Bhupinder’s voice will continue to soothe us

Veteran playback singer Bhupinder Singh quietly passed into eternity on July 18 due to suspected colon cancer and Covid-related complications at a Mumbai hospital. He was 82 years old

Photo courtesy: Twitter/@YarHimachali
Photo courtesy: Twitter/@YarHimachali

Rajdeep Pathak

Far away from the maddening conflicts of politics, noise of news channels' debates, the voice which mesmerised many generations, especially students and people working in cities away from home over the years with his song ‘Ek Akela Iss Shahar mein' fell silent forever.

Veteran playback singer Bhupinder Singh quietly passed into eternity on July 18, 2022 due to suspected colon cancer and Covid-related complications at a Mumbai hospital. His singer wife Mitali Mukherjee confirmed the news. He was 82 years old.

In his five-decade-long career, the singer, born in Punjab's Amritsar, worked with the biggest names of the music industry, such as Mohammed Rafi, R D Burman, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Bappi Lahiri, among others.

People fondly remember Bhupinder Singh for his memorable songs in films like 'Mausam', 'Satte Pe Satta', 'Ahista Ahista', 'Dooriyan', 'Haqeeqat', and many more.

Some of his songs like Dil Dhoondta Hai, Naam Gum Jaayega, Ek Akela Is Shaher Mein, Kisi Nazar Ko Tera Intezar Aaj Bhi Hai, Duniya Chhute Yaar Na Chhute among others still come as a breath of fresh air and soothes the ears from the daily chaos and rat race.

A career that began with his stint at the All India Radio, Delhi, soon walked the stairs of the Delhi Doordarshan Centre. It was here, people began to recognise the person behind such soothing tonal quality.

But the learning never stopped. Bhupinder Singh learnt to play the guitar and violin.

It was in 1964, music director Madan Mohan heard him over AIR, and called him to Bombay. He gave him a chance to sing the song 'Hoke Majboor Mujhe Usne Bulaya Hoga...' with Mohammad Rafi in Chetan Anand's Haqeeqat.

Although the song was a hit, the actual fame for Bhupinder was still delayed. He sang a few more songs in some low-budget films.

Having the desire to experiment and experience the genius of Pancham, Bhupinder joined Rahul Dev Burman's orchestra and played guitar for many of his popular scores including Dum Maro Dum.

In the years to come, Bhupinder became a good friend of R D Burman, who 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 Bain, which gave him much deserved though delayed recognition as a singer.

With passing years Bhupinder Singh started releasing private albums. His first LP had three self-composed songs and was released in 1968. In 1978, he released his second LP of ghazals, in which he introduced the Spanish guitar, bass and drums to the ghazal style. In 1980, he released his third LP titled 'Woh Jo Shair Tha' for which Gulzar penned the lyrics.

Success had started following Bhupinder when he found his soulmate in Mitali Mukherjee , a singer from Bangladesh. And after they entered into a wedlock, to everyone’s surprise, he moved away from playback singing in the mid-1980s.

Since then he began singing jointly for several albums and live concerts. Together the singer duo have produced many ghazal and geet cassettes. They have a son named Nihal Singh who is also a musician.

Bhupinder Singh’s powerful vocals and his deep bass voice when combined with Mitali’s sweet renditions gave many popular songs, including 'Do Diwane Shahar Mein', and solo numbers like Naam Gum Jayega', 'Kabhi Kisi Ko Mukammal' and 'Ek Akela is Shehar Mein' ‘Huzur is Kadar’, ‘Kisi Nazar ko Tera’ among others.

His contribution in the field of music will be remembered forever. His mellow voice will continue to soothe us for many more decades.

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