Ishmeet Singh Sodhi (September 2, 1988 – July 29, 2008) was the winner of Amul STAR Voice of India 2007. Hailing from Ludhiana (model town), Punjab, India, Ishmeet had won the Star Plus show in 2007. He also participated in another Reality Show called Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar. Ishmeet’s first album was a religious Gurbani album called Satgur Tumre Kaaj Savaare. Tragically, Ishmeet drowned in Maldives on July 29, 2008.
Ishmeet Singh – Education and Early Career
Ishmeet received his schooling from Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana. He was a second year student of the MNC College in Mumbai, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. During his second reality show competition attempt, he had promised his mother to study up to C.A. level.
Ishmeet received training in singing kirtan from Principal Sukhwant Singh, of Gur Shabad Sangeet Academy, Jawaddi Taksaal, Ludhiana and from his dear uncle Dr. Charan Kamal Singh (Professor – Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana)who whole heartedly supported him during the Star Plus competition “Amul Star Voice of India”. He had learned how to sing, but was not trained to sing classical Indian music. This was evident and criticised during the Star Voice of India contest.
Star Voice of India
Ishmeet Singh entered the Star Voice of India contest at age 17, making him one of the youngest competitors on the show. He spent his 18th birthday with his friends, during the show. He was among the top two finalists on Amul STAR Voice of India and was crowned the winner on November 24, 2007. He was given the winner’s trophy by singer Lata Mangeshkar.He was also one of the contestants of Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar, a singing reality show on Star Plus, and represented the Champions’ team. He was eliminated on June 20, 2008.
His style of singing was very similar to Bollywood singer Shaan. Shaan even said that when they were singing together, he could not tell which lines he was singing himself.
Although Ishmeet was from the state of Punjab, his voice was well suited for Hindi songs, and he had made a conscious effort to sing more Hindi songs.
List of songs sung by Ishmeet Singh
Mujhe Raat Din audition stage
Bheege Honth Tere originally sung by Kunal Ganjawala
Toone Mujhe Pehchaana Nahin originally sung by Shaan
Chal Pyaar Karegi originally sung by Sonu Nigam
Dard E Dil originally sung by Mohammad Rafi
Deewana originally sung by Sonu Nigam
Dil Keh Raha Hai originally sung by Kunal Ganjawala
Gustakh Dil originally sung by Sonu Nigam
Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaae originally sung by Kumar Sanu
Jab Se Tere Naina originally sung by Shaan
Jab Se Tum Mile Ho originally sung by Shaan
Kal Ho Na Ho originally sung by Sonu Nigam
Kisna originally sung by Sukhwinder Singh
Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe originally sung by Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan and KK
Main Hoon Na originally sung by Sonu Nigam
Main Shayar To Nahin originally sung by Shailendra Singh
Masha Allah originally sung by Kunal Ganjawala
Mauja Hi Mauja originally sung by Mika Singh
Meri Duniya Hai Tujhmein Kahin originally sung by Sonu Nigam
Mere Maa De Hathan Diyan Pakiyan Rotiyan originally sung by Malkit Singh
Na Ja Kahin originally sung by Mohammad Rafi
Pehla Nasha originally sung by Udit Narayan
Rama Re originally sung by Shaan
Saawariya originally sung by Shail Hada
Sitaron Ki Mehfil originally sung by Kumar Sanu
Tumse Milke Dil originally sung by Sonu Nigam
Yeh Hawaaein originally sung by Shaan
Ishmeet was praised for his choice of songs throughout the contest, especially by Lalit Pandit in the final episodes of the show.
Ishmeet Singh – First Professional Music Album
Ishmeet had promised his community that he would release a religious Sikhi album as his first, regardless of his position in the Voice of India contest. He released an album with the music label BIG Music, titled ‘Satguru Tumre Kaaj Savaare’. The album contains six tracks:
Satguru Tumre Kaaj Savaare
Mera Maat Pita
Mitar Pyare Nu
Naam Japat Dukh Jaae
First Playback for Punjabi Movie – Sat Sri Akal
He sang a Sikh religious hymn for a charity Punjabi film, Sat Sri Akal. The track is titled Dithe Sabhe Thanv. His voice was described as sounding very similar to Sonu Nigam’s. During the music launch of Sat Sri Akal, Jagjit Singh spoke about Ishmeet. “He was an excellent singer. He had got everything in his early age. In Sat Sri Akal, he has sung the shabad beautifully.”
Ishmeet was set to release his new music album, in which Lalit Pandit, part of the Jatin-Lalit duo, was the composer. Jatin Pandit revealed that he will try to get this album released.
Ishmeet worked with Salim-Suleiman to produce a song called ‘Shukriya’. Ishmeet promoted this single with live performances.
Ishmeet toured Hong Kong, Bangkok and Malaysia, and sung in concerts with members of the Voice of India competition. He put time aside to sing kirtan, or hymns, in gurdwaras. His last performance in a gurdwara was alongside a well-known singer amongst the sikhs, Veer Manpreet Singh.
Ishmeet’s Participation in Second Reality Show - Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar
After releasing his initial religious album, Ishmeet joined a show titled Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar, which would pit champions of Indian musical reality shows against each other.
List of songs sung – Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar (Ishmeet Singh)
Jashan-E-Bahaara originally sung by Javed Ali in the film Jodha Akbar
Bulla Ki Jaana originally sung by Rabbi Shergill
Gulabi Aankhen originally sung by Mohammad Rafi
Mera Dil originally sung by Shaan in the film Salaam-E-Ishq
Tumse Hi originally sung by Mohit Chauhan in Jab We Met
Tenu Leke originally sung by Sonu Nigam in Salaam-E-Ishq
Suno Na originally sung by Shaan in Jhankaar Beats
Soni De Nakhre from the film Partner
Un Ke Nashe Mein originally sung by Sukhwinder Singh in the film Shootout at Lokhandwala
Bheegi Bheegi originally sung by Adnan Sami
Ishmeet Singh – Death
In July 2008, Ishmeet went on a visit to the Maldives with fellow Star Voice of India contestants Sumitra and Vyom for a concert that was to be held on August 1, 2008. He was drowned on July 29, 2008 in the hotel’s swimming pool. Ishmeet Singh was staying at the Chaaya Island Dhonveli resort in Male.
Ishmeet’s Death – Suspected manslaughter
Many believe that there might be a possible manslaughter as his accomplices watched him drown, or the failure of an event management company to “manage” the event. The family have demanded a probe. The final post-mortem report will not be released before the viscera results are received. The Punjab government has ordered a police probe.
Webnewswire conducted an in-depth investigation on his death and suggested that there was foul play. They have published a story entitled “Was Ishmeet Singh murdered?”, which raised several questions. These include: The Organiser, Post-mortom Report, Lack of witnesses, and Recent accidents.
Ishmeet’s family suspect that he was murdered, and have listed their reasons on the Ishmeet Singh Foundation website. His father, Gurpinder Singh, and uncle, Charan Kamal Singh, recently paid a three-day visit to the Maldives to try and find more into the “unexplained” head injuries found on Ishmeet. His family members had earlier said that the post-mortem and forensic laboratory reports stated the reason of his death as drowning, but they are now stressing on the so-far “under noticed” injury marks on Ishmeet’s forehead and temple.
According to a report by ADK Hospital, Maldives, where Ishmeet was taken after his death, a linear cut on the forehead was recorded. The post-mortem report in India also mentions a blood clot, “hematoma”, under the skin behind the right eye and bloody froth in the nostrils and the mouth.
“We have inspected every nook and corner of the resort and the pool from every possible angle,” said Charan Kamal Singh, a pathologist in Ludhiana. “The pool has no pointed surface that could lead to such an external injury,” the uncle stressed. “His injuries show inflammatory change. Inflammatory alterations cannot take place after a person’s death and nor in a swimming pool. These injuries could have taken place only when he was outside the pool. Ishmeet was living but unconscious when he was slipped into the pool,” he claimed.
According to The Indian High Commission, Maldives… Narayan Swami, first secretary, Indian high commission in Maldives, was not in the country while Ishmeet’s family visited the Indian high commission there. However, Mr Thomas, the official spokesperson of the high commission told us, “Ishmeet’s father and two uncles had visited Maldives. They met the police authorities and have requested for further enquires about the incident. So, the Indian high commission in Maldives has forwarded the family’s request for further enquiries into the matter to the government of Maldives. The letter has already been forwarded. We are taking appropriate steps now, following Ishmeet’s family’s request.”
Thousands of people, including commoners and celebrities, attended Singh’s journey from his home to the cremation ground on July 31, 2008. Shops in the area closed out of respect for their star.
Ishmeet Singh – Posthumous Events and Albums
BIG Music released two albums in tribute to Ishmeet Singh, both of which contain songs that were recorded prior to his death. The first album is entitled Mool Mantar, and contains the first hymn of the Sikh holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib.
The second album, titled We’ll Miss You, contains around six tracks, including the popular song Shukriya.
We’ll Miss You has been released on both CD and DVD, and is distributed worldwide.
Under the ISF banner, Principal Sukhwant Singh and Gurpinder Singh, father of Ishmeet, travelled to Malaysia to spread the message of the foundation. They stayed in the same room at the same hotel (Citrus Hotel) where Ishmeet stayed during his visit to Malaysia. They sang kirtan in Titiwangsa and Petaling Jaya Gurdwara where Ishmeet did the previous year, on the very same stage.