World famous bhajan singer Narendra Chanchal has passed away on Friday January 22 in Delhi. He was 80. The maestro bhajan singer who took Mata’s Jagrans (night long bhajan chanting) to an all new level, had been ill for a long time and was admitted to hospital in November 2020. He was being treated at Apollo Hospital Delhi where on Friday January 22, he breathed his last at 12:15 p.m. He died of neurological problems the media reported. There are no reports of Chanchal having COVID-19 virus or any related issues.
Chanchal not only made unassailable place in bhajan singing, he gave some remarkable and unparalleled Bollywood songs including ‘Beshak Mandir Masjid’ for the 1973 film ‘Bobby’ which won him the Filmfare Best Male Playback Award. His other song – which remains a masterpiece today was in Hindi Bemisaal – “Yaara O Yaara…”.
Chanchal told Rajya Sabha TV in an interview how – after he got success in Bollywood – thought he would quit bhajan singing and make his career in Bollywood but that was not to be.
“After my (Bobby) song became hit, I thought I would not be singing bhajan… I thought I had become a star. When I came back (at Amritsar) there was a jagran a couple of weeks later and they approached me but I made the excuse that I wasn’t well and had throat issues…”.
“And to my shock, I actually developed throat problems and was unable to sing for more than two months. I learnt my lesson and my inner voice told me what was right for me. From that point on – I concentrated on bhajan singing as I thought that is what Mata wanted me to do…”, he added.
Narender Chanchal was born in a religious Punjabi family in Amritsar on October 16, 1940. His upbringing in a religious atmosphere inspired him to sing bhajans and aartis from an early age. He started in his own mohalla (local area) and used to sing at local religious gatherings to rise to heights which not many can even imagine.
There has been unprecedented outpouring of condolences from politicians, singers, cricketers and stars from the showbiz soon as he news of the bhajan maestro’s death spread on social media. PM Modi was one of the first leaders to condole his death.
Singer Daler Mehndi wrote, “Deeply saddened to learn that iconic and most loved #Narendra Chanchal ji has left us for the heavenly abode. In prayers for his soul to rest in peace. Heartfelt condolences to his family and legions of fans.”
Cricketer Harbhajan Singh tweeted, “Deeply saddened to learn that iconic and most loved #Narendra Chanchal ji has left us for the heavenly abode. In prayers for his soul to rest in peace. Heartfelt condolences to his family”
Actor Ranvir Shorey wrote, “Saddened at the demise of vocalist Sh. Narendra Chanchal, singer of many iconic bhajans & Hindi film songs in history. His unique voice had the ability to pierce straight to a listener’s heart, making every listening experience an emotional & spiritual one. #RIP #respect.”
Singer Jaspreet ‘Jazim’ Sharma wrote on Instagram, “Rest in peace #narendra chanchal Sahab. You will be always alive for your contribution in music. May the departed soul rest in peace.”