Photo: Bollywood Hungama / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)
Real name: Hirdesh Singh
Born: March 15, 1983
Age: 37 years
Born Place: Hoshiarpur, India
Occupation: Music composer, Singer, Rapper, Pop Artist and Actor
Genres: Bhangra, Indi-pop, R&B, Reggaeton, Rap, Pop
Hirdesh Singh (born 15 March 1983), known by his professional name, Yo Yo Honey Singh or Honey Singh, is an Indian music composer, rapper, pop singer and film actor. He started out as a session and recording artist, and became a bhangra music producer. Later, he got success with his music and started making songs for Bollywood films. Currently, he is one of the most paid artist in the Indian music industry.
Singh was born on 15 March 1983 at Hoshiarpur, Punjab to a Sikh family. His birth name is Hirdesh Singh. He studied music at the Trinity School in the United Kingdom. His family later moved to Delhi.
Singh is married to Shalini Talwar Singh, whom he introduced to audiences for the first time on the television show India’s Raw Star.
In late 2014, Singh disappeared from the music scene, before making a comeback the following year, but mostly avoided the media. In March 2016, he attributed his 18 month long absence from the public to his bipolar disorder.
Singh and Diljit Dosanjh’s song “Lak 28 Kudi Da” reached No. 1 in the BBC Asian Download Charts in May 2011. The song was released as a promotional track for Diljit Dosanjh’s film Lion of Punjab.
Singh received the ETC award for the best sound in 2006 for his song “Glassi”, the PTC award for the Best Folk Pop Award 2009 for “Rebirth”, and the PTC award for Punjab’s Best Music Director 2011.
It has been reported that he was paid the highest fee ever for a Bollywood song (as of 2012) of ₹7 million (US$98,000) for a song in the films Cocktail and Mastan.
Singh topped the chart of trending videos of 2012. He earned two places on YouTube’s list of top 10 trending videos of 2012. His song “Brown Rang” made it to the top spot. “High Heels”, in collaboration with Jaz Dhami, took the fourth spot.
Singh prefers to sing in Hindi and his native language Punjabi rather than English.
The Punjabi album International Villager was released on 11 November 2011. The track “Gabru” from the album, featuring singer J-Star, topped the Asian music charts, including the official BBC Asian charts.
He has performed at many college festivals, including Ansal Institute of Technology and Ramjas College, Delhi.
His debut song in Bollywood films was Shakal Pe Mat Ja, featuring Gagan Sidhu. Singh charged Rs. 7 million for a song in the film Mastan. This was the largest amount paid to a song artist in Bollywood to date, making Singh one of the highest-paid musical artists in Bollywood.
The song “Angreji Beat” from Singh’s album International Villager, featuring Gippy Grewal, was featured in Saif Ali Khan’s film Cocktail.
Singh launched his single “Bring Me Back ft. Spoken Word” at the Video Music Awards India, which aired on MTV India. After the show, his song was premiered on the channel.
In late 2013, he produced songs in the films Chennai Express and Boss. He has also had songs in smaller-budget films such as Mere Dad Ki Maruti, Bajatey Raho and Fugly.
In February 2015 he released the songs “Birthday Bash”, followed by songs in films including Gabbar is Back and Bhaag Johnny. He faced an accident in 2016 and was unavailable for any project, hence giving his opponents to go through, Honey Singh Returned in late 2018 with the song MAKHNA, The song became a major success, also the same year he sung and composed songs for movie Baazaar & Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety.
Singh made his acting debut with Baljit Singh Deo’s Punjabi film Mirza – The Untold Story (2012), performing the role of Deesha, a mad gangster. Despite only being a cameo appearance, the role went on to win Singh the PTC Punjabi Film Award for Best Male Debut. The following year, Singh appeared in another Punjabi film, this time a comedy by Amit Prasher, Tu Mera 22 Main Tera 22, as Rolly, a childish and spoilt brat, alongside Amrinder Gill. This was Singh’s first main role in a film.
Singh then made his debut as an actor in Bollywood cinema with the 2014 musical-thriller film The Xpose, alongside Himesh Reshammiya. The film was released on 16 May 2014, to mixed reviews from critics, though it was a box office flop.
In 2016, Singh starred in the Punjabi action film Zorawar, directed by Vinnil Markan, which is marketed as one of the most expensive Punjabi films to date. The film was critically acclaimed.
- ETC award for the Best Sound in 2006 for song “Glassi”
- PTC award for the Best Folk Pop Award 2009 for album Rebirth
- PTC Punjabi Best Music Director 2010 for song “Desi Daroo”
- PTC Punjabi Best Music Director 2011 for album The Folkstar
- PTC Punjabi Best Music Director 2012 for album I.V. (International Villager)
- BritAsia Best International Act 2012
- UK Asian Music Awards Best International Album 2012 for Album album I.V. (International Villager)
- PTC Punjabi Film Award – Best Music Director 2012 for Mirza – The Untold Story
- PTC Punjabi Film Award – Best Debut (Male) for Mirza – The Untold Story
- MTV VMAI Awards – Best Indie Artist (male) 2013 for song “Brown Rang”
- Power Brands Glam 2013 – Power Brand Award 2013
- MTV EMA Awards – Best India Act 2013 for “Bring me Back”
- 2013 BIG Star Entertainment Awards – Singh was co-winner of Most Entertaining Singer (Male), and “Lungi Dance” was nominated as Most Entertaining Song.
- 2014 Global Indian Music Awards – Singh was nominated for Best Music Arranger, and “Lungi Dance” won for Most Popular Song on Radio.
- Zee Cine Awards 2014 for International Icon Male