Kuldeep Manak (15 November 1951 – 30 November 2011) was a noted Punjabi singer of Indian Punjab. His high pitched strong voice was unique, and instantly recognisable. He was best known for singing a rare genre of Punjabi music, Kali, also known by its plural form kalian or kaliyan.
Manak was born as Latif Mohammed on 15 November 1951 which was further named as Kuldeep Manak by Sardar Partap Singh Kehron (Punjab Chief Minister). He was born in the village of Jalal in Bathinda district of Indian Punjab.
Manak’s father, Nikka Khan also a singer whereas Manak learned the music under Ustad Khushi Muhammad Qawwal in village Bhuttiwala at Muktsar.
He also acted and sung in few of the Punjabi films like ‘Saidan Jogan’ (1979) with the song, sathon naee majhin chaar hundian, ‘Lambardaarni’ (1980) with yaaran da truck balliye (song), and Balbiro Bhabi (1981) as actor, singer and composer. He also sang a song, “ajj dhee ik raje di”, in the 1983 film Sassi Punnu.
Kuldip Manak’s songs were also featured in the latest movie “Punjab 1984” starring Diljit Dosanjh and Pavan Malhotra as a tribute to him. The main character, Shivjeet, is an avid fan of Kuldip Manak and his songs are played at suspenseful moments of the film.
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