Male singers who made us croon along in 2006

By Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFMimage2006 was a good year both when it came to movies being successful and music across different genres being popular. There were some singers who came up number of hit tracks. On the other hand there were some who just a song apiece to their credit which were good enough to place these singers on a pedestal. In the end, there were some very good popular/critically acclaimed number that were enjoyed by lovers of Hindi music across the globe!

1. Himesh Reshammiya

He was the SINGER OF THE NATION in 2005! And he carried on the good luck and great support from his fans even into 2006. In the way he got as many brickbats as bouquets, as many fan mails as hate emails, as many good press as not-so-good, but the songs sung by him still managed to grace the top of the charts on a regular note. Some of his many big hits like ‘Aashique Ye Meri’ [36 China Town], ‘Zara Jhoom Jhoom’ [Tom Dick and Harry], ‘Ae Meri Zohrajabeen’ [Phir Hera Pheri], ‘Humko Deewana Kar Gaye’ [Humko Deewana Kar Gaye], ‘Aap Ki Khatir’ [Aap Ki Khatir], ‘Ahista Ahista’, ‘Allah Kare’ [Ahista Ahista], ‘Junoon Junoon’ [Rocky- The Rebel] and many more are ample examples of that! Himesh Reshammiya may have put his foot in mouth on an occasion more than one but one hopes that doesn’t deter his focus from delivering another dozen odd mass appealing numbers in the New Year!

2. Sonu Nigam

Quality took over quantity for Sonu Nigam in 2006. Though Himesh Reshammiya was clearly on a roll an entire year with stiff competition from KK, Kunal Ganjawala and Shaan, Sonu Nigam still managed to come up with the title song of ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ which is undoubtedly the best sung song of the year. The pain, anguish and helplessness of a couple in love was brought out so well in the track that it was placed at the beginning of the album in spite of a sad theme. Sonu clearly seemed to excel in sad-n-soft songs in the year gone by as he reserved some of his best work for Anu Malik’s ‘Jaan-E-Mann’. Hear ‘Saud Dard Hai’ and ‘Ajnabi Shehar Hai’ and you would know why!

3. KK

If you can’t make out who is the singer for a particular song, chances are more than 99% that it is going to be KK! A man who has come a long way since his debut years back, he brings with him sheer variety in each of the songs he sings which makes his voice highly unique and different every time it is heard. He is the one who can sing ‘Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai’ [Woh Lamhe] with as much aplomb as ‘Bas Ek Pal’ [Bas Ek Pal]. Also, he seems to be high UP there when it comes to singing for films coming from the Bhatt camp. Isn’t that the reason why ‘Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai’ [Gangster] and ‘Teri Yaadon Mein’ [The Killer] are enjoyed even today when months have passed since they were heard first?

4. Atif Aslam

Just one song in 2006 brings Atif Aslam in the Top-5 singers of the year. In the years before, his ‘Woh Lamhe’ [Zeher] and ‘Aadat’ [Kalyug] had been immensely successful. But the number that made him a household name in the second half of 2006 was ‘Tere Bin’, a song from a small film called ‘Bas Ek Pal’ that went on to do big business when it came to music! A perfect song that deserves 10/10 in all departments, be it rendition, lyrics or music, it catapulted Atif to such a high position in the world of music that everything that he does now would be looked at keenly. Now that’s what one calls after-effects of fame!

5. Zubeen Garg

Unlike Atif Aslam, Zubeen Garg was heard in more than just a solitary song but his ‘Ya Ali’ [Gangster] has been his most critically and commercially acclaimed song of the year! Zubeen has been struggling for years when it comes to Bollywood playback singing but ‘Ya Ali’ has been his ticket to the big league. Watch out for Zubeen as this classically trained singer has a lot more colors to show than just ‘sufi-rock’ rendition!

6. James

Thank you Bhatts. And thank you Anurag Basu and Pritam. Because if not for you all, music lovers may not have got an opportunity to hear the voice of a singer who belonged all the way to Bangladesh. One thought that ‘Bheegi Bheegi’ [Gangster] was the only kind of song that James could sing since he excelled in this painful rock rendition. But lo! Soon came ‘Chal Chale’ [Woh Lamhe] and realization struck that he had so much more to offer. If ‘Bheegi Bheegi’ was plain sorrow, ‘Chal Chale’ was akin to a walk in the clouds!

7. Kailash Kher

When Kailash Kher sung, the nation danced! And together we all said – ‘Chak De Phatte’! The song was such a huge hit that it made everyone aware about a small little film called ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’. Smart strategy applied by UTV to promote the number extensively with a music video woven around it made ‘Chak De Phatte’ a famous song in campus fests, discs, pubs, marriages and other festive processions alike! A winner track!

8. Shafqat Amanat Ali/Shankar Mahadevan

Together they sung ‘Mitwa’ and Shafqat Amanat Ali & Shankar Mahadevan were soon a pair! The two singers brought a kind of variety that was required for this thoughtful sufi/rock/Indian classical fusion number. A superhit track that is gracing numerous year-end compilation albums of 2006, ‘Mitwa’ makes sure that ‘Love Will Find A Way’! Shafqat also had the soulful rendition of ‘Yeh Honsla’ from ‘Dor to his credit which he sung with Salim Merchant that made an interesting theme song for the movie.

9. Shaan

Shaan may have sung a dozen odd good songs this year but the one that stood out was ‘Chand Sifarish’ [Fanaa]. This was the song that made his voice almost unrecognizable as came up with a rendition that was quite different from what one identifies him with. A chartbuster of the year, it may well have introduced Shaan as Aamir Khan’s new voice!

10. Kunal Ganjawala

2006 may not have been an year where Kunal Ganjawala enjoyed a ‘Bheege Honth Tere’ [Murder], but he did have to his credit some beautiful melodies that unfortunately weren’t as successful as they deserved. Otherwise how can one explain a brilliant song like ‘Tumse Yun Milenge’ [Ankahee] going highly unnoticed while ‘Tum Jo Mile’ [Ahista Ahista] forced to abort its way up in the charts due to a premature end of the film at the box office. One hopes Kunal enjoys a much better 2007!

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