AR Rahman Jai Ho Controversy: Sukhwinder Singh on the Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA, Golden Globe winning song

PUBLISHED DATE : 24/Apr/2024

AR Rahman Jai Ho Controversy: Sukhwinder Singh on the Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA, Golden Globe winning song

15 years ago, Tamil music composer AR Rahman put India on the map when he took over the world with his viral hit number Jai Ho. The song, part of an UK production titled Slumdog Millionaire (2009) bagged AR Rahman two Grammys, two Oscars, a BAFTA, a Golden globe among other coveted accolades.


A few days ago, controversial filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma who is no longer active in the mainstream Indian cinema, raked up a storm when he put out a video claiming that the double Academy Award winning Jai Ho, was the work of singer Sukhwinder Singh and not AR Rahman. 


The topic got so out of hand back in India, that Sukhwinder Singh, the playback singer of Jai Ho has now come out and issued a clarification on the same. According to Sukhwinder Singh Ram Gopal Varma is possibly referring to the way Jai Ho came about in the recording studio.  


AR Rahman had originally composed Jai Ho for a Hindi movie titled Yuvvraaj starring Bollywood actor Salman Khan. Film's director Subhash Ghai however did not find the song apt for Yuvvraaj, and asked AR Rahman to come up with a more commercial number. 


After both AR Rahman and Subhash Ghai left the studio, Sukhwinder Singh took it upon himself to record the song anyway, since he was very much impressed with a lyric Gulzar had penned for Jai Ho. With the very limited musicians present at the recording studio, Sukhwinder Singh used the AR Rahman composed track to sing Jai Ho, and gave a copy of the recorded CD to both Gulzar and AR Rahman. 


“I had the music already, and so I told my recordist to put up three microphones and he was surprised. Then I sang Jai Ho in the three different mics. I was literally dancing from one mic to the other when I was singing the song and quickly the recording was done..., I gave a CD of that recording to Gulzar saab and I sent one one to Rahman saab,


This was the song that was almost rejected..I have sung Jai Ho not composed it. No one knows the truth better than me" - Sukhwinder Singh to TOI


Sukhwinder Singh says this was all he did, and a few days later he was contacted by AR Rahman stating that Jai Ho was liked by a 'Hollywood film director' (referring to English filmmaker Danny Boyle), and that the song will be featuring in the Slumdog Millionaire movie. 

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