Age: 68 Years Wife: Mehtaab Shabbir Kumar Hometown: Baroda, Gujarat
|Birth name||Shabbir Shaikh Shabbir Kumar|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 170 cm
in meters– 1.70 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 7”
|Debut||Song (as a singer): ‘Hum ek nahi, hum do nahi..hum hai poore paanch’ for the film Tajurba (1981)|
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• The Best Playback Singer in Dubai, U.A.E
• Mohammad Rafi Award in Bombay
• Kalaa Ratan Award from President of India Giani Zail Singh as Best Playback Singer
• 2017: World Book of Record honour for contribution to cultural and entertainment cause
|Date of Birth||26 October 1954 (Tuesday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||68 Years|
|Controversy||In 2012, Shabbir attracted controversy when he questioned veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar about her claim of receiving an apology letter written to her by Mohammad Rafi. In 2012, Lata Mangeshkar claimed that she refused to sing with Mohammad Rafi and it was not the other way around. She further claimed that she accepted his apology when he wrote a letter to her. After her claim, his son asked her to show the letter and sai that he would take a legal action is she didn’t apologise. After this, Shabbir also questioned Lata Mangeshkar’s claim and said,
Lata ji’s claims that Rafi saab had written her a letter of apology has hurt the sentiments of his fans and also raised doubts on her prestige.” NDTV
|Relationships & More|
|Wife/Spouse||Mehtaab Shabbir Kumar|
|Children||Son– Dilshaad Shabbir Shaikh (singer)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Shabbir Kumar
- Shabbir Kumar is an Indian playback singer who is known for singing more than 6000 songs in Bollywood films.
- When he was in school, he was very good at his studies, and he liked painting. He never wanted to become a singer but was inclined towards doing a government job.
- His family was not financially strong. When he was seven years old, they lived in an area where there were only nine houses, and there was no electricity.
- He started gaining interest in music when he heard his mother singing ‘Naath Qalaam’ for him and his siblings. He started singing with her and his voice came to everyone’s notice.
- When he was a child, people would gather in the neighbourhood and call him to a junction to sing a song for them. He used to like the attention he was getting and sang songs like ‘Zara Samne to aa Chaliye.’ He would get mango papads in return as a reward.
- He used to go in front of the house that had a radio and stick his ear to the wall to listen to songs. In an interview, he revealed that there were only three houses in his area that possessed a radio and he could not afford it because it was expensive.
- When he was 14 years old, his father sent him to a boarding school where his studies got affected due to the distractions in the city. He still pursued his studies and learned a lot living in boarding. He learned to cook, wash clothes, clean his room and live independently.
- He used to sing songs of Mohammed Rafi whenever he used to meet his friends for a party. His friends always told him that his voice was similar to Rafi after which he thought of making a career in music.
- He sang for the first time in a microphone when he was on a night out with his friends and they came across a group who were performing. As soon as his friends saw them, they asked Shabbir to go on the stage and entertain the audience. He sang the song ‘Kya se kyah hogaya,bewafa tere pyaar mein’ from the film Guide.
Shabbir Kumar as a youngster singing song at an event
- In 1965, his friends suggested him to join Opera Music Circle, Melody Makers which was one of the most prestigious orchestra groups in India. He gave the audition but was not selected there. After that, he participated in a singing competition where he was noticed by the Opera Music Circle and was selected by them. The song that he sang on stage was “Watan pe jo fida hoga,amar wo nao java hoga.”
- In 1967, he sang Mohammed Rafi’s song ‘Mere Dushman tu meri dosti ko tarse’ for the first time on stage on the occasion of Shivaji Jayanti. Later, he changed his name from Shabbir Shaikh to Shabbir Kumar because he wanted to send the message that a person’s caste or community didn’t matter, but what mattered was a singer’s voice and talent. To make his stand strong, he married a Brahmin girl.
- In 1980, after the death of Rafi, Shabbir got offers from many show organizers who wanted to make a tribute to him. He joined the group named “Ek Shaam Rafi ke naam.” The group became very famous and donated the profits of the first 10 shows to a charitable organization. This group used to perform 50 shows in 30 days.
- In 1981, music director Usha Khanna heard Shabbir sing in a show and called him for an interview at her office. He sang 2-3 songs of Mohammed Rafi which made her emotional and she cried. She offered him his first playback song ‘hum ek nahi, hum do nahi..hum hai poore paanch’ for the film Tajurba along with other singers like Suresh Wadkar, Amit Kumar, Hem Lata and Usha Khanna herself. In an interview, he shared that it was difficult for him initially because he used to sing on stage and recording a song in a studio was very different, but the song became really famous once it was released.
- He sang his first solo song ‘Ek akela man ka panchi tuti aas liye’ in 1981 for the actor Raj Kiran in the film Sardar.
- He used to do stage shows as well in Baroda. Amidst this, he received a call from music composer duo Laxmikant Pyarelal, who called him to Mumbai for an audition. He was asked to sing ‘Mubarak ho tum sabko haj ka mahina’ from the film Coolie with the background of 160 piece orchestra in the Mehmood studio. Later, he was declared the playback singer for the film after the team of Coolie heard his voice.
Poster of the film ‘Coolie’
- He gets inspiration from Mohammed Rafi because when he attended Rafi’s funeral in 1980, his pen and watch fell into Rafi’s grave. After that, he thought that it was a divine message for him.
- In 1983, he sang his first duet song ‘Shaam Hai Ye Kuch Khoyi Khoyi’ with Lata Mangeshkar for the film Prem Tapasya. He also sang song for Rajiv Kapoor in his debut film ‘Ek Jaan Hain Hum.’ He also gained popularity as a leading playback singer with the film Betaab (1983).
Shabbir Kumar with Lata Mangeshkar
- In the 1980s, Shabbir Kumar sang for many music directors including Laxmikant–Pyarelal, Rahul Dev Burman, Chitragupt, Kalyanji-Anandji, Rajesh Roshan, Usha Khanna, Bappi Lahiri, Anu Malik, Ravindra Jain, Raamlaxman, Nadeem Shravan, Anand Milind, Jatin–Lalit, and Uttam Singh.
Shabbir Kumar with Anu Malik
- He did playback singing for various actors including Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Rishi Kapoor, Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty, Raj Babbar, Govinda, Chunky Pandey, Sanjay Dutt, Kumar Gaurav, Kamal Haasan, Rajnikanth, Anil Kapoor, Sunny Deol, Rajiv Kapoor and Akshay Kumar.
Shabbir Kumar with Govinda
- In 2000, he started focusing more on stage shows and also sang songs for various albums. He also sang songs in some movies including Ghaath (2000), Awara Paagal Deewana (2002), and Aan: Men at Work (2004).
Poster of the film ‘Awara Paagal Deewana’
- In 2010, he made a comeback with the song ‘I Don’t Know What to do’ in the film Housefull.
- He has sung songs in different languages like Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Gujrati, Hariyanvi, Oriya, Malayalam and English.
- He has sung over 6000 songs in his career. He has won over 34 Gold Discs, 16 Platinum, and 1 Kohinoor Disc.
Shabbir Kumar receiving golden disc
- He has performed several live concerts in UAE, Europe, South Africa, the United States of America and many other places.
Shabbir Kumar performing during one of his international tours
- Some of the notable songs sung by Shabbir include “Kangna Oye Hoye Kangna” from Woh Saat Din (1983), “Chahe Lakh Toofan Aaye” from Pyar Jhukta Nahin (1985), “Aana Jana Laga Rahega” from Giraftaar (1985), “So Gaya Ye Jahan” From Tezaab (1988), and “O Radha Tere Bina” from Radha Ka Sangam (1992).
- In 2021, he appeared as a guest on the show Indian Idol to pay tribute to his wife who died in May 2021. On the show, he said that his wife was a huge fan of the show.
Shabbir Kumar as a guest on the show ‘Indian Idol’
- In 2022, he went to perform at a stage show in Pyargraj, but he could not perform because he fell ill. He was even admitted to a hospital, but he promised his fans that he would perform next time without taking any money.
- On 3 January 2023, it was reported that Shabbir would appear as a guest on the Kapil Sharma Show along with other singers Suneeta Rao, Shweta Shetty, Altaf Raja, and motivational speaker Gaur Gopal Das.