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Sonu Nigam rocks South Africa

The Indian playback singer, who perfomed in the country after a gap of four years, left the audience spellbound.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Johannesburg
UPDATED ON APR 07, 2008 06:21 PM IST

He came, he saw, and he conquered...again! Indian playback singer Sonu Nigam ended a three-city tour of South Africa on a high with a capacity crowd clamouring for more at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.

Sonu performed here Sunday. He had played in Durban the previous night and in Cape Town a week earlier. This was his fourth visit to South Africa.

Nigam, who has perfected the art of reinventing himself, appeared on South African stages after an absence of four years.

Whether it is changing his hairstyle or eye colour through contact lenses; forays into acting as a Bollywood hero; or trying to break into the American English music market, (even if the last two attempts failed dismally); Sonu always manages to stay one step ahead of competition, and the latest shows were no exception.

In fact, a large screen video showed clips of these changing styles through photographs from when he was a baby and as his career (and the physical changes!) progressed.

Having mastered the art of playing to crowds through innovative use of sound and visual techniques, rather than formal repetition of the many hit songs he has done for Bollywood films, Sonu did a range of variations on those hit songs and others, including a sampling of his forays into Western and classical music as well.

The songs he has done for Salman Khan and especially Shah Rukh Khan dominated the performance, from Kal Ho Naa Ho to Om Shanti Om.

Female singer Gunjan Singh had two short stints, as did Sonu's father Agam Nigam, singing some golden oldies and a sampling of songs from his two albums of songs on lost love, Bewafaai and Phir Bewafaai.

But despite the presence of Gunjan, which posed a great opportunity to sing some of the many hit duets that Sonu has done, there was not a single duet in the show.

There is absolutely no doubt that Sonu has a unique stage personality that makes him probably the best singing entertainer out of India today, but his dressing sense is not so great - it just does not seem right to sing those memorable hits of the legendary Mohammed Rafi clad in torn jeans and a sleeveless vest!

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