Jagjit Singh was born on February 8, 1941 in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan. Born as Jagmohan Singh, he later changed his name to Jagjit Singh. He is known for his soulful and melodious ghazals. His father Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman was a government servant and wanted Jagjit to pursue a career in the IAS but Jagjit was more interested in music.
Jagjit learnt music under the guidance of Pandit Chaganlal Sharma for two years and from Ustad Jamaal Khan after that. Jagjit learnt different forms of Hindustani classical music like Khayal, Thumri and Dhrupad under his guidance.
In 1965, Jagjit decided to shift to Bombay and pursue his dream of becoming a ghazal singer. Jagjit was forced to take up small offers and had an uphill struggle initially. He performed at weddings, parties and also composed ad jingles. He met Chitra in 1967 and the two got married in 1970.
The husband-wife singing team released an album called “The Unforgettables” in the year 1976 and the album was a big hit. With the light ghazal format they developed for this album, the duo pioneered the resurgence of ghazals in the 1980s. They followed it up with other successful releases including “Ecstasies”, “A Sound Affair”, “Passions” and “Beyond Time”.
In the year 1990, tragedy struck when their only son Vivek died in a road accident. The pain they experienced can be heard in the album they recorded after this tragedy - “Someone Somewhere”. It was their last album together as Chitra quit singing after the release of this album.
Jagjit’s next album “Hope” was dedicated to Vivek. This was followed by “In Search”, “Insight”, “Mirage”, “Visions”, “Kahkashan”and a few others. Jagjit also collaborated with Lata Mangeshkar for the album “Sajda”.
Apart from his many independent albums, he also sang and composed for Hindi films. His compositions for the films “Premgeet” (1981) and “Arth” (1982) and his singing in the Kuldip Singh composed “Saath Saath” (1982) have a big following even to this day. His compositions for the TV serial “Mirza Ghalib” was very popular.
In 2003, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan.
Jagjit Singh developed several health related problems in the late 2000s and died of brain haemorrhage on Oct 10, 2011.