Diljit Dosanjh shines on Jimmy Fallon's show in 'historic moment'

Singer's presence on the show is a continuation of his growing influence in Western markets

Entertainment Desk June 19, 2024

Fans worldwide are celebrating singer Diljit Dosanjh's groundbreaking debut on The Tonight Show, where he was introduced by host Jimmy Fallon as "the biggest Punjabi artist on the planet," as per BBC. Dosanjh captivated the audience with electrifying performances of his hit songs "Born to Shine" and "G.O.A.T.," marking a significant milestone for Punjabi music on an international stage.

The excitement surrounding Dosanjh's appearance had been building since the announcement a week earlier. Anticipation reached a fever pitch when The Tonight Show shared behind-the-scenes videos of the singer teaching Fallon Punjabi phrases. Fallon's attempts at Dosanjh's catchphrase "Punjabi Aa Gaye Oye" brought laughter, particularly from actress Priyanka Chopra, who humorously remarked, "It’s the Oye for me." 

Fallon succeeded more smoothly with the greeting "Sat Sri Akal," delighting viewers. Additionally, Fallon surprised Dosanjh with custom white gloves adorned with the show’s logo, a nod to the singer's signature black gloves worn during performances.

Dosanjh's presence on The Tonight Show is a continuation of his growing influence in Western markets. In 2023, he made history as the first Punjabi language singer to perform at the Coachella festival. His collaborations include working with Sia on "Hass Hass" and joining Ed Sheeran in Mumbai for his Asia tour, where they performed together in Punjabi. During his Tonight Show performance of "G.O.A.T.," Dosanjh altered the lyrics to reference "Hollywood" instead of "Bollywood," pointing at Fallon and earning cheers from the audience. Fallon himself was visibly impressed, exclaiming, "That is how you do it!"

Fans from across the globe hailed Dosanjh’s performance as a "historic moment," praising him for taking Punjabi music to new heights. British Indian singer Jassi Sidhu expressed his joy, stating that Dosanjh has "made Punjabi music mainstream." Another fan commended him for "opening doors for thousands of passionate people around the globe who come from humble backgrounds."

BBC Asian Network presenter Haroon Rashid offered an analysis of Dosanjh’s monumental appearance, emphasizing the singer’s authenticity and connection with fans. Rashid highlighted Dosanjh’s commitment to his identity, noting how he proudly wears traditional Punjabi attire and a turban, which has become a symbol of pride rather than a barrier in the entertainment industry. Dosanjh's journey from being the first turban-wearing man to headline a Bollywood film to selling out venues globally showcases his exceptional talent and charisma.

Dosanjh’s debut on The Tonight Show is more than just a personal achievement; it represents a significant cultural milestone for the South Asian community and Punjabi culture. His unwavering dedication to his roots, combined with his musical prowess and engaging personality, continues to inspire millions and solidify his place as a global icon.

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