Music is an art that lives within every individual, regardless of one’s culture, language, race, etc. Similarly, Punjabi music has made a worldwide trend with countless singers and musicians that have contributed to the music industry with their voice and talent, and thus, gained fame in India and across the globe.
If we speak about Punjabi singers in India, perhaps, there are so many iconic artists that have emerged since the twentieth century and through the present time. The origin of Punjabi music is believed to have started with folk and classical music, then entered into creating devotional music, and expanded significantly to pop music in the 1990s and to the well-known Bhangra style with a mix of Hip-Hop genre of today’s music generation.
You’ve probably already heard of some iconic names, such as Bally Sagoo, RDB, Stereo Nation, Apache Indian, Sukhbir, Sukhwinder Singh, Malkit Singh, H-Dhami, Juggy D, Amar Arshi, PBN, Jazzy B, Harbhajan Mann, Bohemia, Aman Hayer, Sidhu Moose Wala, etc. However, many of these famous singers are based outside of India, while their music still touches the hearts of hundreds and thousands of fans throughout the country.
Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the popular names in Punjabi music in India that earned fame and won several hearts for their songs.
Top 20 Punjabi Singers of India
The following is a non-exhaustive list (in alphabetical order) of the top Punjabi singers of India who are or were known for their exceptional talent in music. Some may have retired and a few others are no longer amongst us but are still remembered by their fans.
Please note the below-mentioned list of Punjabi singers includes artists who started and continue to pursue their musical career0s, mostly in India. As for the other popular names of artists who are not based in India, we may need to prepare for you a separate article. Please bear with us if your favorite Punjabi singer isn’t mentioned on this list.
1. Amar Singh Chamkila
Amar Singh Chamkila was a popular Punjabi folk singer, songwriter, and composer hailing from the Dugri village in Ludhiana. His stage name is “Chamkila”. He started his musical career in the 1980s as a songwriter and composer before becoming a singer himself. He would also perform live on stage in his village. His songs were mainly centered on social issues which usually took place in villages, and for which, he also became quite controversial among his people and which finally led to his assassination.
Amar Singh Chamkila has composed numerous classical folk, devotional, and contemporary folk music in the Punjabi language, many of which are also sung by popular artists to this day. His popular songs and compositions include ‘Pehle Lalkare Naal’, ‘Jatt Di Dushmani’, ‘Takue Te Takua’, ‘Mera Jee Karda’, ‘Kaadha Soorma’, and several more.
2. Amrinder Gill
Amrinder Gill is a singer and songwriter in Punjabi pop music hailing from Amritsar. He began his musical career in the 1990s when he got an opportunity to record his first-ever song which was called ‘Sanu Ishq Ho Gaya’ for a TV program show Kala Doria which was aired by Jalandhar Doordarshan in 1999. Following his single track, he went on to release his debut studio album “Apni Jaan Ke” in 2000 and the songs were well-received. When Amrinder Gill released his fourth studio album titled “Dildarian” in 2005, the title song became very popular and he rose to fame.
He worked with several record labels, and music producers and collaborated with other singers throughout his career in Punjabi music. He’s also received awards for his work. In addition to singing Punjabi songs, Amrinder Gill is also widely popular as an actor and film producer in Punjabi-language cinema since 2009. He’s won many awards for his films.
3. Babbu Maan
Babbu Mann is a very popular name in Punjabi folk and pop music in India and across. He began his musical career in 1997 when he recorded his first studio album titled “Sajjan Rumaal De Geya”. He went on to release several more Punjabi albums. He gained huge popularity among the audience for his album song “Saaun Di Jhadi” released in 2001. He’s made more single tracks than albums. He even sang a few songs for Bollywood films, like ‘Crook’, ‘Vaada Raha’, ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangsters’, etc.
Babbu Mann won several music awards for his Punjabi music albums and songs throughout his career. He’s also acted in many Punjabi films from 2008 and continues to perform to this day.
4. Daler Mehndi
Daler Mehndi is a popular singer and songwriter in Punjabi pop music hailing from Patna. In 1995 after releasing his album “Bolo Ta Ra Ra”, he became more popular which immediately shot his musical career to fame. The albums that followed were all well-received and made him very popular. Following the successful release of his Punjabi music albums, Daler Mehndi also sang for many Bollywood films, like the popular song ‘Na Na Na Na Na Re’ from the Hindi film “Mrityudata (1997)”, ‘Kudiyan Shehar Diyan’ for the film “Arjun Pandit (1999)”, and many more.
Daler Mehndi received several awards for his music albums and songs in Punjabi pop music.
5. Diljit Dosanjh
Diljit Dosanjh is another famed singer and songwriter in Punjabi music hailing from Jalandhar. Prior to making his way into the Punjabi music industry, Diljit Dosanjh showed keen interest in music when he started singing religious hymns at local gurdwaras when he moved to another city, Ludhiana. In 2004, he released his first Punjabi music album “Ishq Da Uda Ada” and a second music album “Dil” in the same year. He soon became a very popular singer after releasing his third music album “Smile” in 2005.
Since 2011, Diljit Dosanjh also started appearing in Punjabi films, with the first one being “The Lion of Punjab (2011)”. He’s worked with many popular singers, music producers, and actors/actresses in the Punjabi film industry, and many of his works have got him to fame among his fans in India and across.
6. Gippy Grewal
Gippy Grewal is a popular name in Punjabi music hailing from Ludhiana. He began his musical career in the 2000s when he released his first Punjabi music album “Chakk Ley” in 2002. He released more studio albums and subsequently started gaining attention from the audience with the release of his songs. Most notably, his studio albums “Mele Mittaran De (2004)” and “Phulkari 2 (2005)” made him popular. He’s collaborated with several known music producers and singers and the audience loves his songs.
Gippy Grewal, in addition to singing Punjabi pop songs, also entered the film industry. In 2010, he played a supporting role in the Punjabi film “Mel Karade Rabba”. In the same year, his film “Jihne Mera Dil Luteya” received a good response from the audience, following another hit film, “Mirza – The Untold Story (2012)”. Grewal has also appeared in a few Bollywood films.
7. Gurdas Maan
Gurdas Maan is a popular name in Punjabi folk and pop music hailing from the Giddarbaha town in the Muktsar district of Punjab. He began his musical career in 1980 when he was approached by a producer who offered him to perform the song ‘Dil Da Mamla Hai’ which was to be broadcast on the DD National TV channel. The song became successful and also made Maan rise to popularity. Following the success of his performance, he worked to perform several more hit songs, like ‘Mamla Gadbad Hai’, ‘Chhalla’, ‘Ki Banu Duniya Da’, and many more. He released his first music album “Chakkar” in 1984. He also collaborated with other music producers and singers.
Gurdas Maan worked in Punjabi and Bollywood films as well. In 1984, his first Punjabi film ‘Mamla Gadbad Hai ’was released. Gurdas Maan also acted in various Hindi movies as well. In 1991 his first ever Hindi movie was released, was named “Roohani Taaqat ”. He won several awards for his music as well as for his performance in films.
8. Hans Raj Hans
Hans Raj Hans was a popular Punjabi folk, pop, and Sufi singer in India before turning his career to politics. As a trained singer, Hans Raj Hans started in the areas of Sufi music, devotional, and folk songs. “Jogian De Kanna Vich”, his first-ever studio album was released in 1983 and went on to release several more Punjabi music albums which were mainly based on folk and Sufi music. He started gaining popularity in pop music with his studio album “Chorni” released in 2000. The same year, Hans Raj Hans also performed the song ‘Totte Totte’ alongside singer Shweta Shetty in the Bollywood movie called “Bichhoo (2000)”, which made both the song and the singer popular among the audience.
Hans Raj Hans also released his final studio album in 2017, called “Mundeh Punjabi” and his last appearance in a Bollywood movie called “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (2018)” before he entered into politics.
9. Harrdy Sandhu
Harrdy Sandhu is a popular singer in Punjabi pop and Bhangra music in India. Hailing from Patiala, ‘Harrdy Sandhu’ is the stage name of Hardavinder Singh Sandhu. Surprisingly, Sandhu was an Indian cricketer prior to shifting his career to music due to a physical injury in sports. He started singing and also acting in Punjabi feature films in 2012 and continues to pursue his career to this day.
His first-ever music album wasn’t a major success and did not get a good response from the audience called “This Is Harrdy Sandhu (2012)”, particularly the song called ‘Tequilla Shot’didn’t get-go well, which left him very disappointed. However, his time changed when he met the famous Indian lyricist Jaani and music producer B Praak and he decided to move on with his musical career. His 2013 single ‘Soch’ did become a success, and he went on to make more songs, some of which were well-received by the audience. The song won him three PTC Punjabi Music Awards.
Harrdy Sandhu also performed in a few Bollywood movies, and the song called ‘Ki Kariye Nachna Aaonda Nahi’ in the “Tum Bin II (2016)”.
10. Jasbir Jassi
Jasbir Jassi is another popular singer in Punjabi music and hails from Gurdaspur. Although he began his career in Punjabi films during the 1980s, he also recorded a couple of songs for other albums. In 1993, also got his first music album “Channa Ve Teri Channani” released. But, his popularity rose with his album “Dil Le Gayee” which was released in 1998. The release of the album got the attention of the audience and since then, his following music albums were all hits. He is best remembered for his hit song ‘Dil Le Gayee Kudi Gujarat Di’ from the second album “Kudi Kudi” released in 1999.
Jasbir Jassi released several Punjabi music albums, which were well-received. He also performed in a few Indian films since 2011.
11. Kuldeep Manak
Kuldeep Manak was a notable singer in Punjabi folk music. Being a trained singer, he started his career in 1968, where he worked with other singers and songwriters of that time. He recorded a couple of songs that were well-received, mostly for his high-pitched voice. It was in 1973 that Kuldeep Manak began recording his music albums, with the first album being “Mitran Di Jacket De”. His song ‘Tere Tillon Ton’ released in the 1976 album “Ik Tara” brought him to prominence.
He also sang as well as did acting in Punjabi films which did well and he began getting attention from the audience. Although he’s no longer with us due to his passing in November of 2011, his fans still remember him for his versatile nature in singing Punjabi songs.
12. Labh Janjua
Labh Janjua was among the popular singers of Punjabi folk and contemporary Bhangra music in India and across. Hailing from Ludhiana, he is still remembered for his numerous songs that were well-received by the audience throughout his musical career. He rose to fame with his music in the 1990s, when he sang the hit song ‘Mundian To Bach Ke’ by Panjabi MC. Labh Janjua collaborated with several music producers both in India and abroad and recorded many songs which are still popular among his fans and the audience.
Labh Janjua also performed playback singing for a couple of Bollywood movies, which are “Pyaar Ke Side Effects (2006)”, “Singh is Kinng (2008)”, “Dev.D (2009)”, “Jai Ho (2014)”, “Queen (2014)”, and many more films.
13. Master Saleem
Master Saleem is a notable singer of Punjabi folk and pop music in India. Besides Punjabi music, he‘s also a Sufi singer and does playback singing in Bollywood films. Hailing from Jalandhar, Master Saleem is the stage name of Saleem Shahzada, whose father, Ustad Puran Shah Koti was a famous Sufi singer during his time. It is also said that Saleem’s father trained several Punjabi singers, like Jasbir Jassi, Hans Raj Hans, Sabar Koti, and many more, who are also very popular artists.
Master Saleem’s career in Punjabi music began in the 1990s when he released his first music album just at age ten. He became popular for his songs ‘Dhol Jagiro Da’, ‘Kangna’, ‘Mast Kalandar’, and many more. He also sang a few songs in Hindi films and worked with several notable music producers and singers in his career.
14. Miss Pooja
Miss Pooja is a popular singer in Punjabi music, whose real name is Gurinder Kaur Kainth and hails from Patiala. She is a trained artist and also received a degree in music from the university where she studied. She started her musical journey in the year 2006 with her duet song ‘Jaan Ton Piyari’, followed by releasing her music album “Queen of Duets” in 2007. She went on to release several more Punjabi music albums, many of which made her become popular among her fans. She also collaborated with many notable Punjabi singers and music producers throughout her career.
Miss Pooja also performed in a few Punjabi feature films, which were well-received by the audience and her fans. She received several awards for her music.
15. Preet Harpal
Preet Harpal is a popular singer and songwriter in Punjabi folk and pop music. He started his musical career in the 1990s during which he released his first music album “Hasle Vairne Hasle (1999)” and a couple more albums following that. He became popular for his songs, ‘Att Goriye’ which he sang alongside Hard Kaur, ‘Teriyan Adavaan’ with Apache Indian, and many more.
Aside from making a name in Punjabi music, Preet Harpal has also performed and acted in several Punjabi films. His first Punjabi feature film was “Sirphire (2010)”. He’s worked with several music producers and famous singers both in India and across and released numerous music albums, which are well-received by the audience and his fans.
16. Ranjit Bawa
Ranjit Bawa is a very famous Punjabi singer and he has won many awards for his singing. He is also an actor in Punjabi films. He studied music at a university in Punjab and after completing his degree in music, he began his musical journey in 2015 with his first music album “Mitti Da Bawa”. His song ‘Jatt Di Akal’ from the same album soon became popular and which made him rise to fame in the Punjabi music industry.
Ranjit Bawa released several music albums following the success of his first album. In addition to releasing music albums, Bawa has also performed several single tracks, many of which were in collaboration with other popular Punjabi singers and music producers. He also started acting in Punjabi films, where his first film was “Savann (2017)”. His talent and performance in Punjabi music won him many awards during his career.
17. Sardool Sikander
Sardool Sikander was a popular singer in Punjabi folk and pop music in India. He comes from a family of musicians and instrument players. His musical career started in the year of 1980s when he released his first-ever music album called “Gidha Beat: Bhabiye Gidhe de Wich Nach Lae (1989)”. In that same year, he released three more music albums under different record labels, which were well-received by the audience. He rose to fame during the 1990s and 2000s for his pop singles and he also released several music albums until his passing in February of 2021.
Sardool Sikander also collaborated with several known singers and music producers and released a few albums and singletracks. In addition to singing, he also acted and performed in Punjabi films. His first feature film was “Visakhi (1991)”.
18. Sharry Mann
Sharry Mann is a popular singer in Punjabi music who became widely known for his first music album’s title song ‘Yaar Anmulle (2011)’. Prior to becoming a singer, Sharry Mann, which is also the stage name of Surinder Singh Mann, posted several of his songs on social media platforms which started to gain attention. His first song became a big hit and he went on to release several more music albums, which are well-received by his fans.
Sharry Mann also started acting in Punjabi films. His first-ever film was “Oye Hoye Pyar Ho Gaya and it was released in 2013. He worked on a couple more films, three of which were guest appearances. Mann even received awards for some of his songs that made it to the top charts.
19. Surinder Shinda
Surinder Shinda is a popular singer in Punjabi folk music. Hailing from Ludhiana, he is also known for working with another legendary artist Kuldeep Manak, although now deceased. Surinder Shinda is counted among the legends of Punjabi music and has trained several singers, including his own son. His songs ‘Jatt Jeona Morh’, ‘Balbiro Bhabhi’, ‘Badla Le Layeen Sohneya’, ‘Truck Billiya’, and many more are still loved by his fans and the audience to this day.
Surinder Shinda has recorded several music albums since 1979 and collaborated with a couple of famous music producers and singers for his single tracks, which were also well-received. He also acted in Punjabi feature films as well and his first film was “Putt Jattan Da” it was released in 1983.
20. Surjit Bindrakhia
Surjit Bindrakhia was a popular Punjabi singer whose songs are still remembered by fans to this day, although he’s no longer among us. His musical career in Punjabi folk and Bhangra genres was a breakthrough in the 1990s, which got him to popularity, particularly for his songs ‘Dupatta Tera Sat Rang Da’, ‘Tera Yaar Bolda’, ‘Mukhda Dekh Ke’, ‘Lakh Tunoo Tunoo’, and many more. His songs not only topped the charts in India but in other countries as well.
Besides, singing Punjabi folk songs, Surjit Bindrakhia also performed in many Punjabi films throughout his career and until his passing in November of 2003.
This completes our non-exclusive list of the famous Punjabi singers of India, many of whom a lot of people may not have known about.