Daler Singh, known by his stage name, “Daler Mehndi” (Punjabi: ਦਲੇਰ ਮਹਿੰਦੀ, dalēr mahindī), born 18 August 1967, is an Indian recording artist, musician, song writer, author, record producer, performer and environmentalist. He is credited with making Bhangra popular worldwide, and setting up a parallel non-film music industry to the pre-Daler era’s then existent Bollywood music. An Indian pop icon known for his energetic dance songs, his distinctive power pitched voice,turban and long flowing robes has been cited as an influence by many musicians and the father of the Indian pop industry.
Daler Singh was born in Patna, Bihar on 18 August 1967.He was born into a majhabi sikh family of musicians who had been singing for seven generations. His early influences on music are his parents, who taught him the ragas and Shabad’s from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. At age 11 inspired by the Patiala Gharana style of Indian classical music, he ran away from home in search of the Late Ustad Raahat Ali Khan Sahib of Gorakhpur for lessons. Gave his first stage performance in front of an audience of 20,000 at the age of 13 in Jaunpur where his parents found him standing centre-stage, his shoulders overflowing with garlands of flowers, sandalwood and money. Classical music of the great Indian maestros heard on radio, concerts and cassettes of the legendary Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Nazakat Ali- Salamat Ali, Mehdi Hasan, Parvaiz Mehdi, Chote Ghulam Ali Khan and the Illahi Kirtan Durbars attended all over India provided him with an introduction into the world of gurmat sangeet, thumri, khayal, ghazal. In 1991, he formed his own group composed of his brothers, cousins and musician friends. A.J Jaspal of IPCA gave Daler a professional set up and promoted him. In 1994, A J Jaspal sent Daler to compete at the annual Voice of Asia International Ethnic and Pop Music Contest at Azia Dynasys in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He represented India and was judged second amongst other two hundred contestants.
Song recording for the 2012 Bollywood film Chaalis Chauraasi
Magnasound signed Daler Mehndi for a three album contract for three years. Bolo Ta Ra Ra, Mehndi’s debut album, sold over 20 million copies.The album established Daler as a pop star,which also won him the Channel V’s Best Indian Male Pop Artist Award. A year later, his second album under Magnasound, Dardi Rab Rab, was launched. This album surpassed the sales of Bolo Ta Ra Ra. He was nominated in three categories at Channel V Music awards and won the Channel V Best Indian Male Artist Award.In 1997 he released his third album Balle Balle. This album got him Channel V Awards in six categories.Mehndi composed the popular track “Na Na Na Re” for the Bollywood film Mrityudata where he featured on the big screen with Amitabh Bachchan.
In 2000, Daler released his album Ek Dana with music label TIPS Music. The album had a mix of genres ranging from Folk, Rock andPop. One of the more popular songs of the album Sajan Mere Satrangiya featured the Indian actress Priyanka Chopra in the video.This video was released in the year that Priyanka Chopra won the Miss World title. Subsequently, Daler signed up with Universal Music in 2001 and released a new track “Kala Kauwa Kaat Khayega”. In 2003 Daler forayed into playback singing for films. He started with the song “Ru-Ba-Ru” for the film Maqbool. The same year Daler and A.R Rahman came together to give another track “Nach Le” for Lakeer – Forbidden Lines. He fused Rock with Bhangra with his next album titled Mojaan Laen Do and in 2004 he self produced Shaa Ra Ra.
In March 2014 International EDM sensation Deadmau5 created a frenzy on Twitter expressing his eagerness to have Daler Mehndi perform on his forthcoming show in India at the Sunburn Festival. And the outcome of bonding over social media and on the Coffee Run was an electrifying remix of Mehndi’s ’98 hit Tunak Tunak Tun performed by the duo.
On Navratri 2014, Daler Mehndi composed and recorded his rendition of the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ overnight while working at his studio in Delhi.Daler Mehndi, feeling inspired during the festival of Navratri, composed and record his rendition of the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ in the DM Folk Studio.
In September,2014 Daler Mehndi released his new song Aaja Mere Twitter Te to encourage users to visit his Twitter account and Facebook page.
On 6 November 2014 Daler Mehndi released his album Best of Gurbani on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti.
In 1998, Mehndi was signed by Coca-Cola for product endorsement and was featured in 30 concerts across India.He has performed worldwide including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, UAE, South Africa, East Africa, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Singapore, West Indies, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
On 29 September 2013, Daler performed at the YouFest festival in Spain. He has had an advent with Canadian Electronic Dance Music (EDM) artist Deadmau5 in aLamborghini Murciélago LP670-4 SuperVeloce, Daler featured on his tour in India and together they produced an EDM remixed version of “Tunak Tunak Tun”.
In August 2014, Daler Mehndi was invited as the guest of honour along with U.S Congressman Pete Sessions for the closing bell ceremony at NASDAQ Stock Exchange at New York, after which he performed at the National Indian American Public Policy Institute Azadi Diwas (NIAPPI)celebrations on the occasion of the 65th Independence Day.
Daler Mehndi delivered his first ever performance in Kuwait on 5 September. Welcomed by a packed audience at the Al Daiya Indoor Stadium, he broke his own record for the longest live performance without a break by performing for four and a half hours non-stop.
The concert organised by the Indian Cultural Society (ICS) has been named ‘Bolo Ta Ra Ra Ra’ in honour of Daler Mehndi’s globally popular track by the same name.
On the eve of Guru Nanak Jayanti Daler Mehndi was invited to Ulhas Nagar to perform at the world’s largest Prabhat Pheri.
In November 2014 the singer visited Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh for a performance.
In November 2014 Daler Mehndi was invited to Nigeria for a performance to celebrate Diwali. This was the second time the musician has performed in the country.
Vocal style and instruments
Daler Mehndi is credited for creating a genre called “Rabbabi”, which is a combination of Thumri, Sufi and rock and creating an instrument called “Swar Mandir” which is an instrument that combines influences from the Rabab, Swarmandal and Tanpura. The instrument was crafted by Master Sanjay Rikhi Ram from Delhi and was launched on 10 February 2012 by the Indian classical music maestro, Bharat Ratna awarded Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Daler Mehndi launched his maiden Record Label ‘DRecords’ in the year 2000.The record label has several artists under its banner including Hussain Baksh, Safri Boys and more.
Foreign pop culture
Daler Mehndi has created interest on the internet with his “Tunak Tunak Tun” music video, as various YouTubers have impersonated him. This was taken into consideration by the video game company Blizzard Entertainment who incorporated the tunak tunak dance in their multiplayer role playing game World of Warcraft.
Daler Mehndi is married to Taranpreet Kaur.He has four children – Gurdeep Mehndi, Ajit Kaur Mehndi, Prabhjot Kaur Mehndi and Rabaab Kaur Mehndi. His daughter Ajit Kaur Mehndi is married to Navraj Hans, son of Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans. Gurdeep Mehndi got engaged to his fellow actress from Delhi 1984, Jessica Singh in 2014.
In 1998 Mehndi launched the “Daler Mehndi Green Drive”, inducted in the Special Task Force of the Delhi Government.The drive has planted over 1.2 million saplings in and around Delhi.
He has performed for charity for Imran Khan’s Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust in Pakistan and helped raise $5 million.
Mehndi supports charitable causes such as cancer, thalassemia and AIDS, and has helped to bring up the homeless children of Kenya as well as famine-stricken families in Kalahandi in Orissa, India.He financially supported the families of Kargil martyrs by donating to the Indian government’s Kargil Victims’ Relief Fund.
Mehndi was one of the first celebrities to go and visit the soldiers at Kargil.Mehndi has constructed earthquake resistant houses for the Gujarat earthquake victims; he donated money and performed to raise money for Gujarat cyclone and quake victims, and for police welfare funds. He has donated rupees 10 million in Vadodra for the victims of the cyclone in the government aid fund. He has taken upon himself the reconstruction of a block devastated in the Gujarat quake in Doodhiya village.
Mehndi has set up a Daler Mehndi Food for Life Society in Chander Vihar, Delhi, where a 24-hour kitchen provides food to the destitute and the underprivileged. Mehndi has constructed a Gurudwara Dukh Bhanjani Sahib where every morning people from all castes and religions join together and offer service in the name of god. Mehndi is the only known Indian artist to be invited by the President of Pakistan as a state guest. He gifted his album Bismillah to the President Zardari of Pakistan and the funds generated from its sale were given to the President’s charitable fund.
Mehndi took part in the international initiative for ALS awareness with the Ice Bucket Challenge. He was nominated by a young girl named Arya on Facebook.
Mehndi voiced his protest against International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) controversial ruling on the use of turbans while playing. The singer made a video to raise awareness about the issue and to have the policy changed.
In 2013, Mahendi was appointed as the brand ambassador of NIAPPI Business Council by Shalabh Kumar.
Mrityudatta – Na Na Na Na Na Re, 1997
Arjun Pandit – Kudiyan Shehar Diyan, 1999
Khauff – Ankh Ladti Hai, 2000
Maqbool – Ru Ba Ru, 2003
Chupke Se – Kajrare Kajrare Naino Wale, 2003
Bullet Ek Dhmaka – Ishq Aasaan Hai, 2003
Lakeer – Nach Le, 2003
Wajah – Agar Zindagi Se, 2004
Ramji London Waley – Bhool Na Jaying, 2005
Rang De Basanti – Rang De Basanti, 2006
Shadi Se Pehle – Tuteya Ve Tuteya, 2006
Chodo Na Yaar – Talwar Re, 2007
Hanuman Returns – Aasma Ko Chukar, 2007
Goal – Halla Bol, 2007
Just Married – Doha, 2007
Kafila – Hum Raks, 2007
No Smoking – Kash Laga, 2007
Yamadonga – Rabbaru Gajulu Rabbaru Gajulu, 2007
Singh Is King – Bhootni Ke, 2008
Ghatothkach – Maya Bazaar, 2008
Sunday – Loot Liya, 2008
Victory – Balla Utha Chhakka Laga, 2008
Mr. Black Mr. White – Tu Makke Di Roti Meri, 2008
Money Hai To Honey Hai – Rangeeli Raat, 2008
Kuselan – Om Zaarare, 2008
Hello – karle Baby Dance Wance, 2008
Dhoom Dhadaka – Dhoom Dhadaka, 2008
Kissan – Mere Desh Ki Dharti, 2009
Ek Se Bure Do – Ishq Ke Zaat, 2009
Lahore – Musafir, 2010
Dulha Mil Gaya – Dulha Mil Gaya, 2010
Khatta Meetha – Aila Re Aila, 2010
Action Replay – Zor Ka Jhatka, 2010
Yamla Pagla Deewana – Chamki Jawani, 2011
Teen Thay Bhai – Teen Thay Bhai, 2011
Dear Friend Hitler – Hara Shwet Kesariya, 2011
Miley Naa Miley Hum – Katto Gilheri, 2011
Rascal – Tik Tuk, 2011
Love Kiya Aur Lag Gayi – Love Kiya Aur Lag Gayi, 2011
I Am Singh – 2 songs: Dukalaang Praanasi and I Am Singh, 2011
Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi – Haryana Ka Sher, 2012
Srimannarayana – Chalaaki Choopultho, 2012
Joker – Sing Raja, 2012
Chaalis Chauraasi – Badmast, 2012
Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum – Hum Toh Hain Cappucino, 2012
Sarsa – UNRELEASED, 2012
Magadheera – Chapana Chaptu, 2012
Baadshah – Banti Poola Janki, 2013
Commando – Lena Dena, 2013
Sardaar – Ruk Ja Tham Ja, 2013
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – Gurbani, 2013
Besharam – Chal Hand Utha Ke Nach Le, 2013
Namo Boothatma – Paisa Paisa, 2014
Kabab Mein Haddi – Kabab Mein Haddi, 2014
Yoddha – Yoddha, 2014
ABCD 2 – Vande Mataram, 2015
“No1 Bhapa Bhape da rabb rakha”
Bolo Ta Ra Ra – music album, 1995
Dardi Rab Rab – music album, 1996
Ho Jayegi Balle Balle – music album, 1997
Tunak Tunak Tumba – music album, 1998
Ek Dana – music album, 2000
Nabi Buba Nabi – music album, 2001
Nach Ni Shaam Kaure – music album, 2002
Mojaan Laen Do – music album, 2003
Shaa Ra Ra Ra – music album, 2004
Single “Nach le” for Hindi filma and Sadhana Sargam
Karle Baby Dance Wance for Hindi film Hello (2008) with Sunidhi Chauhan
Punch Out!!, played and edited music for Great Tiger’s Exhibition Matches, 2009
Rubberu Gajulu for Telugu film Yamadonga, 2007
Jorsey for Telugu film Magadheera, 2009
Single “Rang De Basanti” for Hindi film Rang De Basanti, 2006
Raula Pai Gaya – music album, 2007
Aasman ko chukar dekha for Hindi film Hanuman Returns, 2007
Bismillah – religious music album 2008
Dhoom Punjabi – IPL Kings XI Punjab theme song, 2008
Eh Lai 100 Rupaiya, 2008
Bhootni ke for Hindi film Singh is Kinng, 2008
Mere Desh Ki Dharti for Hindi film Kissan, 2009
Dulha Mil Gaya for Hindi film Dulha Mil Gaya, 2010
Om Zaarare for Tamil film Kuselan, along with K.S.Chitr
Aila Re Aila for Hindi film Khatta Meetha with Akshay Kumar, 2010
Zor ka Jhatka for Action Replayy
Chamki Jawaani for Yamla Pagla Deewana, 2011
Single “Teen Thay Bhai” for Hindi film Teen Thay Bhai, 2011
I Am Singh for Hindi film I Am Singh, 2011
Dukalaang Praanasi for Hindi film I Am Singh, 2011
Haryana Ka Sher for Hindi film, 2012
Single 300 Saal Guru De Naal Music Album 300 Saal Guru De Naal, 2012
“Daler Mehndi Sai Da Malang” “Pop” (2012)
“Daler Mehndi Maula Sai” “Bhajan” (2012)
“Banthi Poola Janaki” for Telugu film “Baadshah”(2013)
“Gurbani” for Hindi Film “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” (2013)
“Chaupai Sahib Patshahi Dasvin” “Gurbani” (2013)
“Daler Mehndi Soul To Supreme Sufi – Allah Hu” “Sufi” (2013)
“The Ultimate Truth Mool Mantra sung by Daler Mehndi” “Gurbani” (2013)
“Daler Mehndi Namoh Namoh” “Devotional” (2013)
“Bhaag (The Success Anthem) Daler Mehndi” “Pop” (2013)
“Daler Mehndi Soul to Supreme Sufi – Mere Ram” “Devotional” (2013)
“Daler Mehndi – Cricket Nahi Yeh Tamasha Hai” “Pop” (2013)
“Baba Balak Nathji Chants By Daler Mehndi” “Devotional” (2013)
“Stop The Fight” (2014)
“Aaja Mere Twitter Te” (2014)
“Best of Gurbani By Daler Mehndi” “Devotional” (2014)