Rahat Fateh Ali rules Bollywood’s music scene

Published: January 2, 2011
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan made it big with multiple hits in Bollywood. PHOTO:FILE

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan made it big with multiple hits in Bollywood. PHOTO:FILE

While Bollywood films dominate local cinemas, Pakistani singers and musicians continue to make waves in India.

As Atif Aslam and Jal remained major concert attractions across the border, singers like Rahat Fateh Ali and Fuzon’s former frontman Shafqat Amanat Ali ruled Bollywood’s music charts of the year.

2010 offered a wide range of Bollywood songs. While raunchy numbers like “Munni Badnaam Hui” kept the adrenaline pumping, the Sufi track “Sajda” spelt bliss for music lovers.

The most popular songs of 2010: “Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Jee”

It was a melodious beginning to the year with the romantic number from Ishqiya. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sang the song that instantly struck a chord with the listeners.


Once again sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan along with Shankar Mahadevan and Richa Sharma, My Name Is Khan’s Sufi number tugged at one’s heartstrings. The sounds of tablas and dholaks helped the song become a chart buster and stay on top for a long time.

“Aap Ka Kya Hoga (Dhanno)”

The remix was packed into the Housefull album by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Sung by Mika Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan and Sajid Khan, it revisited Amitabh Bachchan’s popular song “Apni To Jaise Taise” from the 1981 superhit Lawaaris. It was a winner all the way and made everyone dance to its funky beat.

“Bin Tere”

The song from I Hate Luv Storys managed to bring out the hidden romantic in all of us. The simple lyrics were rendered by Shafqat Amanat Ali.

“Pee Loon”

The soft love ballad from the crime thriller Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai still occupies air time on most of the radio channels. Pritam Chakroborty’s composition and Mohit Chauhan’s voice have spelt magic for the song. Its Sufi elements add edge to the song.

“Gal Mithi Mithi”

This track is an amazing folk outing by Tochi Raina and is not like any run-of-the-mill Punjabi number. Composed by Amit Trivedi of Dev D fame for Aisha, the fast number instantly made its mark because of the unpredictable orchestration and the fun element woven together intelligently.

“Munni Badnaam Hui”

One of the most popular item numbers of the year, Dabangg’s “Munni Badnaam Hui” was an adaptation of “Larka Badnaam Hua” from an old Lollywood film Mr Charlie. The fast-paced, catchy song with a rustic flavour created sensation in India and abroad.

“Tere Mast Mast Do Nain”

Dabangg gave another hit in “Tere Mast…”. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan crooned the moderately paced romantic track with such expertise that it made people sit up and take notice.

“Zor Ka Jhatka”

Even though the film failed to take off at the box office, this song from Action Replayy flew higher and higher on popularity charts. Sung by Daler Mehndi, Richa Sharma and Master Salim, Pritam’s composition was appreciated for its quirky lyrics and unusual orchestration.

“Sheila Ki Jawaani”

As they say the best is always reserved for the last, this song from Tees Maar Khan appeared almost at the end of the year and was an instant hit thanks to its urban appeal and a raunchy feel. It’s giving competition to “Munni Badnaam Hui” for the best item number crown.

Top ten in 2010

“Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Jee” (Ishqiya)

“Sajda” (My Name is Khan)

“Aap Ka Kya Hoga” (Housefull)

“Bin Tere” (I Hate Luv Storys)

“Pee Loon” (Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai)

“Gal Mithi Mithi” (Aisha)

“Munni Badnaam Hui” (Dabangg)

“Tere Mast Mast Do Nain” (Dabangg)

“Zor Ka Jhatka” (Action Replayy)

“Sheila Ki Jawaani” (Tees Maar Khan)


Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • hameed
    Jan 2, 2011 - 10:59PM

    If its not for bollywood , we wud never have given so much importance to these singers..Rahat spent 40 yrs of his life without much attention from us until he went there and sang..Recommend

  • Sanjay
    Jan 3, 2011 - 7:01AM

    Singers, musicians have no nationalities..!! Pakistan has given wonderful musicians…thanks..!!Recommend

  • Rana Amjad
    Jan 3, 2011 - 9:54AM

    Our talents is only explored in Bollywood! It says a lot about us.Recommend

  • Robin
    Jan 3, 2011 - 10:00AM

    I am Indian. I have never heard of this man. Recommend

  • Asad M
    Jan 3, 2011 - 10:32AM

    40 yrs of life without attention??? FYI, he is just 36. And surely he has not started the singing since the day he was born.
    I don’t agree that these signers were recognized once they went to India. These singers have been greatly acknowledged in the country and worldwide even before, through their music, concerts and Live singing.
    No doubt, Indian industry gives a new dimension to every artist, our youth came to know more about these singers after their bollywood journey but our masses never underestimated these signers. Its about the range and size of the industry, bollywood being one of the largest film industries certainly gives a new identity to every artist there. Recommend

  • Jan 3, 2011 - 11:35AM

    i think its great he is getting to do what he is best at in a country where music is a part of the culture and religion unlike ours where we have no worth for talent…..Recommend

  • Jan 3, 2011 - 12:08PM

    @ Robin:

    Well, hell, that says volumes about your ignorance, doesn’t it? It’d probably be understandable if you don’t listen to Bollywood music at all though. Just like it’d be understandable if a Pakistani with no interest in cricket might say he’d never heard of Sachin Tendulkar.Recommend

  • Chandrakant
    Jan 3, 2011 - 1:40PM

    Dear Pakistan we will love you with our lives if you keep sending such talented people like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in India. Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Jan 3, 2011 - 2:41PM

    These singers were widely acclaimed as top singers even before they went to India.
    Yes, they probably make more money in India because of the billion population…
    But Pakistan gave them the identity and popularity which is why they were accepted in India in the first place… Recommend

  • Dinesh
    Jan 3, 2011 - 4:00PM

    If you have Talent and if you are Hardworking and also, if little bit of luck is on your side then you can make it big here in India. Caste, creed, religion, gender, skin color does not matter :)Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Jan 3, 2011 - 8:49PM

    @ Xill-e-ilahi – Bro, its true that Bollywood is the biggest film industry in India and for Hindi cinema. However, don’t be surprised if I say that Hindi is not spoken by over half of India’s population. India has over a dozen film industries which include Tamil, Kannada, Malayaly, Bhojpuri, Bangla, Punjabi, Oriya etc etc. For your information some of these industries have contemporary artists who are equally or more popular in India and around the world. It is difficult even for me to remember all of them as a north Indian. The music and musicians here are known by their long versatility in Sur, Tal, lyrics, compositions etc. Recommend

  • Robin
    Jan 4, 2011 - 12:33AM

    Who is Rajat Cahn?Recommend

  • Jan 11, 2011 - 2:11PM

    i am a very big fan of rahat fatah ali khan. i like this singer & his singing. i want be a singer like you. my voice is vary good people say so. i like your sargam, oll the songs of rahat fatah ali khan is very good.i like you & love u. i m an indian & u r a pakistani. but i dont beleave this matter.u r lived in my heart.Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:17AM

    pakistan export people like rahat fateh ali khan not people like kasab :PRecommend

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