Amit Kumar is an Indian film playback singer, actor, director, and music director. He is the son of the Indian singer and actor Kishore Kumar and the Bengali singer and actress Ruma Guha Thakurta. Like his father, Amit loved singing and from childhood used to sing during Durga Pooja functions in Kolkata. Once when he was performing on stage in a Durga Pooja function arranged by Bengali actor Uttam Kumar, people kept requesting more songs and this information reached his mother. She complained to Kishore Kumar that his son was singing "filmy" songs. Hearing that, Kishore Kumar decided to bring him to Bombay.
Before that, Kishore Kumar had cast Amit as his son in two films that he produced himself, Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein and Door Ka Raahi (with Amit as a teenager). The song "Aa chalke tujhe, mein leke chaloon" was filmed with Kishore Kumar singing to his eleven-year-old son Amit Kumar.
He has sung many Bollywood and regional film songs since the 1970s and was more actively singing in Indian films from 1970 to 1994 as after death of R. D. Burman in 1994, citing lack of good quality music being composed and disappointed with Kishore Kumar clones like Kumar Sanu who had nasal touch and Abhijeet, who did not sing from stomach as per Amit Kumar, he withdrew from playback singing and concentrated on live orchestra shows since 1995 and continues to perform worldwide. In addition to singing in Hindi, has also performed in Bengali, Bhojpuri, Oriya, Assamese, Marathi, and Konkani.
Amit Kumar made his debut as a child singing and acting in his father's movie Door Ka Raahi. He recorded the song "Main ik panchi matwaala re", which was later removed from the film. His duets with Kishore like Haseeno Ke Chakkar Mein from Deewangee in 1976, Nazar Lage Na Saathiyo (Des Pardes) in 1978 and Sun Chache Bol from Badthi Ka Naam Dadhi in 1974 became popular. In the 1976 film Balika Badhu, he sang "Bade Achchhe Lagte Hain" by the composer R.D. Burman, by which he attained national fame. This song was named the 26th most popular film song of 1977 by the radio show Binaca Geetmala. Amit Kumar recorded 170 Hindi songs under R.D.Burman.
In 1978, he sang "Aati rahengi baharein" in Kasme Vaade, for Randhir Kapoor's character. He also did playback singing for Randhir Kapoor in Chor Ke Ghar Chor (1978) and Dhongee.
Amit Kumar sang many notable songs in various films, including Aandhi, Aap Ke Deewane, Khatta Meetha, Gol Maal, Des Pardes, Ganga Ki Saugandh, Deewanagi(1976), Duniya Meri Jeb Mein, Parvarish, Humare Tumhare(1979), and Baton Baton Mein. His duets sung with Lata Mangeshkar from the film Baton Baton Mein - "Uthe sabke kadam" - and "Dekh Mausam Keh Raha Hai" from Duniya Mere Jeb Main and the duet with Asha Bhosle like Dhal Din Kaise from Laal Khoti became famous in this period.
Amit Kumar's duet song with Lata - Ka Janu Main Sajaniya from Hum Paanch in 1980 and his duet with Rafi from Aap Ke Deewane like Ram Kare Allah Kare and Humto Aap Ke Deewane Hai became famous. Then Amit sang all the songs for the 1981 film Love Story, and won a Filmfare Award for the duet "Yaad aa rahi hai" with Lata Mangeshkar. Composer R. D. Burman jokingly told Amit before its release that this song sounds like a "Bhajan". After success of Love Story, Rajesh Khanna asked Amit Kumar to do playback for him in Amit Kumar for the very first time in Fiffty Fiffty (1981) and then later Amit sang for Khanna in Aakhir Kyon? (1985), Ghar Ka Chirag, Jai Shiv Shankar, Swarg (1990) and Sautela Bhai(1996).
In 1980, the actor Feroz Khan produced the film Qurbani, which included the song "Laila o Laila" with Amit Kumar rendering his voice for Amjad Khan. This song was named the 6th most popular film song of 1980 by the radio show Binaca Geetmala. Afghan singer Ahmad Zahir had sung a song called Tanha Shodam Tanha in 1971 and sold it to French brand El Bimbo and released in 1975, but Bappie Lahiri copied this song and made the duet Na Jane Tune Kya Kiya in the film Love In Goa and this song became popular in 1983 but the film was a box-office dud. Though Dhuan (1981), Lovers, Jawani, Jeeva, Apne Apne, Rama O Rama, Khoj in the 80's were disasters at box office, his duet and solo songs from these films are still appreciated. His song Aao Naye Sapne Bune composed by Basudev from Main Qatil Hun in 1984 became famous but the film bombed.The Asha-Amit Kumar duet from Yun Toh Haseen Hazar from Shradhanjali in 1981 became a hit. His duet Hum Jis Raste Pe Chale with Lata and solo numbers Maang Loonga and Mere Geeton from Romance and the Asha-Amit duet Zora Zori Kahe Karte from Woh Jo Hasina, and Duniya Zamana Dekha from Ustadi Ustad Se and Baar Baar Log Mujhe from Khushnaseeb were chartbusters in 1982.Another chart-buster from 1983 from the film Haadsaa were "Yeh Bombay shehar haadsoon ka sheher hai" and the Asha-Amit duets Ek Ladka Ladkise Jab Milta Hai Bandh Kamre Main from the film Love in Goa and Pyare Tere Pyar Mein from Nastik in 1983 but all 3 films flopped at the box-office. His duets "Tu rootha toh main ro doongi sanam" with Asha Bhosle and Gali Gali Dhoonda Tujhe with Lata and solo songs Halla Gulla Maza Hai and Mana Abhi Tu Kamsin from the film Jawani (1984), composed by R. D. Burman were a mega hits. In 1985 the duet Dushman Na Kare from Akhir Kyun was popular and in 1986 it was solo song Mary Tu Hoja Meri from Anokha Rishta and both these two films were box-office hits. His 1986 duet with Asha, "Roz Roz Ankhon", was still popular in 2003 although the film Jeeva bombed. He had solo and duet songs from 1980-89 in hit films like Hum Paanch, Bulundi, Itni Si Baat, Hamari Bahu Alka, Anokha Bandhan, Ustaadi Ustad Se, Bheegi Palkein, Khatron Ke Khiladi, Maalamaal,Ilzaam, Anokha Rishta, Rama O Rama, Jaaydaad, Tridev,ChaalBaaz, Aag Se Khelenge, Dost etc. His songs were a hit irrespective of whether the film was a success at the box office.
In this decade, Amit Kumar sang for almost all music directors, actors. In the 1980s he was the second most preferred male playback singer in Hindi films with his father Kishore Kumar being the first choice to sing for the heroes. Among all music-directors, Amit Kumar as a playback singer was used more by Pancham from 1975-1994 and then by Bappi Lahiri from 1983-1995. He became the voice of Kumar Gaurav the 1980s and their combination gave many hit songs from the films such as Romance (1983), Teri Kasam, Lovers (1983), All Rounder, and Telefilm-Janam. He was also the voice for newcomer Karan Shah in films like Jawani, Anokha Rishta, Apne Apne, Chor Pe Mor and though the songs were popular, Karan Shah's films were flops except for Anokha Rishta and Chor Pe Mor. Amit Kumar was also playback singer for newcomer of 80's Rajan Sippy in Awara Baap but the film bombed. Later in this decade Kumar sang songs for Anil Kapoor, among newcomers of late 1980's, in films including Tezaab, Yudh, Aag Se Khelenge and continued to sing for him in 90's. The duets with Asha - Pehle Pehle Pyar Ki and Yeh Tujhe Kya Hua both from Ilzaam in 1986 and Tere Naina Mere Naina from Aag Se Khelenge and Chotasa Parivaar Hamara from Dost in 1989 became famous in respective years. The Anuradha Pudwal-Amit Kumar duet from Tezaab Kehdo Ke Tum Meri and his solo song Ek Do Teen from same film were part of Binaca Geet Mala annual list in 1988. The song from Tridev filmed with Naseeruddin Shah, "Oye oye- Tirchi topi waaley", was a nationwide hit and again Amit did playback for Naseeruddin Shah in the film Hero Hiralal which was famous as well. His duet Yeh Kismat Hai Kya Kisne Dekha Yahan with Alka Yagnik from Ghar Ka Chirag became popular in 1989. Soon after Kishore Kumar's death, he and his half-brother Sumit Kumar released an album called Dui Kishore as a tribute to their father.
Early 1990s to 2000:
In 1990 the film Hum the song "Sanam mere sanam" of Amit is notable. Baaghi: A Rebel for Love had a smash hit in the song "Kaisa lagta hai". From the film Ghayal the song "Pyaar tum mujhase" was popular. In this decade, he had notable songs in films like Sailaab, Police Public, Aaj Ka Arjun, 100 Days, Awwal Number, ChaalBaaz, Khel, Vishwatma, Honeymoon, Aaj Ka Goonda Raaj, Gurudev, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Judaai and also had hit songs in the films which flopped at the box office like Jawani Zindabad, Afsana Pyar Ka, Indrajeet, Sangdil Sanam, Jaagruti, Deewana Mujhsa Nahin, Suryavanshi.
Amit Kumar enjoyed a special work relationship, in addition to R.D.Burman and Bappi Lahiri, with the music duo Anand-Milind, who heavily promoted Kumar in the early 1990s. Their collaboration includes : Baaghi: A Rebel for Love, Mera Pati Sirf Mera Hain, Maha-Sangram, Swarg, Anjaane Rishtey, Talaashi, Sangdil Sanam and Rakhwala. Anand-Milind were one of the few new-age music composers of that period who regularly recorded with Amit Kumar, making him the voice for Salman Khan in Baaghi, Suryavanshi, Ek Ladka Ek Ladki, Jaagruti, Sangdil Sanam and Anand Milind made Amit voice of Aamir Khan in films like Deewana Mujh Sa Nahin and Jawani Zindabad. Amit Kumar's duets with Asha Bhosle in the film Afsana Pyar Ka, a box office dud, with Bappi Lahiri as music-composer like Nazrein Milin, Tip Tip Baarish were hit songs and were picturised on Aamir Khan. His duets like Palkon Ke Tale, Mujhko Yeh Zindagi Lagti Hai in the flop films Sailaab were hits too. By this he gained reputation of being a singer who belted out hit songs irrespective of the film being a commercial success or critically panned film or otherwise.Amit Kumar also worked with Ram Laxman and songs like the Lata-Amit Kumar duets Main Jis Din Bhoola Doon from Police Public in 1990 and Le Le Dil from 100 days in 1991 became popular. In 1990 Asha-Amit duets like Aur Suno Kya Haal, Baj Uthe Gunghroo from Chor Pe Mor and Asha-Amit duets like Main Khule Aam Khedun and Main Na Jhoot from Indrajeet in 1991 became popular. In 1992 the Lata-Amit Kumar duet Adhi Raat Ko from Parampara composed by Shiv-Hari and Asha-Amit duets like Rimjhim Rimjhim Barse and Jo Aap Aye from Jhooti Shaan were huge hits . Amit delivered more even in 1993 with Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa. The songs "Deewana dil deewana" and "Sachhi yeh kahani hai" became famous.
Amit Kumar also collaborated with another fresh talent from the 1990s, Jatin Lalit, who had Amit Kumar croon numbers in several films such as Paandav(1995), Silsila Hai Pyar Ka, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.... He even worked with Ilayraja for the song Yeh Gulabi Shaam Ka Nasha, a duet with Asha. In 1996, his duet with Asha Bhosle in the film Sapoot - Kajal Kajal Teri Ankhon Ka composed by Anu Malik became popular.
Later in the decade he declined most singing offers citing that the quality of music was deteriorating from 1990's and was also unhappy with the invasion of many other Kishore Kumar clones (whom he openly declared either had nasal touch in their voices like Kumar Sanu and Babul Supriyo or were unlike Kishore not singing from stomach like Abhijeet) and after the death of R. D. Burman in 1994, with whom Amit had a special bonding, Kumar withdrew himself from film industry. Kumar started undertaking more live stage performances in various parts of the world since 1996 and has been doing shows till today. After 1987 Amit Kumar was he most preferred male playback singer till 1994 in Hindi after which Udit Narayan was the first choice playback singer from 1995-2006.
During these years, he also composed and released music albums. Some of these are:
Pyaar toh bas pyaar hai,
Dam dama dam,
In the late 1980s, Kumar rendered his voice to TV serials on Doordarshan such as Chunauti and Campus.,
He also did songs for the television film Janam.,
He sang the title tracks for the Hindi-dubbed version of Disney's animated series Duck Tales and Bob the Builder.,
He was one of the main judges in the May 2008 singing competition reality TV show K for Kishore, where singers tried to recreate the magic of Kishore Kumar's songs on Sony Entertainment Television Asia.,
2000- to Date:
He was the main judge in the singing competition on Zee Bangla TV for the show: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mr/Miss Universe 2010.,
He also sang two songs in Raju Chacha, starring Ajay Devgan, Kajol and Rishi Kapoor - "Dil dil ka yeh kaam hai" and "Kahin se ayi Rani".,
He sang "Tigde Tigde" with Neetha Subhir for Kandahar, starring Mohanlal and Amitabh Bachchan.,
He sang "Dilrubaon Ke Jalwe" in Dulha Mil Gaya,
2006 - His song Dil Main Baji Guitar from Apna Sapna Money Money was huge party hit.,
2012 - His Albums "MAD" and "Oh My Sweetheart" were relaunched and received excellent response.,
2013 - He sang "Naino me sapna" song for Sajid Khan's movie Himmatwala (2013 film) starring Ajay Devgan.,
Not many people know that one of the most popular duet songs of Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, "Kya yehi pyaar hai" from Rocky, the debut film of Sanjay Dutt, composed by R. D. Burman, was initially sung by Amit Kumar in Bengali film.
There are seven songs sung by Amit Kumar in Bengli which his father sang in Hindi separately. All Bengali songs were sung by Amit and their Hindi versions were sung by Kishore. Songs are:
Pran to maane na
Bachna ae haseeno
Kato din aar
Mujhko baas yuhi udaas rahene do
Kya yahi pyaar hai
E paar bhange
Kabhi palkon pe
Ki kore janle tumi
Tum mere zindegi mein
"Yaad Aa Rahi Hai"
Rahul Dev Burman
"Yeh Zameen Gaa Rahi Hai"
Rahul Dev Burman
"Ek Do Teen"
"Kaisa Lagta Hai"
Amit Kumar acted in several films that were directed by and starred his father, notably Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein (1964), Door Ka Raahi (1971), Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi (1974), Shabhash Daddy (1979) and Chalti Ka Naam Zindagi (1982). In 1989 he directed and starred in his father's incomplete film Mamta Ki Chhaon Mein, which he completed and the film was released in 1989.
List of songs recorded by Amit Kumar