or recorded officially, of which, some were sung by him at stage shows including ‘Dhee Mar Jai Badkar Loko’, ‘Jatt Di Dushmani’, and ‘Akhiyan Di Maar Buri’.
  • His song ‘Yaad Aave War War’ was released after his death in 1988.
  • Reportedly, Chamkila had 65 lakh in his bank account at the time of his death.

Conspiracies Theories About Chamkila’s Murder

1) Amarjot’s family could have been the reason behind the murder in an effort to preserve their family from slander; because Amarjot’s caste (Jatt) was considered higher than Chamkila’s.

2) During the Khalistan Movement (1980), the militants found Chamkila’s lyrics objectionable due to which they might have killed him.

3) Chamkila might have also been killed by his competitors who were jealous of his success.

4) According to another theory, he might have been killed by an individual; whom he had rejected to perform due to a scheduling conflict or otherwise.

5)  It is also believed that the Punjab Police could have been the reason behind the murder; because they were displeased by Chamkila’s vulgar songs.

  • In 2014, his daughter Kamal Chamkila sung the song ‘Lalkara’ along with the Punjabi singer Raj Brar as a tribute to her father Chamkila.

  • Many of his solo songs have been sung as a remix in recent times by several Punjabi singers like Chamak Chamkila, Nirmal Sidhu, Amar Arshi, Surinder Shinda.
  • Chamkila’s lyrics have been used by many singers in their songs as the chorus. Some of the popular songs are ‘Mere Yaar Ne’ (Gippy Grewal), ‘Shad De Vairne Yaari’ (Jazzy B), etc.
  • In 2017, a biopic film ‘Amar Chamkila’ and the documentary ‘Mehsampur’ was made, which was based on his life.
    Poster of the film 'Amar Chamkila'- based on the life of Amar Singh Chamkila

    Poster of the film ‘Amar Chamkila’- based on the life of Amar Singh Chamkila

    Poster of the documentary 'Mehsampur'- based on the life of Amar Singh Chamkila

    Poster of the documentary ‘Mehsampur’- based on the life of Amar Singh Chamkila

  • The magnitude of Chamkila’s versatile singing can be considered with the fact that even he had sung for less than a decade before he was killed, but still, his name is regarded as one of the greatest Punjabi folk performers.