Sukhwinder Singh is an Indian singer best known for working as Bollywood playback artist. Singh is famous for singing "Chaiyya Chaiyya" for which he won the Best Male Playback Award at the 1999 Filmfare Awards. The song, which was, from Mani Ratnam's 1998 film Dil Se, was composed by A. R. Rahman, written by Gulzar, and sung in duet with Sapna Awasthi. It was also featured in the musical Bombay Dreams and in remixed arrangements, in the titles and credits segments of Spike Lee's 2006 film, Inside Man.
Singh later gained more international fame for singing "Jai Ho" from the film Slumdog Millionaire, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Sukwinder Singh originally comes from Amritsar, Punjab. He first performed on stage at the age of 8, singing the Lata number "Sa re ga ma pa, pa, pa, ga ma re, ga re mere sang mere saajna", from the 1970 movie Abhinetri. He also released a Punjabi album called Munda Southhall Da with T.
Singh joined Laxmikant-Pyarelal's troupe and quickly became a music arranger, before heading to the south of India to look for work. At this time he did a film called Rakshagan. Sukwinder got his break in the movie Karma, in which he sang a few lines; then he did a Madhuri Dixit film called Khilaaf, in which he sang the hit song "Aa ja Sanam". But the singer himself realised that something was missing in his voice, took a sabbatical and left Mumbai to tour England and America to see, hear and understand the various forms of music. After this broadening of his musical horizons, he returned to Mumbai to kick-start his musical career.
His first effort in Hindi films, Aaja Sanam, went largely unnoticed, even though the music carried the names of Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Then, along came Dil Se. A. R. Rahman used Sukhwinder for "Chaiyya Chaiyya". The other films that followed including Taal, Biwi No. 1, 1947 Earth, Daag, Jaanwar, Dillagi, Moksha, Thakshak, Tere Naam, Apna Sapna Money Money, Shadi Se Pehle, Shabd, Musafir, Chak de India, Om Shanti Om and Black and White- have made him a household name. He has been well received for providing playback singing for Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan in a total of 6 songs. Of these, "Chaiyya Chaiyya" from Dil Se, "Dard-E-Disco" from Om Shanti Om, "Chak De India" from Chak De! India, "Haule Haule" from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and "Marjaani" from Billu all went on to become certified hits.
The combination of Sukhwinder Singh and composer A. R. Rahman has produced many hit songs. The list includes "Chaiyya Chaiyya" from Dil Se, Ramta Jogi", "Ni Main Samajh Gayee" and "Taal Se Taal Mila" from Taal, "Ruth Aa Gayee Re", "Raat Ki Daldal Hain" and "Yeh Jo Zindagi Hain" from Earth, "Jaane Tu Mera Kya Hai" from Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, "Aayo Re Sakhi", "Bhangari Morori" and "Piya Ho" from Water, "Chinnamma Chilakkamma" from Meenaxi, "Thok De Killi" from Raavan, and "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire. He has also recorded a couple of Tamil songs for Rahman: "Thiruvallikkeni Rani" from Udhaya and "Lucky Lucky" from Ratchagan.
Sukhwinder Singh won the Filmfare Best Male Playback Award for the song "Chaiyya Chaiyya" from the movie Dil Se whose music was by A R Rahman and for the song "Haule Haule" from the movie Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi whose music was by Salim Sulaiman. The song "Jai Ho", sung by Singh, composed by A. R. Rahman and written by Gulzar, was nominated a Critics' Choice Award for Best Song and won an Oscar: Academy Award for Best Original Song. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media in 2010.