Jagjit Singh was born in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan to Amar Singh Dhiman and Bachan Kaur on February 8, 1941. He was raised as a Sikh by religion and was fondly called Jeet by his family. Born Jagmohan, he was rechristened Jagjit by his father.
He went to Khalsa High School in Sri Ganganagar and then studied science after matriculation at Government College, Sri Ganganagar, going on to graduate in Arts at DAV College, Jalandhar. Singh, thereafter, earned a post-graduate degree in History from Kurukshetra University in Haryana.
In the meanwhile, he started his musical training under Pandit Chaganlal Sharma, studying for two years under him in Ganganagar, and later devoted six years to learn Khayal, Thumri and Dhrupad forms of the Indian Classical pantheon from Ustad Jamaal Khan of the Sainia Gharana.
In 1965, Singh moved to Mumbai in search of better opportunities. During his days of struggle Jagjit Singh stayed as a paying guest and earned money by singing jingles in advertisements.
In 1967, the Ghazal maestro met Chitra, also a singer and after two years of courtship, the couple got married in 1969, soon became a very successful husband-wife singing team.
Producer Suresh Amin was the first to offer him work in his Gujarati film, ‘Dharati Na Chhoru’, but Jagjit Singh rose to popularity when his first private album, ‘The Unforgettables’, hit the stores in 1976.
Later the singer couple came out with many a successful albums like ‘Ecstasies’, ‘A Sound Affair’, ‘Passions’ and ‘Beyond Time’. However, on July 28, 1990, the couple was left grief-stricken when their 21-year-old son died in a road accident. After this incident, Chitra stopped giving public performances but Singh continued to enthrall his listeners with his charming voice.
In 2003, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan, by the Government of India, while in 2006 he was presented the Teacher's Achievement Awards.
Through the course of his career, he released an array of albums and also did playback for Bollywood films. In January 1998, Jagjit Singh suffered a heart attack, which led him to quit smoking. In October 2007, he was hospitalised following blood circulation problems.
The renowned Ghazal singer was admitted to Mumbai’s Lilavati hospital on September 23, 2011 owing to brain hemorrhage, where he was operated upon, but the critical operation wasn’t enough to cheat death. On October 10, 2011, a 70-year-old Singh lost his battle to the fatal illness.