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Look out, film music lovers, as versatile singer Sonu Nigam returns to the stage in California, and other favorite spots around the country. The famous singer performs in Long Beach on Friday, August 11.

Nigam was born in Faridabad, Haryana. His family moved to Delhi, where the singer spent most of his formative years. He imbibed his father, Agam Kumar’s passion for music early in life, and began training under him. Young Nigam debuted on the stage at age 3 with a rousing rendition of “kya hua tera vada” and began accompanying his father’s troupe at wedding parties and festivals. He also began competing in music competitions, and having easily won most, was finally barred from participating in them.

Nigam moved to Mumbai with dreams of making it big in the film industry. Life, however, was not smooth for the aspiring singer. To support himself he started taking on bit roles in movies. Many people may not be aware that Nigam acted in films like Kaamchor, Ustadi Ustad Se, Hum Se Hai Zamana, Taqdeer, and Betaab. He recorded his first song for the film Aaja Meri Jaan, courtesy of Usha Khanna, who introduced him to composer Amar Utpal. Eventually, the song got dubbed by S.P. Balasubramaniam. Following other rejections, Nigam was finally approached by Gulshan Kumar, who gave him an opportunity to sing the now famous, “accha sila diya tune mere pyar ka.” The rest, as they say, is history.

The young singer started receiving numerous offers after “accha sila diya” became a hit. Apart from many film and pop album offers, he also got what he considers to be an opportunity of a lifetime: to host the musical show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. The show not only gave him the opportunity to interact with some of India’s top exponents of music but it also made his face a familiar one to audience around the country. Nigam has to his credit more than 200 episodes of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa before he moved on to other ventures.

Today, Nigam has to his credit many hit songs like “fiza” from the movie Fiza, “har ghadi badal rahi hai” from Kal Ho Na Ho, “suraj hua maddham” from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, “piya bole” from Parineeta, “dhoop nikalti hai jahan se,” “koi tumsa nahin” from the latest blockbuster Krrish, and the soul-stirring “tanhayi” from Dil Chahta Hai. Nigam also has several successful albums like Sapnon Ki Baat, Deewana, Kismat, and Sanskaar.

This is an opportunity for anyone who loves Nigam’s voice and music, to listen to him live and hum, sing, or dance along!

—Smita Garg

Saturday, September 2, 7 p.m. $39, $59, $79, $99, VIP, VVIP.

The San Jose Civic Auditorium,
180 W. San Carlos St., San Jose.

(714) 686-5925, 1-800-974-1088.