‘Even big people do such small things’: When Kailash Kher was replaced in an SRK film without being informed

Kailash Kher revealed he was once replaced by another singer in a Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji film. It taught him to not get too attached to the film industry.

Published on Aug 31, 2023   |  10:47 PM IST  |  123.7K
Kailash Kher
Pic courtesy: Kailash Kher

Key Highlight

  • Kailash Kher was replaced by another singer in the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Chalte Chalte
  • Kher revealed how he wasn't even informed about the decision

You might not be into Indian music, but chances are that you might have fallen in love with Kailash Kher’s song Saiyaan from his album Jhoomo Re, released in 2007. Today, Kher is named among the top singers in India with scores of songs sung and composed by him in more than 20 Indian languages.

Born to a traditional folk singer, the artist’s singing and music style are also influenced by Indian folk music and classical musicians like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, among others. Once struggling to make ends meet, the Choti Si Chiraiya singer became a household name only because of his dedication and hard work.

Kailash Kher was replaced by another singer in Chalte Chalte

One would think that after he stepped into the Indian music industry, he would have been flooded with opportunities. But little do we know that the acclaimed singer was once replaced by another singer in the Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji film Chalte Chalte, back in 2003.

Sharing about the heartbreaking incident, the music composer told Bollywood Thikana, “I was called to sing a song which was written by Javed Akhtar in the Aziz Mirza film Chalte Chalte. I thought if such a big director is calling me, it must not be for nothing. He must be calling me to sing a song. These are big names who are calling. So, I went there and sang a song. Gaana bhi ek dum aise kushti vala (The song was also just like wrestling). It took a lot of effort to sing it.”

Kher came to know about it only after the CD was released

What’s shocking is that Kher wasn’t informed about the change and he got to know about it only after the audio CD was released. Kher lost the song Layi Vi Na Gayi to singer Sukhwinder Singh.

Talking about the setback, he said, “But when the first audio CD of the film came, it didn’t have the name Kailash Kher. It had someone else’s name. That is when I got the first setback. I thought, ‘Bade aadmi bhi choti harkat karte hain (Even big people do such small things).’ They made some other singer sing the song.” This incident proved to be an eye-opener and taught him to not get too attached to the film industry.

Kailash Kher’s work front

After teaching students for a petty sum and singing jingles, Kher got the opportunity to sing his first Bollywood song Rabba Ishq Na Hove for the movie Andaaz. Then came his song Allah Ke Bande from the movie Waisa Bhi Hota Hai-Part II which made him a singing sensation.


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With more than five years of experience in journalism and an MA degree in Mass Communication & Journalism, Loveleen

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