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News |  02 Jan 2016 10:40 |  By RnMTeam

Adnan Sami gets a New Year gift: Indian citizenship

New Delhi: Renowned singer Adnan Sami who is of Pakistani origin formally received the documents granting him Indian citizenship.

He was presented the documents by Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju in the capital on 1 January.

Sami had been living in India since March 2001 but his visa was not extended by the Canadian authorities after it expired last year. Thereafter, he had requested the centre to legalise his status in the country on humanitarian grounds.

“I am thankful to the Government of India for this precious and beautiful gift and there cannot be a more beautiful day than 1 January to get it,” said Sami.

Born in Britain and hitherto a Canadian citizen, Sami said on twitter: “My profound thanks to Honourable Prime Minister @narendramodi ji for approving my Indian citizenship. A new birth!”

On 26 May 2015, he submitted a request for Indian citizenship to India’s home ministry, when his Pakistani passport expired and was not renewed by Pakistan’s government.

The singer became a sensation in the country with hit songs like ‘Kabhi To Nazar Milao’ and ‘Lift Karaa De’.

He also gained fame and became a role model for the manner in which he reduced weight by over 150 kg when he took a sabbatical around a decade earlier.

When allowed to stay indefinitely in India, Adnan had said last month that India welcomes artistes from all over the world and keeps its doors open for every kind of skill. “Look at the number of nationalities and cultures that co-exist in Bollywood. The Indian government is passionate about supporting artistes from anywhere, and to allow them to pursue their dreams.”

He is proud to have made a home for himself in Mumbai. “India has been my beautiful home for 16 years. I’ve received infinite love from everyone in this country. I love the country and the people and never felt like an outsider.”

Adnan’s German wife Roya – his third marriage - speaks fluent Urdu and Hindi.

Adnan is the first person in musical history to play Indian classical music on the piano in a style he pioneered and created through santoor. A review in US-based Keyboard magazine described him as the fastest keyboard player in the world and called him the keyboard discovery of the nineties. He can play over 35 musical instruments.

Adnan is credited for having sold more than a hundred million albums worldwide. He has some of the best-selling independent albums of all time in south Asia. He has sung and composed innumerable hit songs in Bollywood movies throughout his career.
Adnan was born on 15 August 1973 in London to a Pakistani father and an Indian Kashmiri mother who hailed from Jammu. He was raised in an aristocrat family and educated in the United Kingdom.

Adnan followed his bachelor's degree with a law degree (LLb) and went on to qualify as a barrister from the prestigious Lincoln’s Inn, England.

However, he chose to pursue his passion in music as his profession. He had played the piano since the age of five and composed his first piece of music when he was nine years old. Adnan began taking lessons in Indian classical music from the santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma when visiting India during his school vacations.

Singing legend Asha Bhosle spotted talent in a ten-year-old Adnan at an R D Burman concert in London, and encouraged him to take up music as a career. At the age of sixteen, Adnan was approached to write a song for famine-hit Ethiopia, for which he won a special award from UNICEF.

Adnan’s first single was released in 1986 with an English hit single in west Asia which went straight to the no. 1 position in its first week on the music charts of the region with a song he wrote and recorded in his voice for the United Nations and UNICEF called ‘Run For His Life’. This was followed by three more no. 1s: ‘Talk To Me’, ‘Hot Summer Day’ and ‘You’re My Best Kept Secret’.

His first formal album, ‘The One & Only’ (1989), was an Indian classical album on the piano accompanied by tabla maestro Zakir Hussain. He released his first vocal solo album ‘Raag Time’ in 1991. The song from his album ‘Teri Yaad’ was the title track of his first album, which became a huge hit in Pakistan.

In 1994 he composed music for a film for the first time. The1995 Pakistani film ‘Sargam’ in which Adnan was the lead actor and Asha Bhosle did the playback ‘Sargam’ was a blockbuster. It was also the first time that an Indian playback singer was featured in an album in Pakistan. However, the authorities banned Asha’s voice from the soundtrack in the actual film, which disappointed Adnan. He then had to re-record the songs with Hadiqa Kiyani. Asha’s voice was retained however in the CDs and records.

In 2000, Asha teamed up again with Adnan to release a collection of love songs named ‘Kabhi To Nazar Milao’ in India. The music was also composed by Adnan. The album became an instant blockbuster and had topped the Indipop charts for most of 2001 and 2002. Two songs from the album ‘Kabhi To Nazar Milao’, whose music video featured model Aditi Gowarikar and ‘Lift Karaa De’, whose music video starred the popular Govinda became immensely popular at that time. The song ‘Tu Sirf Mera Mehboob’ from the Hindi film ‘Ajnabee’ sung by Adnan become a rage.

His most successful albums have been ‘Kabhi To Nazar Milao’ (with Asha Bhosle) and ‘Tera Chehra’, and his music videos usually have had a host of Bollywood stars in them, including Namrata Shirodkar (‘Bheegi Bheegi Raat’), Mahima Chaudhry, Raveena Tandon, Rani Mukerji (‘Tera Chehra’), Govinda, Fardeen Khan, Amisha Patel (‘O Meri Jaan’),Bhumika Chawla (‘Maahiya’), Dia Mirza (‘Pal Do Pal’) and the most famous Amitabh Bachchan (‘Kabhi Nahi’).

Since 2003, he has sung for a few Tamil Telugu and Kannada movies.
‘Kisi Din’ was released in 2007, and he sang the soundtrack ‘Dil Kya Kare’ from the Hindi film ‘Salaam-e-Ishq’ and ‘Noor-e-Khuda’ from ‘My Name Is Khan’.

He has composed film music for several other Hindi films, including ‘Lucky: No Time For Love’, ‘Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke’, ‘Dhamaal’, ‘1920’, ‘Chance Pe Dance’, ‘Mumbai Salsa’, ‘Khubsoorat’, ‘Sadiyaan’, ‘Shaurya’ and several others.

Adnan’s performance of a qawwali called ‘Bhar Do Jholi Meri’ from the blockbuster film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ released in July 2015 became a worldwide hit and Adnan appeared in the movie as well. This was the first time Adnan attempted to sing a qawwali at the insistence of actor Salman Khan who starred in the film.

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