Sonu Niigaam was born on 30th July 1973 to Mr.Agam Kumar Nigam and Mrs. Shobha Nigam in the city of Faridabad, Haryana. Sonu performed on stage for the very first time at the age of three and a half when he joined his father on stage to sing Late Mohammed Rafi's popular song "Kya Hua Tera Vaada" from the film Hum Kisise Kam Nahin. Then on, he accompanied his father for his various singing assignments. He spent his childhood in Delhi and did his schooling at J.D.Tyler School,Delhi and his graduation from Delhi University. He always gave due importance to academics and was a topper at school. He worked as a child artist for several movies like Pyaara Dushman, Kaamchor, Ustaadi Ustad Ke, Hum se hai Zamaana, Taqdeer and Betaab between 1980 and 1983. In his teenage years, he participated in several music competitions and won them all. During one of these competitions he was judged by the renowned music director of Bollywood, Anu Malik who pronounced him the winner and also gave a word of encouragement to work towards being a playback singer in Bollywood. He moved to Mumbai with his father on 23rd September 1991 to begin his singing career. His initial years in Mumbai proved to be a struggle, and he started by singing covers of Mohammad Rafi songs, mainly for the "Rafi Ki Yaadein" album series. These albums contributed to his label for some time as a "Rafi clone." His first movie song as a playback singer was in the movie, "Janum" (1990), which was never officially released. He got a break as a playback singer in Gulshan Kumar's movie, "Aaja Meri Jaan"(1993). He then sang the song, "Accha Sila Diya", for the album, "Bewafa Sanam" (1995), which went on to become a hit and gave him the recognition as an established playback singer!
Sonu Niigaam and Television
A major breakthrough in Sonu’s career was being offered to host the singing talent hunt Sa Re Ga Ma on Zee TV. The first episode of Sa Re Ga Ma was aired on May 1st 1995. The show exposed him to many stalwarts in the music industry and gave him a huge learning ground. In addition to that, it made him a familiar face in households and the dignity and poise with which he hosted the show was highly appreciated. His next stint as on Television was for Star Plus’s Celebrity Musical Game Show Kisme Kitna Hai Dum in 2002. The show saw him at his humorous best and became a platform for him to showcase his inborn talent of being a great mimic. He then served as a jury member for seasons 1 and 2 of Sony’s reality hunt Indian Idol from 2004-2006 and his impartial judgements and inspirational guidance won hearts. In October 2007, Sonu came back to the sets of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa in a historical moment of sorts, this time as a judge (along with Suresh Wadkar) on the show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs International.
Sonu Niigaam and Radio
Sonu added another profile to his career in 2006 when he became a Star Radio Jockey for Radio City 91.1 FM. He had over 5 million listeners glued to their radios for one hour every week on his show Life Ki Dhun with Sonu Niigaam. The show became a platform for him to share his thoughts, interact with his fans and interview colleagues from the music industry. He even convinced Lata Mangeshkar for a 3 and a half hour long live interview which by itself was an event in the history of the Indian music industry.
Sonu Niigaam the Performer
Stage and Sonu are words which go hand in hand. He has been singing since he was 3 and his energy and zest has only increased with every performance. Sonu has performed not only all over India but almost in every Continent. He has toured America, UK, Europe, South Africa, France, Germany, Pakistan, Dubai, Afghanistan, Africa, Singapore, Bangkok, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kenya, Mauritius, Australia and Egypt. He always performs 'Live' with his band which makes him a class apart. The grandeur of his shows is always compared to star shows as no singer has ever been given such publicity and production value. His shows stretch over 3 and half hours with 2 entries where he alone performs in each segment for over an hour. His excellent rapport with the audience and his energetic acts bowled over the audiences all over the world and the magic continues. Some of his recent memorable and successful tours include the Idea Rocks India Tour in 2006, Simply Sonu Tours in 2006 and 2007 ,The Incredibles tour of North America with Asha Bhonsle, Kunal Ganjawala and Kailash Kher in 2007 and the Rafi Resurrected Tour with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2008. In 2006, he was also invited to Melbourne to perform at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games along with several other eminent personalities. A huge landmark in Sonu’s career was being invited to perform at the prestigious Harvard University in November 2007 on the momentous occasion of the Installation of Dr.Drew Gilpin Faust as Harvard University’s 28th president. Perhaps one could say history had been made. Not just Harvard history, which it certainly was, as the first ever South Asian, or any ethnic performance for that matter, at such a Harvard ceremony. But in a wider context, it was a symbolic moment of the next phase for our music on the world stage - one that will be looked upon often for inspiration. Sonu wholeheartedly accepted the honour of the stage realizing the immense potential the combination of his celebrity and this exalted platform held, in launching Indian music into the next orbit. He took Harvard students as his accompanists - a gesture of foresight that was greatly praised by faculty and administrators, and presented Gandhiji’s favourite Bhajan “Vaishnava Jana To” in his own style, transalating it into English as well.