Mukesh Mukesh Chand Mathur (formal name Zoravar Chand), (July 22, 1923, Delhi, India - August 27, 1976), popularly known as Mukesh, referred to as the man with the golden voice, was a well-known Indian playback singer.
Mukesh's voice was noticed by Motilal (a popular actor in Hindi films, also a distant relative of Mukesh) when he sang at his sister's wedding. Motilal took him to Bombay, let him stay with him and even arranged for singing lessons for him. During this period, Mukesh managed to bag a role in a Hindi film, Nirdosh (Innocent) (1941). He got his break as a playback singer in 1945 with the film Pehli Nazar (First Look). The first song he sang for a Hindi film was Dil Jalta Hai to Jalne De (If the heart burns, let it burn) , which was incidentally picturised on Motilal.
He is best known for the songs he sang as a playback singer for Raj Kapoor, a legendary actor/director of Bollywood in 1950s and 1960s.
In 1974, Mukesh received a National Award for the song Kain baar yoon bhi dekhaa hai from Rajnigandha (1974), and Filmfare Awards for the songs Sab Kuch Seekha in the movie Anari (1959), Ganga Ram Ki Samajh in Pehchaan (1970), Jai Bolo in Be Imaan (1972) and Kabhie Kabhie in the film of the same name (1976).
He died of a heart attack on August 27, 1976 in Detroit, Michigan, USA where he had gone for a concert. His dead body was carried back to India with Lata Mangeshkar, where a grand funeral ceremony took place as many famous actors, personalities of the Indian film industry, and fans paid tribute to the late singer. When the news of his death reached Raj Kapoor, he remarked that he had lost his soul, which is a testimony to the timeless and unforgettable association of Mukesh's voice (in playback) to the immensely popular songs of Raj Kapoor's films.
After Mukesh's death, his newer unreleased songs came out in 1977 with films like Dharam Veer, Amar Akbar Anthony, Khel Khilari Ka, Darinda, and Chandi Sona. The year 1978 also featured a good number of Mukesh songs , films like Aahuti, Paramatma, Tumhari Kasam, and Satyam Shivam Sundaram, where Mukesh sang his last film song "Chanchal Sheetal Nirmal Komal." From 1980 onward, Mukesh's voice was heard in many late films like Shaitan Mujarim, Premika, Patthar Se Takkar (1980), Sanjh Ki Bela, Maila Anchal (1981), Aarohi (1982), Chor Mandali (1983), Nirlaj (1985), Love and God (1986), Shubh Chintak (1989), and his last known release of Chand Grahan (1997).
Mukesh's son, Nitin Mukesh, was a fairly popular singer in the 1980s and sings mostly devotional religious songs these days.