Udit Narayan Jha is one of the most distinguished and popular playback singers in the Hindi Film Industry. He has sung in 26 different languages which include Tamil, Kannada, Oriya, Assamese etc. He was born in 1955 in Bihar. His father was Hare Krishna Jha and his mother was Bhuwaneshwari Jha.
Udit Narayan studied in Rajbiraj where he passed his class 10 and then got his intermediate from Kathmandu. Udit Narayan’s career began in Nepal singing for Radio Nepal as staff artist for Maithili and Nepali folk songs. His first mark in films was for a Nepali film “Sindur” a duet with Sushmaa Shrestha. After about 8 years, he moved to Bombay in 1978 as India Embassy gave him an opportunity to study classical music at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan in Bombay on a scholarship.
Doors opened up for him in 1980 when Music director Rajesh Roshan noticed him and offered him to playback for the Hindi film “Unees Bees” and was given the golden opportunity to sing with Mohammad Rafi. Subsequently, “Jeevan ke din” (Bade Dil Wala) came along for him with Lata Mangeshkar. Then followed “Tan Badan” with Anand Milind. But unfortunately he went unnoticed for a several years. He married Deepa Narayan in 1985 and the two recorded an album together titled “Dil Deewana”. Luckily for him, success came in the form of “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak” for which he sang all the songs earning him a Filmfare award and became one of the leading singers of Bollywood.
There was no looking back for Udit Narayan after the success of “Qayamat se Qayamat Tak”. He worked with all the top music directors from Rahul Dev Burman, Anu Malik, Jagjit Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Pritam, Himesh Reshammiya to name a few and also some of the top directors like Yash Chopra, Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali etc.
He was awarded the Padmashri in 2009. He has received Prabal Gorkha Dakshin Bahu, one of the highest honor given to the civilians traditionally given by the king and now by Nepalese president, by the late king Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. He has also won several awards of best singer for Nepali films and private albums. He has won National Film Award for Best Playback Male Singer for “Mitwa” (Lagaan in 2002),”Jaane Kyon” (Dil Chahta Hai), “Chote Chote Sapne” (Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai in 2003), and “Yeh Taara” (Swades in 2005). He has won the Filmfare award for “Papa Kehte Hai” (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak), “Mehendi Lagake” (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge), and “Pardesi Pardesi” (Raja Hindusthani, “Chand Chupa Badal Mein (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) and “Mitwa” (Lagaan). He has also won the Star Screen, Zee Cine and IIFA Best Male Playback Singer awards. His notable Tamil songs are "Kadhalikum Pennin” (Kadhalan), "Kuluvalilae" (Muthu), "Sahana" (Sivaji).