Punjab is filled with mustard and sugarcane fields, athletic Sikhs, Gurudwaras, cars with blasting music and when we talk about music, how can we forget the legendary Babbu Maan?
After all, with evergreen songs like ‘Saun Di Jhadi’ and ‘Mitraan Di Chattri’ under his belt, he has written his name in the Punjabi music industry in big, bold letters!
So if you’re interested in knowing more about his legend, continue reading ahead.
To start with, Maan was born in Khant Manpur village in Fatehgarh Sahib District of Punjab with the name Tejinder Singh Maan. He was interested in music since childhood and it is said that his father even threw him out of the house because of his interest!
He did his first stage performance when he was just seven years old, at a school event. He then started writing song lyrics when he was 16 years old.
He had to struggle a lot before releasing his first album ‘Sajjan Rumaal De Gaya’ (1997), which did not fare well. Then he reproduced some songs of the album and released the album ‘Tu Meri Miss India’ in 1999; some of the songs in this album were famous.
Then in 2001, Maan released his third album ‘Saun Di Jhadi’, which was a hit among Punjabi audiences. The album sold more than 10 lakh albums in India itself and got famous overnight with the songs in this album!
Talking about his music career, ‘Mitraan Di Chattri’ is his most viewed song. ‘Chalte Chalte’ film’s song ‘Layi v na gayi’ was written by Babbu Maan. He even got an award for his song ‘Challa’ from the film ‘Crook’.
He has also released religious albums like ‘Singh better than King’. Its song ‘Baba Nanak’, which was about fake fakirs and gurus, faced some controversy too!
Maan won four World Music Awards in 2014, World's Best Indian Male Artist, World's Best Indian Live Act, World's Best Indian Entertainer and World's Best Indian Album for ‘Talaash: In Search Of Soul’.
His album ‘Talaash’ was also featured on Billboard charts. In 2017, he won another two awards at DAF BAMA Music Awards for the Best Punjabi Act and BAMA's Best Male and even performed in Germany!
As an actor, his first work was in the 2003 film, ‘Hawayein’. Directed by Amitoj Maan, the story was based on the aftermath of Mrs. Indira Gandhi's assassination and the nationwide 1984 Anti-Sikh riots. The film was banned in India however it was a great success overseas. Luckily, you can watch the film here:
Did you know that he has done an MA in Urdu, and he is supposedly the first singer to do so!
Not only as a singer or actor, Maan also has stores of clothing and apparel called ‘The Babbu Maan store’ in Chandigarh and all the stuff available there has the tag ‘Made in Punjab’ on it. He also co-owns a production company under the name 'Maan Films Private Limited'.
And the list doesn’t end here, he is also the brand ambassador of 'One Hope, One Chance' a Punjab-based Non-Profit Organisation. His dream project is to build a hospital for poor people and make old age homes at his native place. Additionally, all the profits from his store go for charity at the NGO.
The singer is also popularly known for his humanitarian approach in life. He always keeps his fans on a pedestal. Once in an event, while Babbu Maan was performing in a place filled with his fans. One of his fans who had a Sarangi and Tumbi was trying to get on stage, however, because of the tight security, he couldn’t get up. When Maan saw this, he asked them to let him up.
The fan told Maan that he got his daily bread by singing in buses. He also mentioned that his favorite song was ‘Neendran’ by Maan and that he has even sung the song many times while working. As a reply to this, Maan asked him to sing on stage.
On seeing his dirty clothes and broken slippers, Maan gave his own jacket and shoes to him while wearing his broken slippers himself and completed the show. Not only this, he even took the fan’s address and told him that Maan’s home is always open for him. This shows the amount of respect the singer gives to his own fans!
Not only his fans, but he has also helped upcoming stars, for example, Darshan Lakhewala, whose song ‘Nangpana’ became famous; the reason for this was Babbu Maan. Since he was struggling and his video was being shared on social media, Maan saw the video, shared it on his Facebook page and said ‘Wherever Darshan Lakhewala is, please contact me’. After this, Lakhewala released his album with the help of Maan, which became a hit and launched his music career. He has helped other such artists too.
While working in the media industry, no one can stay away from controversy and even Babbu Maan has had his share of controversies since his career began. One such big issue happened when in an interview, he was asked about Lachchar Gayake (offensive or indecent music), and he said that even legendary singers like Kuldeep Manak have some songs which cannot be heard while sitting with family.
Jazzy B, who considers himself a student of Manak, did not like this comment so there was some conflict between Babbu Maan’s fand and Jazzy B. however, both of them were seen together in Gurdas Maan’s son’s marriage and the issue subsided. He even had a dispute with the famous Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala recently.
All this is fine, but are you aware of the time Babbu Maan went to jail, that too in Philipines!?
So basically, in 2013, when Babbu Maan and his team went to perform in Manila, he was arrested because of a promoter’s slacking off. However, a heart-warming incident took place when he was there. He found his fans in the jail and they had a poster on the wall which had the words ‘ISHQ PURA’ on it. Ishq Pura was the location where he had built the set for his songs, seeing this Maan got extremely emotional.
Now, he has a lot of fans worldwide but the legend is himself a big fan of Mohammad Rafi. Other than that, he also likes to listen to Gurdas Maan, Sukhwinder Singh, Asha Bhosle, Bob Marley and Mohammad Siddique.
For his personal life, Maan idolized his father so much that even the muffler look he wears is because his father used to, and he liked the style. Not only his fashion sense, Maan admired his father so much that he even kept his father’s Maruti car, and once when someone stole the car, he went on Facebook and posted an emotional message which said, “You can take my money to compensate for the car but please return it”.
Maan has worked hard and become such a great personality, recognized by the whole country and Punjabis worldwide. Aside from singing he enjoys horse-riding, reading, shooting and farming as well. Plus, since starting his career in 1998, Babbu Maan has released eleven albums and six compilation albums. He has also written screenplays, acted in and produced many Punjabi films. He has also produced Bollywood film soundtracks.