Malkit Singh, MBE (Punjabi: ਮਲਕੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ) (Malkit Singh Boparai; born c. 1963) is England-based Punjabi bhangra singer. Born in Hussainpur and raised in Nakodar, he moved to Birmingham in 1984. Singh was the first Punjabi singer to be honoured with an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. He was most famous for the songs “Gur Nalo Ishq Mita”, “Tootak Tootak Tootiyan”, “Kurri Garam Jayee”, “Dekh li vilyait”, “Chal Hun”, and “Jind Mahi”, the latter two from the soundtrack to the popular film Bend It Like Beckham.
Malkit Singh had appeared on many Indian talk shows which were linked to Sikhism and Punjab on MTV Channel,Channel V, and all Indian channels. He was listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest selling bhangra solo artist of all time, with sales of over 4.9 million records in his 32-year career. His song “Tutak Tutak Toothiyan” written by Veer Rahimpuri was the fastest-selling and most successful Bhangra ever at the time. It was released with the 1990 album Tootak Tootak Toothian, which sold 2.5 million records, a record for Bhangra Indi-pop at the time.
Malkit Singh is credited as being one of the pioneers who brought Punjabi folk out from the fields and onto the world stage. From its humble Punjabi origins, Malkit has used Bhangra in cross-cultural experiments ranging from rap and house to Bollywood claiming the highest respect amongst Bhangra aficionados.
As a four-year-old, Malkit won admission into a school for six-year-olds thanks to his incredible singing ability. In the 1980s Malkit formed the band Golden Star to produce some of the ‘old skool’ Bhangra classics that continue to fill the dance floors today, including his trademark anthem ‘Tootak Tootak Thootian (Hey Jamalo)’.
The nineties brought Malkit hits such as ‘Midas Touch’, ‘Forever Gold’ and the smash-hit ‘Kudi Patoley Wargi’. Malkit’s music has also featured in various films, including Monsoon Wedding and Bend it Like Beckham. He has performed with the world’s top musical legends including Pandit Ravi Shankar, Trilok Gurtu and A R Rehman.
Malkit’s fan base continues to grow from strength to strength. He encompasses an audience of all ages, from young to old, his popular music and videos winning over today’s generation of youngsters as well as keeping his die-hard fans happy.
2000 marked Malkit as the ‘Biggest Selling Bhangra Artist in the World in the Millennium Edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2002 Malkit won the Best Bhangra Singer Award at the Bollywood Music Awards in New York. In 1997 Malkit was given the Recognition of the City of Los Angeles for Services to the Indian Community.
He has recently released “21st chapter” featuring the hugely popular, and classic “Jago Aaya”. Singh and his backup band Golden Star have toured in twenty-seven countries.
True to his name, Malkit, meaning ‘One Has Ruled the World’, continues to dominate.