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From acting with uncle Kishore Kumar to dubbing Elton John’s character in Kingsman: Lesser-known facts about Bappi Lahiri

  • Shaheen Irani

Last Updated: 04.30 AM, Apr 22, 2022

From acting with uncle Kishore Kumar to dubbing Elton John’s character in Kingsman: Lesser-known facts about Bappi Lahiri
Bappi Lahiri, Kishore Kumar in Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi, Bappi Lahiri dubbing for Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Bappi Lahiri was one of the well-known singers Bollywood, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Gujarati film industries had. However, Bappi da was much more than that. Did you know that another legendary singer Kishore Kumar was his maternal uncle? Did you know Bappi da had made his acting debut with him? Did you know that the ‘golden man’ has actually dubbed for Elton John’s character in Kingsman in Hindi? Here are some things you probably did not know about Bappi da but should know…

Bappi Lahiri’s acting debut

Bappi Lahiri had made his acting debut in 1974. He acted opposite his maternal uncles Kishore Kumar and Amit Kumar in a movie called Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi. Of course, the comedy film was a dig at Kishore’s own film Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (released in 1958). Bappi da played the role of Bhopu in the movie which introduced him as an actor.

Composing Jalta Hai Jiya Mera (Kishore Kumar-Asha Bhosle duet) brought him recognition

Bappi da collaborated with Kishore Kumar once again, this time for a superhit song. He composed Jalta Hai Jiya Mera for Sunil Dutt-Asha Parekh’s Zakhmee. The track was crooned by Kishore and Asha Bhosle. The two had already gained recognition for Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi) and Aap Yahan Aaye Kisliye (Kal Aaj Aur Kal) before collaborating on the song.

Real name and family background

Bappi Lahiri’s real name is Alokesh Lahiri. While Kishore Kumar was a hit in Bollywood, Bappi da’s real parents were renowned Bengali singers and music composers. Alokesh was their only child.

Not electronic music, Bappi Lahiri first learnt tabla

Bappi Lahiri started playing table at the mere age of three. Of course, his parents helped him train in the musical instrument but in no time, Bappi da learnt to play the tabla all on his own. Of course, the disco king was later recognized for his disco-electronic music.

The singer contested elections in his hometown

Bappi Lahiri went back to West Bengal to contest for elections. He had joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014 and contested from Srerampur (Lok Sabha constituency). The singer had lost to Kalyan Banerjee of All India Trinamool Congress, which is quite active in West Bengal. That was the beginning and end of Bappi da’s political career.

Thoda Resham Lagta Hai goes indie in 2002

Bappi Lahiri’s Thoda Resham Lagta Hai (originally from Aruna Irani’s 1981 film Jyoti) was one of the first songs to go indie. Back in 2002, the track was adapted by American rhythm and blues singer Truth Hurts (Shari Watson) for her song Addictive. However, since Bappi da was not credited in the song, he sued the label for over USD 500 million (Rs. 37,51,45,00,000). The CD was also barred till he was given credit for the song.

Bappi Lahiri dubs for Hollywood films, croons the Hindi version of songs too

Bappi Lahiri first dubbed in Hindi for Tamaota’s character in Moana which released in 2016. He also composed and sang the Hindi version of Shiny, titled Shona (gold, not darling). A year later, he voiced Elton John’s character in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Zindagi Mera Dance Dance’s fate

One of Bappi Lahiri’s popular tracks, which also define his genre, is Zindagi Mera Dance Dance. The song, which was originally a part of Mithun Chakraborty’s film Dance Dance (1987), was actually scrapped from the film. It was released as a vinyl album and thus, did not gain as much recognition as it might have if it released in the movie. Co-incidentally, years later, the song was re-used for Arjun Rampal’s film Daddy (2017) and became an instant hit.