Article Hindi

Daler Mehndi turns 50: Five classic film tunes to enjoy

As the Punjabi pop star-turned-playback singer celebrates his 50th birthday on 18 August, we go back to revisit his special songs sung for Hindi cinema.

Sonal Pandya

In 1995, singer Daler Mehndi burst on the Indian music scene with his catchy first private album, Bolo Ta Ra Ra. It wasn’t long before Hindi cinema came calling for the popular Punjabi artiste. From his first composition for Mrityudaata (1997) to his recent hits with Dangal (2016) and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017), the singer has also enjoyed a long two-decade career alongside singing for live shows and managing his own record label. Below are some of his memorable tunes sung in Hindi cinema.

1. ‘Na Na Na Na Na Re’ – Mrityudaata (1997)

Daler Mehndi began playback singing with a special appearance in Mehul Kumar’s Mrityudaata (1997) starring Amitabh Bachchan and Dimple Kapadia. He also shared the stage as himself with Bachchan’s character for the song ‘Na Na Na Na Na Re’. Singer Sudesh Bhonsle sang for Bachchan in the popular duet which was created especially for the film. The music composers of the film were Anand-Milind and the lyrics were composed by Sameer.

2. ‘Kudiyan Shehar Diyan’ – Arjun Pandit (1999)

The ever-smiling Daler continued making special appearances, this time in Rahul Rawail’s Arjun Pandit (1999). The special duet with Alka Yagnik, featured the lead actress, Juhi Chawla, who danced alongside Mehndi. Now, 18 years later, the song has been remixed by Tanishk Bagchi for Shreyas Talpade’s Poster Boys (2017). Coincidentally, Sunny Deol is the star of both films. Mehndi has sung the new version as well with singer Neha Kakkar.

3. ‘Rang De Basanti’ – Rang De Basanti (2006)

One of the top music albums of 2006, Rang De Basanti, composed by AR Rahman, had around nine songs sung by various artistes. The title song, written by Prasoon Joshi and sung by Daler Mehndi and KS Chithra, captured the right feel of the National Award-winning film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Rahman won a number of awards for his compositions including the Filmfare Award for best music direction.

4. Title Song – Mirzya (2016)

Although Daler Mehndi has singing playback for Hindi and regional cinema in the period between 2006 and 2016, none of the songs particularly stood out. Until Mirzya (2016) that is. With music composed by Shankar-Loy-Ehsaan and lyrics written by Gulzar, the music stood out by a mile. The movie didn’t fare well, but its songs stood out, especially the title song for which Daler Mehndi sang lead vocals with Sain Zahoor, Akhtar Chinnal, and the Nooran sisters, Jyoti and Sultana.

5. Title song – Dangal (2016)

Daler Mehndi followed up his stellar singing for Mirzya with the title song of the worldwide blockbuster, Dangal (2016), starring Aamir Khan. Written by Amitabh Bhattacharya and composed by Pritam, the film’s soundtrack was also a winner, just like the film. Like Rang De Basanti (2006), the songs were mostly sung by different artistes. Mehndi also sang for the Hindi version of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017), another worldwide success, with the rousing solo, ‘Jiyo Re Bahubali’.