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Bappi Lahiri birth anniversary: Lesser known facts about the late singer-composer

Known as the ‘Disco King’ of the Indian music industry, Bappi Lahiri bid adieu to this world earlier this year on February 15. The late musician and singer would have turned 70 today. His contributions to the music industry have been etched into our hearts. On the occasion of his birth anniversary, here are some of the lesser-known facts about Bappi Da.

Did you know that Bappi Lahiri held a Guinness World record to his name? The 69-year-old composer made more than 9,000 songs during his time in the industry. And, 1986 happened to be his year. In 1986, Bappi Da sang 180 songs in 33 films which got him in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

In fact, his famous song Jimmy Jimmy Aa Jaa holds the world record for being dubbed in 45 foreign languages. Most recently, the song became the new anthem for people in China to protest Covid lockdowns. Several videos went viral on TikTok and other social media platforms in which Chinese facing the lockdowns are seen using Bappi Da’s track to express their anger and frustration over the country’s stringent zero-COVID policy.

Another lesser-known fact about him is his stint in politics. Bappi Da joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on January 31, 2014, in the presence of Rajnath Singh, the then-national President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha election. He was made a BJP candidate from Srerampur (Lok Sabha constituency) in 2014, however, the musician lost to Kalyan Banerjee of All India Trinamool Congress. 

Born as Alokesh Lahiri on November 27, 1952, in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, he was part of a family with a rich tradition in classical music. His father, Aparesh Lahiri was a famous Bengali singer and his mother, Banshori Lahiri, was a musician-singer who was well-versed in classical music and Shyama Sangeet, a genre of Bengali devotional songs. He was their only child.

At the mere age of three, Bappi Da started to play the table and went on to keep learning different instruments like saxophone and guitar. His maternal uncle, legendary Indian singer Kishore Kumar, along with his parents were a huge part of making music such an indispensable part of his life.

READ | BTS grooving to Pag Ghungroo Baandh in fan-made video is perfect tribute to Bappi Lahiri

After initially being trained by his parents, he received his first opportunity in a Bengali film, Daadu (1972) at the age of 19. The first Hindi film for which he composed music was Nanha Shikari (1973) and his first Hindi composition was Tu Hi Mera Chanda sung by Mukesh.

Another interesting fact about the late musician is that in late 2016, Bappi Da lent his voice to the character of Tamatoa in the Hindi-dubbed version of Disney’s 3D animated fantasy adventure film Moana, in which he also composed and sang Shona, the Hindi version of Shiny. This was his first time dubbing for an animated character.

(With inputs from ANI)

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