Anwar (singer)

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Anwar انور
Birth nameAnwar Hussain
Born (1949-02-01) 1 February 1949 (age 72)
Mumbai, India
Genres playback singing
Years active1979–present

Anwar Hussain (Urdu : انور حُسَین), known more by his first name Anwar, is a playback singer who rose to prominence in the Hindi playback industry because of the uncanny resemblance of his voice with that of singer Mohammed Rafi.


Early years

Anwar was born in Mumbai on 1 February 1949. His father, Ashiq Hussain, was an accomplished sitar and harmonium player and an assistant music director to the musician Ghulam Haider. Anwar is a half-brother of actress Asha Sachdev and the actor Arshad Warsi. Apparently, their father was the same Ashiq Hussain but they were born to differet mothers. The half-siblings never lived together and are in fact estranged from each other.

The young Anwar was classically trained by Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan, along with Mahendra Kapoor, the same teacher who was the preceptor of the legendary playback singer Mahendra Kapoor also. Anwar started singing Mohammad Rafi songs at various concerts. It was during one of those musical shows that Anwar was spotted by the music director Kamal Rajasthani, who gave him a chance to sing for his film Mere Gharib Nawaz .

Singing career

Anwar made his debut as playback singer in the film Mere Gharib Nawaaz (1973) and the music director who gave him this break was Kamaal Rajasthani. Music Director Kamal Rajasthani relates that during the recording sessions of the song "Kasme Hum Apno Jaan Ki" for this film, Mohammed Rafi was so impressed that he described Anwar as the one singer who could take his place after him. Indeed, the rendition of that song shows promise, but the film, flopped very badly at the box office and the songs also did not find traction with the audience.

In 1977, comedian Mehmood and music director Rajesh Roshan hired Anwar to sing for the film Janta Hawaldar . The songs "Teri Aankhon Ki Chahat", and "Humse Ka Bhool Hui", were picturised on famous actor Rajesh Khanna. Both the film and song were superhit; hence Anwar started getting work and recognition. Here onwards, for several years, Anwar was on a roll. He sang duets alongside playback singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Alka Yagnik, under music directors Khayyam, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kalyanji Anandji, Bappi Lahiri, Anu Malik and Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen. In a career span stretching over thirty years, Anwar sang a variety of songs including filmi songs, classical songs and contemporary ghazals, bhajans, qawwali, and Sufi songs.

Recent years

In an interview given to Hindustan Times in November 2007, he cite the rise of Kumar Sanu after the release of Aashiqui as the reason for his moving to the United States, where he gave music lessons and performed live shows to audiences in San Francisco and Los Angeles. [1]

In 2004 Anwar composed an album called Meri Aashiqui Se Pehle broadcast on popular RKB show of Sahara Channel. All the songs in the album were mesmerising so much so that one would sense the magic of Mohammad Rafi and appreciate Anwar's talent.

In 2007 he admitted being in construction business. He stated that he was expecting the release of his latest album Tohfa. [1]

He is not in good terms with his half brother Arshad Warsi and half sister Asha Sachdeva. [2] [3] He was reported by the Mumbai Mirror to be living on a very meager income obtained by singing in a night bar. [2]

Thanks to a 20 November 2010 interview [4] published in the Mumbai Mirror, Anwar got a few offers to sing for few TV shows like Rishton Ke Bhanwar Mein Uljhi Niyati.

Notable songs

Film songs
Other selected hit songs
Selected classical ghazals
Selected contemporary ghazals
Contemporary ghazal albums

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  1. 1 2 "Manmohan Desai threw me out: Anwar". 21 November 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Arshad's half brother in financial mess - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 December 2015.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. "9 Celebs Who Don't See Eye To Eye With Their Families". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 December 2015.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. "Tables turn for Anwar Hussain - Mumbai Mirror -". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 25 December 2015.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)