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Ustad Sultan Khan – From Sarangi to Bollywood Singing!!

Ustad Sultan Khan is the artist whose huge list of fans includes world celebrities such as Prince Charles, George Michael, Goldie Hawn and many others.Ustad also has to his credit, collaboration work with other celebs such as Yehudi Menuhin, George Harrison, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Zakir Hussain, Madonna, and Duran Duran.

Trained only as a Sarangi player, Ustad has lately been acknowledged as a fine singing voice as well. And Ustad says “ It’s all Allah’s blessings on me!"

Ustad Sultan Khan came from Indore Gharana of Sarangi Players - father Ustad Gulab Khan and grandfather Ustad Azim Khan were noted sarangiyas and vocalists of their time. Later in life, Ustad Sultan Khan learnt the sarangi from such legendary names as Pandit Gopal Mishra of Benaras, Ustad Sageeruddin Khan of Calcutta, Ustad Bade Sabri Khan of Ambala, Ustad Shakoor Khan and Haji Ghulam Sabir Khan of Kanpur and the greatest of them all, Pandit Ram Narayan.

Ustad Sultan Khan has received several accolades and awards for his contribution to Indian classical music - two Sangeet Natya Academy Awards, Gold Medal from the Maharashtra government and the 1998 American Academy of Artists Awards, to name a few.

Many wonder about Ustad’s singing – when and how did a sarangi player, who never sang before, turn into an accomplished singer!!! Well, it all bagan with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Sanjay insisted on Ustaad singing the song Albela Saajan Aayo Re. Ustaad tried and the track sounded like a real piece of art -  very well received. This experience made Ustaad realize his own singing talent, although a bit late ( he was 60 then).
He then produced a new album called Piya Basanti with tracks in his and Chitra’s voice. The album became a hit and so did Ustad! Piya Basanti established Ustad as a noted classical singer and Ustad is now hot in the Bollywood market, more for his voice than for his classical instrumental talent! Nowadays, Ustad Sultan Khan is overwhelmed with offers to sing in movies; many a times producers offering blank cheques!! Ustaad, however, wants to be selective and divide his time between his first love Sarangi and the love of his later life Singing!


Listen to some of Ustad’s renditions from films and his latest private albums!

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