Kumar Sanu alias Kedarnath Bhattacharya was born September 23, 1957 in Kolkata, is a leading Indian playback singer of Bollywood. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri award, one of India’s highest civilian honours. He won the Filmfare Best Male Playback Award for 5 consecutive years.
Kumar Sanu’s father Pashupati Bhattacharjee was an accomplished classical vocalist and composer. He trained Sanu as a singer and tabla player. After getting a degree in commerce from Calcutta University, Sanu began performing publicly in 1979, singing at shows and restaurants around Calcutta. He modeled his singing style after famous Bollywood singer Kishore Kumar.Later he developed his own singing style.
In 1987, music director and singer Jagjit Singh offered Sanu the chance to sing in the Hindi film Aandhiyan. Sanu then relocated to Mumbai, where Kalyanji-Anandji gave him chance to sing in the film Jaadugar. Kalyanji-Anandji suggested that he change his name from Kedar Nath Bhattacharya to Kumar Sanu because of the prevalent caste/region-based favoritism in Bollywood and to give him wider appeal outside of a strictly Bengali audience.
Sanu started off singing Jagjit Singh’s film songs, and went on to work with composers of the like of Naushad, Ravindra Jain, Hridayanath Mangeshkar, Pt.R K Razdan, Kalyanji Anandji, Usha Khanna etc.
Sanu’s breakthrough came in 1990, in the form of the film Aashiqui. The music directors Nadeem-Shravan got Sanu to sing all but one of the songs. Sanu gained overnight success. The hit songs from Aashiqui included Sanson ki zaroorat hai jaise, Tu meri zindagi hain, Nazar ke saamne, Jaane jigar jaaneman, Ab Tere Bin Jee Lenge Hum and Dheere, dheere se meri zindagi mein aana. He won the first of his record five consecutive Filmfare awards as Best Male Playback Singer. His next Filmfare Awards came for songs in the movies Saajan (1991), Deewana (1992), Baazigar (1993), and 1942: A Love Story (1994).
Sanu often collaborated with Nadeem-Shravan. Some of their collaborations include songs in movies like Aashiqi(1990), Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991),Sadak (1991), Saajan (1991), Deewana (1992), Dil Ka Kya Qusoor(1992),Kal Ki Awaz (1992), Shreeman Aashique (1993), Salami (1993), Damini: Lightning (1993), Dil Wale (1994), Agni Sakshi (1996) Raja Hindustani (1996), Jeet (1996) Pardes (1997), among others.
Sanu is often credited with having one of the best voices among playback singers in India. In a career spanning two decades he has sung with numerous successful composers to name R.D. Burman, Anand-Milind, Anu Malik, Jatin-Lalit, Ismail Darbar, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Naushad, Kalyanji Anandji. Sanu has also worked with A. R. Rahman in Milgayee Milgayee from Kabhi na Kabhi. He broke a Guinness World Record by singing 28 songs in a single day in 1993.
His most recent hit songs include Humraaz, Yeh Dil Aapka Huwa (Pakistan), Karz, Dil Ka Rishta, Indian Babu, Ishq Vishk, Andaaz, Qayamat, Hungama and Footpath. He has also turned his trade at making music for Indian films and also recently as a producer for a new Bollywood film, Utthaan.
Currently, Sanu is in the panel of judges on Sony TV for Waar Parriwar, a reality show based on the bringing together of a singing gharana (family of singers) he shares judging duties with fellow singer Udit Narayan, and Jatin Pandit of the famous music duo Jatin-Lalit. At the same time, he is one of the judges with Bollywood music composer Shantanu Moitra and veteran playback singer Usha Mangeshkar on Zee Bangla TV in a music reality show called Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – Vishwa Sera.
Hungama released a new single Lamhaa Ho Tum on Valentine’s Day 2010 by Kumar Sanu and composed by Saikat Shankar.
- FilmFare Award 1990 Ab Tere Bin Jeelenge – Aashiqui
- FilmFare Award 1991 ‘Mera dil bhi kitna pagal hai’ – Saajan
- FilmFare Award 1992 Sochenge Tumhe Pyaar Karein Ke Nahin – Deewana
- FilmFare Award 1993 Yeh Kaali Kaali Aakhen – Baazigar
- FilmFare Award 1994 Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga – 1942 A Love story
- IIFA Award 2000 for Aankhon ki Gustakhiyan – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Sanu broke the Guinness world record for the largest number of songs recorded in a single day: 28. He also holds the record (along with Lata Mangeshkar on the female side) for the longest string of consecutive Filmfare awards for Best Playback Singer.