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Has Sonu Nigam been a victim of circumstances?

With Sonu Nigam allegedly inviting a media group's wrath for supporting poet-cum-politician Kumar Vishwas, we rewind to earlier instances when the singer found himself embroiled in controversy

In the season of bans, singer Sonu Nigam has earned one for raising his voice on a controversial political issue. The 41-year-old had shared a video clip in support of poet and Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas, who was in the eye of a storm for his alleged comment on the suicide of Rajasthani farmer, Gajendra Singh at a recent rally. A media group had aired footage of the politician apparently asking 'latak gaya?' (has he hung himself?) moments after the tragic incident took place.

Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam

It later turned out that the clip was doctored and Vishwas was given a clean chit. Sonu felt the need to point out the channel's mistake and tweeted: "I am far from politics but I feel this truth should come out for the sake of my poet friend Kumar Vishwas… My duty is 2 be rational... Irrespective of d party or d person. It's a simple case of some1 close 2 d cameras uttering those words. Not mischievously but by chance perhaps. It's only fair, 2 be fair (sic)."

Babul Supriyo (above) had a public spat with Sonu Nigam in 2005 on the issue of royalty earned on songs. The latter was quoted as saying that he wouldn’t have minded raining blows on his contemporary
Babul Supriyo had a public spat with Sonu Nigam in 2005 on the issue of royalty earned on songs. The latter was quoted as saying that he wouldn't have minded raining blows on his contemporary

So now, the media group has apparently decided not to buy his songs and replace him in their forthcoming films. Sonu posted, "Wonder should it not be illegal to ban someone on the pretext of nothing in a democracy? Influencing others to not work with an individual. Well legal or illegal, one thing's for sure. Banning someone, is definitely unGodly."

Sunidhi Chauhan (above) and Sonu declined to sign a contract with T-Series for Heartless, saying that the agreement deprived them of their rightful royalty
Sunidhi Chauhan and Sonu declined to sign a contract with T-Series for Heartless, saying that the agreement deprived them of their rightful royalty 

The Twitterati came out in support of the singer with the 'StandWithSonuNigam' hashtag that is currently trending. Speaking to hitlist about the episode, Sonu states, "The lesser I talk, the lesser power I give to the massive egos. Of course, wise media houses like you doing so at least to correct this dadagiri would be way more effective. Well, my stand is my stand. Their response is their response. It is for India to decide what they want (sic)."

 Sonu had quit Sa Re Ga Ma Pa over differences with its maker, Gajendra Singh (above)
Sonu had quit Sa Re Ga Ma Pa over differences with its maker, Gajendra Singh

This is not the first time that Sonu has stepped into the controversy zone. hitlist takes a look at a few incidents from the past...

Royalty rage
Last year, Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan had refused to sign a contract with Bhushan Kumar's music company T-Series for Heartless, claiming that it deprives them of their rightful royalty. Since the film's music could not have been released without the singers signing on the dotted line, the music label requested Shekhar Suman, who helmed the project, to consider getting the tracks re-dubbed. The director had accused the duo of being 'backstabbers'.

Hariharan
Hariharan and Kumar Sanu (below) had flayed Sonu at the beginning of his career for re-dubbing their songs. He had reportedly apologised to the two singers later saying he wasn't aware of it

Sonu revealed in an interview that due to his stand on royalty, he had lost out on a lot of work and many of his songs had been re-sung by newcomers.

However, the issue was eventually sorted out when he worked with the same label for two songs in the Aamir Khan-starrer 'pk'. This came after the Singers' Association of India and Indian Singers' Rights Association drafted the contract taking care of all stakeholders — the singers, producers and the label.

Kumar Sanu
Kumar Sanu

At the beginning of his career, Sonu had received flak from senior singers like Hariharan and Kumar Sanu for re-dubbing their songs. The singer had then reportedly apologised to Hariharan and said he wasn't aware that the songs had originally been recorded by him.

Fellow fighting
Sonu got into a fight with fellow singer Babul Supriyo at music director Aadesh Srivastav's birthday party in September 2005. The argument was triggered by a disagreement over the issue of royalty earned on songs. Supriyo claimed that it was Sonu who turned aggressive and came charging at him. The latter had admitted to the spat, saying, "Yes there was an argument, but not a physical one. Though if it had come to that, I wouldn't have minded. I have not beaten up anyone for a long time."

Don call
In October 2013, Sonu registered a police complaint after he allegedly received threat calls from underworld don Chhota Shakeel asking him to change the event management company that was to handle his 2014 World Tour. He claimed that he was asked to sign up with another agency, purportedly chosen by the don. He told the police that he had been regularly receiving threatening phone calls and text messages from Dawood Ibrahim's aide.

Critical accusation
Sonu had accused a film critic of sexual harassment back in July 2007. In an open letter to the media, he stated that a senior film journalist had asked him for sexual favours in return for publicity. He said the journo used to send him lewd text messages and even rang him up to express his love. When he did not reciprocate, the scribe allegedly began fabricating reports to show the singer in poor light.

Discordant note
When Sonu exit popular singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa as host, he said he had made the decision over certain differences with the show's maker, Gajendra Singh. He also alleged that the producer spoke against him, but he doesn't hold any grudges against him. In an interview, Singh clarified saying that Sonu quit Sa Re Ga Ma Pa as he wanted to concentrate on movies.

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