Jagjit Singh Age, Death Cause, Biography, Wife, Family, Facts & More

Jagjit Singh

Real NameJagmohan Singh Dhiman
NicknameGhazal King
ProfessionComposer, Ghazal Singer, Music Director
Music Teacher/Guru/UstaadPandit Chhaganlal Sharma, Ustad Jamal Khan
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 178 cm
in meters- 1.78 m
in feet inches- 5’ 10
Weight (approx.)in kilograms- 75 kg
in pounds- 165 lbs
Eye ColourDark Brown
Hair ColourSalt & Pepper
Personal Life
Date of Birth8 February 1941
Birth PlaceSri Ganganagar, Bikaner State, Rajputana Agency, India (Now Rajasthan, India)
Date of Death10 October 2011
Place of DeathLilavati Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Age (at the time of death)70 Years
Death CauseBrain Haemorrhage
Zodiac sign/Sun signAquarius
SignatureJagjit Singh Signature
HometownSri Ganganagar, Rajasthan
SchoolKhalsa High School, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan
CollegeGovernment College, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan
DAV College, Jalandhar
Kurukshetra University, Haryana
Educational QualificationA Degree in Arts from DAV College, Jalandhar
A Post Graduate Degree in History from Kurukshetra University (but never finished it, even after attending classes for almost two years)
DebutProfessional Singing: In 1961, when he took singing and composing assignments at All India Radio's (AIR) Jalandhar station
Playback Singing: Film- Arth (1982)
FamilyFather- Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman (a surveyor with government's public works department)
Jagjit Singh With His Father
Mother- Sardarni Bachchan Kaur (a housewife)
Brothers- 2
Sisters- 4
HobbiesDoing Yoga, Walking, Listening to Classical Music
Awards/Honours • Honoured with the "Lata Mangeshkar Samman" in 1998 by Madhya Pradesh government.
• Awarded with Sahitya Kala Academy Award by the Rajasthan Government in 1998.
• For popularising the work of Mirza Ghalib, Government of India awarded him with Sahitya Academy Award in 1998.
• In 2003, honoured with "Padma Bhushan" by the Government of India.
Jagjit Singh With Padma Bhushan
• In 2012, posthumously awarded with "Rajasthan Ratna" (Rajasthan's highest civilian award).
Favourite Things
Favourite Singer(s)Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mehmood, Abdul Karim Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Mohd. Rafi
Favourite Poet(s)Sahir Ludhianvi, Mirza Ghalib, Shiv Kumar Batalvi
Girls, Affairs and More
Marital StatusMarried
Wife/SpouseChitra Singh
Jagjit Singh With His Wife Chitra Singh
Marriage DateDecember 1969
ChildrenSon- Vivek (died in 1990)
Jagjit Singh With His Wife and Son
Daughter- Monica (step-daughter; committed suicide)
Jagjit Singh With His Wife Son and Step Daughter Monica

Jagjit Singh

Some Lesser Known Facts About Jagjit Singh

  • Did Jagjit Singh smoke:? Yes Jagjit Singh Smoking
  • Did Jagjit Singh drink alcohol:? Yes
  • He was born in a Punjabi Sikh family in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan.
  • At his birth, he was named Jagmohan. However, his devout Sikh father gave him a new name, Jagjit, on the advice of his ‘Guru.’
  • Jagjit Singh’s early years were spent in Bikaner, as his father was posted there as a Public Works Department (PWD) employee.
  • In 1948, he returned to his birthplace Sri Ganganagar and started his music training under a blind teacher, Pandit Chhaganlal Sharma. Later, he took training under Ustad Jamal Khan of the ‘Senia Gharana’ (a school of traditional Hindustani music).
  • Initially, his father wanted Jagjit to pursue engineering and also wished Jagjit to appear for UPSC exams.
  • In an interview, Jagjit Singh had revealed that he was not from a well-off family and as a child he used to study by the light of lanterns as there was no electricity in the house.
  • Still, a child Jagjit started singing “Shabads” (devotional Sikh hymns) in Gurdwaras & processions on birthdays of the Sikh Gurus.
  • His 1st public performance came in when he was studying in 9th grade. In an interview, he shared the event: “When I sang there was great excitement! Some gave me five rupees, some two, and called out their encouragement.”
  • At his college in Sri Ganganagar, one night he sang in front of 4,000 people and suddenly electricity went off. However, the sound system remained alive as it was battery-operated. Jagjit said, “I went on singing, nobody moved, nothing stirred … such incidents and the response from audiences convinced me that I should concentrate on music.”
  • For the higher education, Jagjit Sing opted DAV College in Jalandhar as its Principal had waived hostel and tuition fees for talented musician students.
  • While in Jalandhar, Jagjit Singh joined All India Radio (AIR). AIR had put him in the class of B grade artists and allowed him 6 live music segments a year for small payments.
  • While in Jalandhar in 1962, he composed a welcome song for the visiting president of India, Rajendra Prasad.
  • In the early 1960s, he went to Bombay (now Mumbai) for a career in film playback singing. There he met musician Jaikishan; he liked Jagjit’s voice but couldn’t offer any big break. Soon, he ran out of money and had to return to Jalandhar. In an interview, he said, “I traveled by train from Bombay to Jalandhar minus a ticket, hiding in the bathroom.”
  • In March 1965, he again tried his luck in celluloid playback singing in Bombay. After struggling for a few days, he managed to get 2 Ghazals recorded for an EP (Extended Play, a 1960s gramophone record format) with HMV. When it came to a picture for the cover of the record, he decided to relinquish his Sikh turban and cut his long hair. He gave the reasoning,”It was a matter of identity … whatever picture was taken, that was how I would have to remain for the rest of my career.”  Jagjit Singh Sikh Turban
  • Life was hard in Bombay, and for a living, Jagjit started doing small mehfils (musical gatherings) and house concerts. He also sang at several film parties in the hope that a musician might notice him and give him a chance. However, in the film industry, newcomers were rarely accepted.
  • Increasingly, Jagjit veered toward the Ghazal. So, Bollywood’s loss was the Ghazal’s gain.
  • To earn an income, Jagjit started composing music for ad films, radio jingles, documentaries, etc.
  • It was at one such jingle recording that he met his future wife, Chitra, who was at the fag end of a bad marriage.
  • In December 1969, Chitra divorced her husband and married Jagjit Singh. Their marriage was a very simple ceremony that cost them just ₹30 and lasted just 2 minutes.
  • Between 1965 and 1973, Jagjit had 3 solo EPs, 2 duet EPs with Chitra, and 1 “SuperSeven” (a 20-minute format that has disappeared).
  • In 1971, his son, Vivek (alias Baboo), was born. Jagjit fondly recalled those time: “I felt as if I was the richest man in the world.”
  • In 1975, HMV asked Jagjit Singh to compose his 1st ever LP (Long-Play) album. The album, “The Unforgettables” featured Jagjit Singh and Chitra, it grew into a hit beyond expectations. Jagjit Singh The Unforgettables
  • The album, “Unforgettables” brought Jagjit and Chitra Singh to national fore and helped purchase of their modest flat in Bombay.
  • In 1980, Jagjit agreed to lend his voice for Javed Akhtar‘s poetry in a low-budget film- “Saath Saath.” A similar film venture “Arth” saw Jagjit and Chitra Singh’s fame climb higher & higher.
  • In 1987, he crossed another milestone by recording India’s 1st purely digital CD Album- “Beyond Time.”

  • In 1988, Jagjit Singh composed the music for Gulzar‘s epic TV serial, “Mirza Ghalib.”

  • In 1990, in a motor accident, Jagjit and Chitra Singh lost their 18-year-old only son. It was the biggest tragedy in their lives. Chitra lost her voice and never returned to singing. Jagjit groped in depression for a while. However, it was his dedication to music that he decided to return to music and make the incident his strength.
  • After his son’s demise, his 1st album was “Man Jite Jagjit,” containing Sikh devotional Gurbani.

  • In 1991, the album “Sajda” with Lata Mangeshkar, smashed non-film album records of all time.

  • In 2001, the very day his mother died, after her cremation in the morning, Jagjit went to Calcutta (now Kolkata) in the afternoon for a concert.
  • Jagjit Singh was successful Ghazal singer because of his own style.
  • It was Jagjit Singh who started the practice of paying lyricists a part of an album’s earnings.
  • It was Jagjit Singh who offered Kumar Sanu his first break.
  • On 23 September 2011, Jagjit Singh suffered a Brain Haemorrhage. He was in a coma for over 2 weeks and died on 10 October at Lilavati Hospital, in Mumbai.

  • In 2013, Google made a ‘Google Doodle’ of Jagjit Singh as a tribute. Jagjit Singh Google Doodle
  • In 2014, the Government of India released a commemorative postal stamp in Jagjit Singh’s honour. Jagjit Singh Postal Stamp
  • Here’s a glimpse of Jagjit Singh’s life: