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Sonu Nigam At Ajmer Sharif 12-04-13

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sonu Nigam Delights His Fans In Washington DC On 31st Aug 2012!

Washington DC - If I had to conjure one artist in my mind that excels in multiple musical genres i.e. Classical, Ghazal, Qawali, Sufi, IndiPop, Bhajans, etc. that would be none other than the versatile singer – Sonu Nigam. He has won numerous awards in a career that spans two decades since he began at the age of 19. On August 31, he performed live with the Symphony Orchestra at the 10,000 seat Patriot Center that was filled to near capacity by screaming ecstatic fans.

I can reminisce of the day I first saw Sonu Nigam on the show Sa Re Ga Ma in 1995, which became one of the most popular shows on Indian television and launched the careers of many budding new artists. His distinctive style has not only won him a plethora of accolades, but most importantly, he has become a role model for emerging vocal talent in India. He has sung in many languages including Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, English, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Nepali, Chhattisgarhi, Malayalam and Marathi.

The live concert in Washington DC “Klose To My Heart” was presented by Manish Sood of Intense Entertainment LLC. It is part of the 40 day world tour by Sonu Nigam and his band of musicians covering the Caribbean islands, Canada and the U.S. The concert tour which began in June 2012 in Atlanta, GA, will take Sonu Nigam to 15 cities in the United States and Canada.

The opening act was performed by the melodius singer Jonita Gandhi from Toronto who has performed with Sonu Nigam on several tours. She opened up with a hit song that was originally sung by the legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar “Lag Ja Gale” followed by “Aao Na Gale Lagao Na” (originally performed by Asha Bhosle). The multitude of enthused fans chanted voluminously for Sonu Nigam to make his appearance on stage. In the midst of a flood of colorful lights and pseudo pyro effects, the singer made a grand appearance dressed in a red-lapelled white suit. The crowd went into a rapturous frenzy screaming hoarsely in excitement. Sonu Nigam belted out numerous songs that were originally sung by Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, R.D. Burman, Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar. He paid a special tribute to the late Mohammad Rafi with the romantic song “Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho” which had women in the audience singing along with him. Sonu Nigam began his singing career at the age of three, when he joined his father on stage to sing Mohammed Rafi's "Kya Hua Tera Vaada” from the film Hum Kisise Kam Nahin.

Sonu transported the audience across the different eras in Indian music by singing songs that included: “Main Shayar To Nahin”, “Ye Mera Dil Pyar Ka Deewana”, “Zindagi Ek Safar”, “Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani”, “Janu Meri Jaan”, “Yeh Dil Na Hota Bechara”, and many others. He paid a special tribute to the late Jagjit Singh who he holds in high esteem. He sang the song “Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho” that touched the inner echelon of emotions of many in the audience. Sonu also paid tribute to Mehdi Hassan Khan, the famous late Pakistani ghazal singer and also a former playback singer by singing “Ranjish Hi Sahi”. Another actor that Sonu made a special reference to was the late actor and Indian superstar Rajesh Khanna. He sang the popular song “Mere Sapno Ki Rani” from the movie Aaradhana (1969) as a tribute to him.

Sonu also paid glowing tributes to the late King of Pop - Michael Jackson. Last year, Sonu had performed with Jermaine Jackson on Michael Jackson’s second death anniversary at the IIFA Rock concert in Toronto. He also thrilled the audience by doing the famous Michael Jackson Moon Walk as well as engaged the audience while singing “Main Shaayar to Nahin” from the 1973 widely popular movie- Bobby. He invited the throngs of fans to approach the vicinity of the stage and dance to his number – “Bijuriya”. The crowd acquiesced by making a bee-line to the stage area and breaking into various Bollywood dance moves under the watchful eyes of the security detail.

Sonu also graciously entertained requests from his audience by singing numerous songs – “Suraj Hua Maddham” (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham), “Kal Ho Na Ho” (Kal Ho Naa Ho), “Saathiya” (Saathiya), “Mein Hoon Deewana Tera (Deewana)” and others. It was refreshing to also see those in the audience from the Baby Boomer generation get on their feet and dance energetically to the hit number “Aei Meri Zohra Jabeen” from the movie Waqt (1965). Hats Off to Sonu who energetically electrified and entertained the audience for over three hours with many songs that spanned generations, music eras, genres, languages which undoubtedly is the hallmark of a “Superstar”.

Sonu has come a long way since his early years in Mumbai which proved to be a struggle, when he started by singing covers of Mohammed Rafi songs, mainly for a number of Rafi Ki Yaadein albums released by T-Series. The audience at the Patriot Center saw a musical genius who has transformed the Indian music industry and is constantly scaling new heights. He continues to inspire a whole new generation of young musicians and singers who along with Sonu Nigam will bring respect and glory to the art of music both in India and globally.

The event was a huge success gauged by the content faces of the thousands of fans who trudged out of the Patriot Center past midnight with the memory of Sonu Nigam’s enchanting music reverberating in the serene night.


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