Indian pop

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Euphoria (an Indian band) perform at the Red Bull SoundClash Concert in Dubai in November 2014

Indian pop music, also known as Indi-pop,[1] refers to pop music produced in India that is independent from filmi soundtracks for Indian cinema, such as the music of Bollywood, which tends to be more popular. Indian pop is closely linked to Bollywood, Kollywood, Tollywood and the Asian Underground scene of the United Kingdom. The variety of South Asian music from different countries are generally known as Desi music.


Pop music originated in the South Asian region with the playback singer Ahmed Rushdi's song ‘Ko Ko Korina’ in 1966[2][3][4] and has since then been adopted in India, Bangladesh, and lately Sri Lanka, and Nepal as a pioneering influence in their respective pop cultures. Following Rushdi's success, Christian bands specialising in jazz started performing at various night clubs and hotel lobbies in various Southeast Asian cities. They would usually sing either famous American jazz hits or cover Rushdi's songs.[5]

Pop music began gaining popularity across the Indian subcontinent in the early 1980s, with Pakistani singers Nazia Hassan and Zohaib, forming a sibling duo whose records, produced by the Indian Biddu, sold as many as 60 million copies.[6] Biddu himself previously had success in the Western world, where he was one of the first successful disco producers in the early 1970s, with hits such as the hugely popular "Kung Fu Fighting" (1974).[7][8][9]

The term Indipop was first used by the British-Indian fusion band Monsoon in their 1981 EP release on Steve Coe's Indipop Records.[10][11] Charanjit Singh's Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat (1982) anticipated the sound of acid house music, years before the genre arose in the Chicago house scene of the late 1980s, using the Roland TR-808 drum machine, TB-303 bass synthesizer, and Jupiter-8 synthesizer.[12][13]

In the late 2000s, Indi-pop music faced increasing competition from filmi music. Major pop singer stopped releasing albums and started singing for movies. Recently, Indian pop has taken an interesting turn with the "remixing" of songs from past Indian movie songs, new beats being added to them.


Best-selling albums[edit]

Rank Year Album Artist(s) Sales Ref
1 1984 Young Tarang Nazia Hassan and Zoheb Hassan 40,000,000 [14][15]
2 1995 Bolo Ta Ra Ra.. Daler Mehndi 20,000,000 [16][17]
3 1995 Billo De Ghar Abrar-ul-Haq 16,000,000 [18][19]
4 1981 Disco Deewane Nazia Hassan and Zoheb Hassan 14,000,000 [20]
5 1998 Mundian To Bach Ke Panjabi MC 10,000,000 [21]
2002 Assan Jana Mall-o Mall Abrar-ul-Haq 10,000,000 [18]
7 1999 Bay Ja Cycle Tay Abrar-ul-Haq 6,500,000 [18]
8 1997 Majajani Abrar-ul-Haq 6,000,000 [18]
Only One Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mahmood Khan 6,000,000 [22]
10 1992 Thanda Thanda Pani Baba Sehgal 5,000,000 [23]
1995 Made in India Alisha Chinai 5,000,000 [24]
12 1997 Tum To Thehre Pardesi Altaf Raja 4,000,000 [25]
13 1993 Tootak Tootak Toothian Malkit Singh 2,500,000 [26]
14 1996 Sunoh Lucky Ali 2,000,000 [27]
1997 Vande Mataram A. R. Rahman (featuring Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) 2,000,000 [28]
1998 Sifar Lucky Ali 2,000,000 [27]
2004 Me Against Myself Jay Sean 2,000,000 [29]
18 2004 Nachan Main Audhay Naal Abrar-ul-Haq 1,800,000 [18]
19 1999 Deewana Sonu Nigam 1,200,000 [30]
Oye Hoye Harbhajan Mann 1,200,000 [31]

Music video streams[edit]

Year Artist(s) Song Language YouTube streams (millions) Ref
2021 Armaan Malik, Eric Nam with KSHMR Echo English 15 [32]
2020 AP Dhillon, Gurinder Gill, Shinda Kahlon Brown Munde Punjabi 229 [33]
S. Thaman, Armaan Malik Butta Bomma Telugu 650 [34]
2019 Yuvan Shankar Raja, Dhanush Rowdy Baby Tamil 1141 [35]
2017 Guru Randhawa Lahore Punjabi 750 [36]
Zack Knight and Jasmin Walia Bom Diggy Punjabi 720 [37][38][39]
Guru Randhawa High Rated Gabru Punjabi 1000 [40]
2014 Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Zaroori Tha Hindi 650 [41]
2015 Yo Yo Honey Singh Dheere Dheere Hindi 450 [36]
2011 Dhanush and Anirudh Ravichander Why This Kolaveri Di Tamil 227 [42][43]


  1. "Channel V and MTV create never-before market for global music". India Today. 15 November 1996.
  2. "Socio-political History of Modern Pop Music in Pakistan". Chowk. Archived from the original on 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
  3. PTI (18 November 2015). "Death Anniversary of Ahmed Rushdi". Duniya News. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  4. "The Express Tribune, Remembering Ahmed Rushdi". 12 April 2010. Archived from the original on 27 April 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  5. Asian Communication Handbook 2008 - Google Books
  6. PTI (18 November 2005). "NRI TV presenter gets Nazia Hassan Award". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  7. James Ellis (27 October 2009). "Biddu". Metro. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
  8. The Listener, Volumes 100–101. 1978. p. 216. Retrieved 21 June 2011. Tony Palmer knocked off a film account of someone called Biddu (LWT), who appears to have been mad enough to invent disco music. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  9. Shapiro, Peter (2006). Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco. Macmillan Publishers. p. 55. ISBN 0-86547-952-6. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  10. Ladyslipper Music - Monsoon Featuring Sheila Chandra
  11. "Sheila Chandra - Discography". Archived from the original on 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
  12. William Rauscher (12 May 2010). "Charanjit Singh – Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  13. Geeta Dayal (6 April 2010). "Further thoughts on '10 Ragas to a Disco Beat'". The Original Soundtrack. Archived from the original on 2 September 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  14. "Young Tarang". Rediff. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  15. Sheikh, M. A. (2012). Who's Who: Music in Pakistan. Xlibris Corporation. p. 192. ISBN 9781469191591.[self-published source]
  16. "Daler Mehndi". Archived from the original on 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
  17. Booth, Gregory D.; Shope, Bradley (2014). More Than Bollywood: Studies in Indian Popular Music. Oxford University Press. p. 151. ISBN 9780199928835.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 "Statistics". Abrar-ul-Haq Official Website. Archived from the original on 26 March 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
  19. "Abrar Ul Haq is back with a bangra". The Express Tribune. 29 April 2016.
  20. "Disco Deewane, Nazia Hassan with Biddu and His Orchestra". La Pelanga. 19 September 2010.
  21. Wartofsky, Alona (13 July 2003). "Rap's Fresh Heir". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 May 2012.[dead link]
  22. "Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's 'lost tape recordings' found". The News International. 5 July 2017.
  23. "Pop no more". Hindustan Times. 2 October 2010.
  24. Jeffries, Stan (2003). Encyclopedia of World Pop Music, 1980-2001. Greenwood Press. p. 35. ISBN 9780313315473. All of Chinai's previous success was eclipsed with the 1995 release of Made in India. A series of uptempo songs indebted to traditional Indian music but revealing a definite Western influence, the album reached #1 in the Indian charts and stayed there for over a year as it sold over 5 million copies.
  25. Limca Book of Records. Bisleri Beverages Limited. 1999.
  26. Sabharwal, Gopa (2017). India Since 1947: The Independent Years. Penguin Group. p. 304. ISBN 9789352140893.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Kumar, Raj (2003). Essays on Indian Music. Discovery Publishing House. p. 18. ISBN 9788171417193.
  28. Mathai, Kamini (2009). A. R. Rahman: The Musical Storm. Penguin Group. p. 160. ISBN 9788184758238.
  29. Bill Lamb. "Jay Sean". Retrieved 2009-12-14.
  30. "INDI-POP: DOWN BUT NOT OUT". Screen. 22 September 2000. Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2013.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  31. "Punjabi pop hits the jackpot!". The Tribune. 19 February 2000.
  32. Echo (Official Music Video) - Armaan Malik, Eric Nam with KSHMR at YouTube
  34. "#AlaVaikunthapurramuloo - ButtaBomma Full Video Song (4K) | Allu Arjun | Thaman S | Armaan Malik - YouTube". Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  35. Maari 2 - Rowdy Baby (Video Song) | Dhanush, Sai Pallavi | Yuvan Shankar Raja | Balaji Mohan, retrieved 2021-02-22
  36. 36.0 36.1 "T-Series". YouTube. T-Series. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  37. Zack Knight x Jasmin Walia - Bom Diggy (Official Music Video) at YouTube
  38. Bom Diggy Diggy (VIDEO) at YouTube
  39. Bom Diggy Diggy (Video Song/Lyric Video) at YouTube
  40. Guru Randhawa: High Rated Gabru Official Song at YouTube
  41. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan - Zaroori Tha at YouTube
  42. Jackson, Joe (2011-11-30). "Nonsensical, Semi-English Music Video Goes Viral in India". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  43. "B-schools hit by the Dhanush's Kolaveri di attack - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2021-05-10.


[2]Template:Pop music

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