Exclusive! Sonu Nigam: I want to dedicate the Padma Shri to my mother
The singer, who won the prestigious honour, talks about the win and thanks his gurus, peers and family for their contribution to his journey
Among the 128 recipients of this year’s Padma awards is singer Sonu Nigam, who has earned the Padma Shri for his distinguished service in the field of Art. After making his foray with stage shows in early 1990s, he marked his debut as a playback singer in Hindi films with the song O Aasman Wale Zameen Par Utar Ke Dekh (Aaja Meri Jaan; 1993). He has sung over 5000 songs in various languages, winning one National Award for the title track of Kal Ho Na Ho (2003).
Apart from his film songs, Nigam is known for his music albums like Deewana (1999), Jaan (2000), Chanda Ki Doli (2005) and Rafi Resurrected (2008), among others. In 2013, the 48-year-old achieved another feat when he was ranked the top artiste on the US Billboard Uncharted charts twice.
He marked his debut on television as a host with music reality show Sa Re Ga Ma in 1995. He has also appeared as a judge in a bunch of others shows including Indian Idol.
Sharing his joy after bagging the honour, Nigam says, “January 25 was a rather special day for me and my family. I’m very thankful to the Government of India for thinking of me as a deserving candidate and bestowing me the Padma Shri. My heartfelt thanks to all those who selected me and suggested my name for this prestigious honour,” and adds, “Der aaye durust aaye.”
He shares that he has dedicated the award to his late mother: “I would also like to thank my mother, Shobha Nigam, and my father, Agam Kumar Nigam. In fact, I want to dedicate this award to my mother. Had she been here today, she would have cried a lot.”
Remembering his music gurus, Nigam adds, “I would also take this opportunity to fold my hands before my gurus who have taught me so much. Whatever I know today is because of them and their blessings. Watching and listening to them has been a learning experience for me.” He also thanked his friends and family for their support: “My sincere gratitude to my friends and colleagues who have been a part of my journey, and my family who is my pillar of support.”