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Udit Narayan Jha, popularly known as Udit Narayan is a playback singer in commercial Hindi, Nepali, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Assamese, Maithili and Bengali language cinema. Narayan has sung in 26 different languages. He has won three National Film Awards and five Filmfare Awards. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. Udit Narayan Jha has stated that he was born in 1955 in a village called Bhardaha in the Saptari district , Nepal His father was Hare Krishna Jha and his mother was Bhuwaneshwari Devi.
Narayan studied at P.B. School, Rajbiraj, where he passed his S.L.C.( class 10) and later obtained his intermediate from Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus, mostly know as RR campus Kathmandu.
Udit Narayan began his career in Nepal singing for Radio Nepal as a staff artiste for Maithili and Nepali folk songs. He sang many popular nepali folk, modern songs in Radio Nepal. His first filmy playback singing was for Nepali film Sindur.It was a comedy song for famous nepali comedians (Late) GopalRaj Mainali (Chankhe) and Basundhara Bhushal (Nakkali). It was a duet song with Sushmaa Shrestha now known as Poornima in Hindi film Industry.
After eight years in that role, Indian Embassy offered him the chance to study classical music at a prestigious school in Bombay, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan on a music scholarship. He moved to Bombay in 1978.
He got his first break in 1980, when noted music director (composer) Rajesh Roshan asked him to playback for the Hindi film Unees Bees, and was given the opportunity to sing with the veteran Mohammed Rafi. He later provided playback, along with another veteran Lata Mangeshkar for the 1983 hit, Bade Dil Wala for the song, Jeevan Ke Din. After several years of singing unnoticed songs for Hindi films in 1986 he sang the song "Krishna Krishna" for the film Tan Badan for the composers Anand-Milind. The actual success story of his career began in 1988 when Anand-Milind gave him the oppportunity to sing all the songs for the successful Bollywood movie Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, earning him a Filmfare Award. The film also brought actor Aamir Khan, actress Juhi Chawla and playback singer Alka Yagnik to stardom. After the success of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, he became one of the leading playback singers in the Indian film industry.
He has worked with musicians like Rahul Dev Burman, A. R. Rahman, Anand-Milind, Jagjit Singh, Anu Malik, Jatin Lalit, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji, Bappi Lahiri, Vishal Bhardwaj, Nadeem-Shravan, Rajesh Roshan, Shankar Mahadevan, Himesh Reshammiya, Pritam Chakraborty, Vishal-Shekhar, and directors like Yash Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ashutosh Gowariker and Karan Johar. Some of those films include Lagaan, Darr, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Mohabbatein, Devdas, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Swades, and Veer Zaara. Narayan has been hailed as the screen voice of Aamir Khan. He has also sung hit songs for actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Sunny Deol, Akshay Kumar and young Shahid Kapoor. He credits his own success in part to being able to sing for the top actors.
At the same time, he sang in Nepalese movies, and also acted in two Nepali films Kusume Rumal and Pirati. He has worked in Nepalese films as well, in particular for composer Shambhujeet Baskota. During his early singing career, he performed songs composed by Shiva Shankar, Natikaji and Gopal Yonjan. In 2004, he released his first private Nepalese album, Upahaar, in which he also sang duets with his wife Deepa Jha. At the Hits FM Awards in 2004 he won awards in two major categories for the album, Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Some of Narayan's other private albums are Bhajan Sangam, Bhajan Vatika, I love You, Dil Deewana, Yeh Dosti, Love is Life, Jhumka de Jhumka, Sona No Ghadulo, Dhuli Ganga, and Ma Tarini.
He was in the panel of judges of Indian Idol 3 along with music composer Anu Malik and female playback singer Alisha Chinai on Sony TV.
He was in the panel of judges on Sony TV for Waar Pariwaar, a reality show based on the bringing together of a singing gharana (family of singers). He shared judging duties with fellow playback singer Kumar Sanu and Jatin Pandit of the famous music duo Jatin-Lalit.
Narayan has performed in many stage shows in India and abroad and is the recipient of a large number of awards. These include Screen Videocon Award, MTV Best Video Award and Pride of India Gold Award.
In 2009, Narayan was considering running as a candidate for the Padma Shri. In 2010, Udit Narayan with Madhushree sang for the English independent film "When Harry Tries to Marry"