"I accept this honour on behalf of the millions of fans"
International Punjabi singer, actor, lyricist and film star Gurdas Mann received an honorary degree from the University of Wolverhampton. in the UK for his contribution to Punjabi music internationally.
The global icon received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music at a ceremony at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Tuesday 7th September 2010. The honorary degree was presented by the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure in recognition of his celebrated presence in the music and entertainment industry.
At the ceremony, Gurdas said, “This is an emotional moment for me. I accept this honour on behalf of the millions of fans and listeners of Punjabi music all over the world. I would like to thank everybody here today and especially the people of Wolverhampton, who have given me so much love and respect over the years.”
The Dean of the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, John Pymm, said, “The University is absolutely delighted that Gurdas Maan has made time in his very busy international touring schedule to receive an honorary doctorate. Gurdas’ contribution to music is immense and he is a real inspiration for our students.”
Born in January 1957 in Giddarbaha, Muktsar, Punjab, India, Gurdas Maan’s initial interests were to do with sports and physical education. As a keen sports enthusiast, he joined the National Institute of Sports and gained a Masters Degree in Physical Education, and achieved a black belt in Judo, before launching in to the world of music.
His first success as a singer came in 1980 with the song Dil Da Mamla Hai, which after being aired on Jalandhar TV in Punjab, India, attracted huge attention to his fresh singing and song writing abilities. This led to the recording of his debut album released in 1981 also called Dil Da Mamla Hai, which was a major international hit. Bringing Gurdas Maan into the limelight as a tremendous singer and artist.
With a career spanning over 25 years, Gurdas Maan has become the most prolific and recognisable Punjabi singer in the world today.
Maan has produced over 30 albums and written over 200 songs. He has played a major role in promoting South Asian and in particular, Punjabi culture at an international level, and his songs portray real life issues and appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Gurdas Maan loves the rich culture of Punjab. He has sung many songs on the theme of Punjab, Punjabi Language and Punjabi Culture like, Chhalla (the most popular), Apna Punjab Hove, Punjabiye Zubane, Yaar Punjabi, Punjeeri and many more. His all songs have a Sufiana touch which reflect his strong belief and respect for different cultures.
His ability to sing, write his own lyrics and perform on stage has made him one of the most versatile and successful artists ever. He has toured the globe, performing in the USA, Canada, Middle East, New Zealand, Hong Kong, UK, Italy, Greece, Denmark, France, Norway and Australia. His stage shows are packed with energy, and his music, whilst infused with eastern and western flavours, remains quintessentially Punjabi.
As a singer Gurdas Maan has worked with music directors like Charanjit Ahuja, Jaswant Bhanwra, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Bappi Lahiri, Anu Malik, Nadeem Sharvan and many more. As an actor, he has starred in over 25 Punjabi and Bollywood films, including, Chak Jawana, Mini Punjab, Waris Shah – Ishq Daa Waaris, Des Hoyaa Pardes, Veer Zaara (with Shahrukh Khan and Preity Zinta), Shaheed-E-Mohabbat, Pratigya, Gabroo Punjab Da, Laung Da Lashkara and Mamla Garbar Hai. He has also received numerous awards, including the Jury’s Award, presented to him by the President of India in 2005.
Gurdas Maan is one of an exclusive handful of Indian artists who has consistently filled the largest and most prestigious venues in the UK, including the Wembley Arena, NEC (LG Arena) and will be performing for the first time at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, in 2011.
Many of the UK Bhangra stars also turned up at the event in Wolverhampton, to see this iconic artist receive his degree, including Jaz Dhami and Sukshinder Shinda. Shinda said, “He is not like any other guy, he is the legend,” and Jaz said, “He’s a huge asset to the Punjabi industry.”
This unique and humble singer has attracted the respect and admiration of fans world-wide for his long-standing contribution to Punjabi culture and music, and this honorary degree fully celebrates and endorses his continuous work in music, film and encouragement in sport.