Daler MehndiDaler Singh (born 18 August 1967), better known as Daler Mehndi, is an Indian singer, songwriter, author and record producer. He has helped to make Bhangra popular worldwide, as well as Indian pop music independent of Bollywood music. He is best known for his dance songs, voice, turban and long, flowing robes.
Early lifeMehndi was born in Patna, Bihar. In 1991, he formed his own group. A.J Jaspal of IPCA gave him a professional set up and promoted him. In 1994, Jaspal sent him 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 among two hundred contestants.
Music careerMagnasound signed 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 got him Channel V Awards in six categories. Like his previous albums, Balle Balle went multi-platinum. The same year, Mehndi composed and performed the popular track "Na Na Na Re" for the Bollywood film Mrityudata, where he featured on the big screen with Amitabh Bachchan. The film's Bollywood soundtrack album sold 1.5million units in India.
In 1998, he released "Tunak Tunak Tun", which had a music video produced on a then unprecedented budget of (), equivalent to () adjusted for inflation. The song and video was a success in India, cementing Mehndi's status as India's biggest popstar at the time, before later becoming an international success. The album won the award for Best Indian Pop Album at the 1998 Screen Awards.
In 2000, Mehndi released his album Ek Dana with music label TIPS Music. The album had a mix of genres ranging from Folk, Rock and Pop. 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, Deadmau5 and Mehndi made a remix of Mehndi's 1998 hit "Tunak Tunak Tun" performed by the duo.
On Navratri 2014, 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, Mehndi released his song 'Aaja Mere Twitter Te' to encourage users to visit his Twitter account and Facebook page.
On 6 November 2014, Mehndi released his album 'Best of Gurbani' on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti.
ToursIn 1998, Mehndi was signed by Coca-Cola for product endorsement and was featured in 30 concerts across India. He has performed worldwide including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, 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 a Lamborghini 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, 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.
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, 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, Mehndi was invited to Nigeria for a performance to celebrate Diwali. This was the second time the musician has performed in the country.
ArtistryMehndi is credited for creating a genre called "Rabbabi", a combination of Thumri, Sufi and rock and creating an instrument called "Swar Mandir" that combines influences from the Rabab, Swarmandal and Tanpura. The instrument was crafted by Sanjay Rikhi Ram from Delhi and was launched on 10 February 2012 by the Indian classical music maestro, Bharat Ratna awardee Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Business venturesDaler Mehndi launched his maiden Record Label 'DRecords' in the year 2000. The record label has several artists under its banner including Hussain Baksh and Safri Boys.
Foreign pop cultureMehndi's "Tunak Tunak Tun" has found popularity on the internet as a viral video. The video game company Blizzard Entertainment incorporated the Tunak Tunak Tun dance as a character animation in their multiplayer role playing game World of Warcraft. This dance is also included as an easter egg in the video game Medal of Honor: Allied Assault: Spearhead.
Political careerHe entered in politics by joining BJP on 26 April 2019.
Family lifeMehndi is the brother of singers Mika Singh and Shamsher Singh. 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.
Daler Mehndi Green Drive
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.
Mehndi 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 10 million in Vadodra for the victims of the cyclone in the government aid fund. He took 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 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.