Bhupinder Singh, the renowned singer with a voice that seemed to be travelling through the aeons, died on Monday in Mumbai. Singh was 82. He is survived by his wife, the singer Mitali Singh, and their son Nihal Singh.

The Indian Express reported that Bhupinder Singh had been admitted with a colon ailment to a hospital in Mumbai 10 days ago. Singh developed Covid-19 during the hospitalisation and passed away on Monday evening, the report stated.

Singh’s voice – heavy in timbre, deep in feeling – was unlike any of his contemporaries. He sang several Hindi film hits while pursuing his passion – the ghazal.

Ek Akela Is Sheher Mein, Gharonda (1977).

According to the couple’s official website, Singh would “pick up poetry from magazines and newspapers, compose them, and sing for his friends in Delhi” as a teenager. Singh later joined All India Radio as a musician. His rendition of Bahadur Shah Zafar’s Lagata Nahin Hai Ji Mera Ujade Dayaar Mein reached the ears of music composer Madan Mohan, the website states.

Madan Mohan offered Singh the song Hoke Majboor Mujhe Usne Bhulaya Hoga in Chetan Anand’s war drama Haqeeqaat in 1964. Singh went on to work with some of Hindi cinema’s most renowned composers, including RD Burman, Naushad, Salil Chowdhury, Jaidev, Khayyam, Rajesh Roshan and Bappi Lahiri.

Among the songs that continue to play on radio stations and waft out of television sets are Do Deewane Sheher Mein, Dil Dhoondta Hai, Rut Jaawan Jawaan, Naam Gum Jayega, Ek Akela Is Shaher Mein, Kisi Nazar Ko Tera Intezaar, Beeti Na Bitai Raina and Baadalon Se. Apart from Hindi films, Singh also sang Rasiya for the Malayalam movie Manju (1983), composed by MB Srinivasan.

Along with his wife, Singh recorded ghazals, composed a bunch of popular albums and performed for the stage. He also played guitar pieces for Burman, including on Dum Maro Dum, Chingari Koi Bhadke and Chura Liya.

Baadalon Se, Satya (1998).

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How Bhupinder Singh blends the ghazal with the guitar