In Bollywood, several actor-singer duos have contributed to each other’s success, such as Mukesh for Raj Kapoor, Mohammed Rafi for Dilip Kumar and Mahendra Kapoor for Manoj Kumar. One such pair was Abhijeet Bhattacharya and Shah Rukh Khan. Abhijeet greatly impacted SRK’s cinematic success. However, it is unfortunate that the music mafia elements pushed him to the sidelines and deprived the industry of his melodious voice for a long time.
Overall singing journey
On October 30, 1958, Abhijeet was born into a middle-class Bengali family from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. In 1981, he completed his graduation from Christchurch College, Kanpur. Afterwards, he set off for Bombay (now Mumbai) to pursue his dream of becoming a singer. Initially, his parents were against singing, but he went against their wishes and became a singer. As a budding singer, he considered Kishore Kumar to be his inspiration.
In 1982, he made his Hindi film debut with “Sitam,” a year after finishing his graduation. Initially, his work didn’t receive due recognition and admiration. For nearly a decade, he hardly tasted success.
However, in 1992, two films marked a turning point in his career. He composed songs for the first movie of Akshay Kumar’s popular franchise, “Khiladi.” Later, it was followed by “Ole Ole” from the movie “Yeh Dillagi” in 1994 and the title song of “Main Khiladi Tu Anari.” These songs were such chartbusters that there was no looking back.
Some of the popular songs of the award-winning singer include “Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaoon,” “Gud Naal Ishq Mitha,” and “Tum Se Hi.”
In 1993, his association with Shahrukh Khan started with the well-known film “Darr.” But their chemistry received unprecedented success with the hit song “Zara Sa Jhoom Lu Main” from the 1995 film “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (DDLJ). The remarkable success of his songs made Abhijeet the go-to singer for Shahrukh Khan. He then became the voice of Shah Rukh Khan in almost every film, including “Army,” “Yes Boss,” “Badshah,” and “Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani.” The list is not exhaustive.
According to reports, his singing debacle began in 2004. It is stated that he started feeling disenchanted with SRK as he was not getting due respect and credit from the actor for being a part of his enormous success.
It is said that he felt frustrated that the production team didn’t recognise his contribution and didn’t include his name in the post-credit scene of the film “Main Hoon Na.” His angst escalated further when this was repeated in “Om Shanti Om.”
As a result, he announced that he wouldn’t be singing for Shah Rukh Khan any longer. He last sang for Shah Rukh Khan in the movie Billu Barber for the song Khudaya Khair, which was their last collaboration. However, at his insistence, the song was not filmed with SRK, and a different version of the song was filmed for the film.
In an interview, Abhijeet revealed that he ended his association with Shah Rukh due to his arrogance. He felt that Shah Rukh did not attempt to resolve their misunderstandings, even though he was willing to make compromises with others, such as Shirish Kunder.
Afterwards, he had to face an unannounced blanket boycott from the music industry. For a long time, he was completely cut off from Bollywood and focused on real estate. He returned to the Bengali music industry after a nearly five-year absence.
Viewers are lucky to not miss out on the chance to hear his melodious voice. Evidently, he recently lent his melodious voice to the song “Main Khiladi Tu Anari” in the film along with Udit Narayan, another musical maestro.
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